5 Things to Look for When Inspecting a Suspended Concrete Slab

If you’re a structural engineer and you’ve just been asked to inspect a suspended concrete slab before it is poured, now is definitely a good time to go through the things you should be looking for when you carry out your inspection.

Here are my 5 most important things to check when inspecting a suspended concrete slab:

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What Volume House Builders Don’t Want You To Know

The number one secret volume house builders don’t want you to know is that you are entitled to a certain standard of construction and finish in your home.

So picture this. You design and build your dream house with a volume builder. It all goes fairly smoothly. You move in. Three months later you see a crack or two in the walls.

“How bad does a crack have to be before it is a problem?”, you wonder.

The mass market builder supervisor says, “Don’t worry! Houses settle and move all the time. Wait 12 months and then we’ll come and do some repairs.”

But you do worry. You look at the crack as you walk past every morning. You see it every night. You worry some more. You show the crack to your friends. You hear horror stories about new houses and cracks. Is your house safe? Will you be able to sell it? Is my house falling down???

Ok. Take a breath.

Yes. Some level of cracking in a house is normal.

So now I’m going to reveal a secret which shouldn’t be a secret.

Queensland’s QBCC and Victoria’s VBA have both published a guide to what is an acceptable crack, deflection, sag and bow.

Check out the manual for your area and next time you complain to your site supervisor or warranty manager – arm yourself with what is acceptable and what sort of damage should be ringing alarm bells.

Here you go:
https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/102896/Guide-to-Standards-and-Tolerances-2015.pdf

https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/Standards_and_Tolerances_Guide_0.pdf