You may remember we are planning a renovation and were hoping to excavate out part of the ground floor of the house (which is already a third excavated). Well we've since had an Etude de Sondage carried out which has identified shock horror that there is 'earth' underneath the house. Ok so not sure what else they were expecting to find? A gold mine would have been nice.
We were quite surprised when we looked in the garage and saw where they'd done the etude - right in the middle of the garage floor and nowhere near the walls.
The architect seemed disappointed that he'd found earth - and it appears he was hoping for some nice open spaces...aah really? Come on, did you really think it would be empty under there?
Anyway on the basis of this he concludes that we should not excavate as we may need to underpin all the foundations and that will be extremely expensive and risky. So he has proposed a set of plans without the excavation. Mmm not quite what we were after. Wasn't the point of the Sondage to find out how deep the foundations were? Apparently not. He was looking for empty spaces, we were looking for an answer as to whether we could excavate and at what cost. We now realised we should have specified the exact positions of the sondage and not left it to them as they still don't have the answer to the question we asked.
So - Monsieur Sondage will be returning to redo the Sondage and tell us how deep our foundations are so we can finally get an answer as to whether we can excavate without underpinning. Monsieur Architect seems to think that underpinning will completely blow our budget - has anyone got any ideas of prices of underpinning per m2? He's talking of 2250 euro per m2 and hence is recommending we do a new build extension rather than excavate. Any one else undertaken underpinning type renovation work in France? Should we steer well clear or push on? I'd love to hear your experiences and thoughts.