×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Removal of soil nails
2

Removal of soil nails

Removal of soil nails

(OP)
I am not a geoengineer, but I have some geoengineering questions and I hope you don't mind me posting it here. As part of a construction project next to our house (they are building a house), a shoring company began drilling grouted, threaded soil nails into the hillside between our two houses. In weeks prior, an excavation company had excavated all the earth in the side yard next door right up to our property line, which left a 20' drop to the property  below where they are building the house (we are on a hillside). In order to prepare for a retaining wall, the shoring company began drilling these nails into our yard, but neither the builder nor the shoring company told us they were going to do this work and they did so without our permission (It is unbelievable--at least to us!) Since they began drilling the nails into the hillside right along our property line, and the nails are approximately 16 feet long, the nails breached our property line by about 15 feet (there is a foot of nail still sticking out of the earthen wall). We were able to stop them just as they were finishing the installation of the sixth nail, but apparently dozens more were planned to be drilled into our yard to hold up the wall. Of course, all work ceased, and has been stopped for one week now. The builder apparently had other methods to shore up this earthen wall, but utilizing our yard was the cheapest route. We are now in need of a geotech expert (something I am working on) to help us figure out what to do with these metal rods in our yard. Do they stay or do they go? We want them gone.

My (curious) question is; can grouted soil nails be removed without taking our yard out with them? Do the rods come out cleanly or does the grout come out with them? Will pulling them out (and the dirt with them) create a sink hole in our yard? One of the rods was drilled into our yard at only about a 25 degree angle and a 18" depth (I saw that one go in). I am wondering if we can ever trench for sprinkler repairs at that depth. We have lots of other questions regarding this, but we are mostly curious if grouted soil nails can even be removed without causing greater problems for us. We really want them removed in case we need to or have to excavate our yard some day. They are probably tying up about 20 feet of our yard.

In the meantime, I have some calls in for a referral for a geotech/soil engineer in my city to help us sort out this mess. I am, unfortunately, learning more about soil nails than I ever wanted to. It will probably take weeks to get answers, but in the meantime I am curious if grouted soil nails can even be removed. Thank you.

RE: Removal of soil nails

It is very unlikely that the nails can be removed without causing signifiant damage to your yard.  They are afterall designed to provide tensile reinforcement.

I would start by requiring them to remove them without damage to your yard, strictly as a negociating tactic.  Then "accept" that they pay you some amount of money to leave them in place.  Your justification for the money is that any excavations that you might want to do in the future would require you to deal with the nails.

RE: Removal of soil nails

The soil nails should not be a problem in the future.  They are passive reinforcing elements with little or no load locked into them.  However, they are on your property without permission.  You may want to let them continue installing the nails at a price.  Charge them or get them to make some other offer of compensation, such as some landscaping or driveway repair if needed.

Also, if you let them continue, make sure their design was prepared and sealed by a licensed and insured engineer.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Also, if your house is close to the excavation, get them to do a preconstruction survey of your house and then make them monitor your house during the excavation and soil nail wall installation.  Doing this will allow you to determine if they have damaged your house or other property.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
I had suspected the same, so that is no surprise. I am not happy about that, though. I was hoping they might break free of the grout and pull right out. That is why I threw this question out there.

I think you are right regarding compensation. That is a reasonable request, since we might have to deal with these some day.

I received some referrals today for geotech engineers. We will consult with one to come out and evaluate our situation and to give us a figure of how much compensation is reasonable; given the length of the nails, number of nails, their depth, and how much of our front yard they are tying up, etc. Thank you for replying. That helps relieve my sense of curiosity about the fate of these things in our front yard.

RE: Removal of soil nails

If the nails encroach your property in the set back required by zoning, your damages will be hard to demonstrate.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
That doesn't make sense to me. How can a private entity drill 15 foot nails into my yard, taking away my rights to excavate my own yard one day (without costing extra money and hassle to deal with the rods), and it not be considered damages? This isn't a city easement. It is the private property line between two houses? How can I trench for sprinklers, or water or gas lines for a swimming pool with 15 rods running through my yard? All without our permission. I think damages would be easy to demonstrate. Please explain what you mean.

RE: Removal of soil nails

I think damages are clearly evident.  And if you remove / cut the rods to install your swimming pool will the retaining wall fail causing potentially even more damage?  Are the nails and reinforcement adequate so your your swimming pool won't slide off the edge?  Who knows - but this will require an engineering evaluation (that your neighbor should pay for). I think your neighbor was extremely reckless assuming that this would ever be acceptable to you.  Your attorney can very easily assess your damages for you.

By the way, did your neighbor get a permit to do this?  If so, it seems that the City was also quite reckless in issuing this permit.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Your rights and recovery vary state to state, but in general are somewhat limited. In general, the adjoining owner is required to get an easement fromyou to support your property. If you do not grant him an easement, you may be required to support your property to allow the construction. I do not know what the consequesnes are if the builder does not get your permission. If the support is permenant, future construction may be a problem and your use of the proerty may be limited. If it is only temporary during construction, then the nails can be removed when they arre encountered. I do not think the nails will interfere with sprinklers. At 10 feet from the wall they will be at least 5 ft down. You should find out if the nails are temporary or permenant. If they are permenant, you may have to talk to an attorney and the adjoining property owner.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Good luck with your neighbor in the future.  This situation should start you off on the wrong foot!

I can't imagine how the encroachment of temporary (but left-in-place) soil nails will cause you damages.  It's more a case of giving the contractor a temporary, underground easement for his convenience or economic benefit.  Therefore, you are justified in asking for compensation.

Again, insist on monitoring and a preconstruction condition survey of your house and adjacent property.  Also, check that the soil nail wall was designed by a licensed engineer with professional liability insurance.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
I think what the builder did provides a lot of interesting fodder for debate here. I can't understand how the builder could do this and think it would be ok. Maybe it is common place in the construction business to drill the rods just to get the job done and face the consequences later?? Maybe they just hoped we wouldn't mind?? It is one of the craziest things I have ever heard of. I think it is a risky game at best.

Yes, there is a permit and once the city inspector found out what was going on (he was the first person I called when I saw the drilling take place), he dropped everything at the office and rushed to the construction site and shut the entire construction site down. He was amazed that the builder went forward with the drilling without getting our approval. He told the builder that he must get our approval before starting, which the builder didn't do. Can the city fine the builder for something like this?? There were also several other options available to retain this earthen wall without drilling rods, but drilling the rods was the cheapest route (by far) for the builder, and so, that is what he chose to do. He just didn't tell us about it.

Yes, we have a real estate attorney. We retained him the day of the drilling. The cease and desist letter went out that day to the builder and everything is holding until we can get a geotech engineer to tell us what they did and if we can undo it. They've been told not to touch the rods (since they are in our yard) until we can work this out with a geotech consultation. I think the builder is now looking at "Plan B" to retain the earthen wall, as well. This whole situation is amazing to us. At some point we will get our geotech consultation done, then we will sit down with our attorney and hash out a plan. We have a ton of questions, just like the ones posted in this thread.

Is this a common occurrence in the construction industry?? Anyone out there have experience with this?? It is unbelievable to me, but I am biased, it is my yard.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
By the way, "Plan A" which was drilling the rods into our yard cost the neighbor $14,000. "Plan B" (I think it was driving I beams into their own property) which they chose not to do, would have cost $30,000. So, by utilizing our yard to drill the nails, the builder saved $16,000. That bit of information certainly made us happy!

RE: Removal of soil nails

Some further thoughts here...

By their nature, soil nailing and tieback wall systems are going to require easements to be granted for any and all encroachments of the systems into properties other than that of the client installing these mechanisms.  The presence of these systems could affect both the sellability and sales price of your real estate investment if they were installed without an easement, permit or special inspection.  If an easement is ever granted by you to the other party, you should ask for compensation for that easement to include any effect to your property.  

One of the usual and customary properties of soil nails is that in order to develop the proper design tensile capacity of the soil nail, the soil has to rotate, or settle, to a certain degree.  This will locally affect the topography of the soil nailed portion, causing the ground to subside rotationally toward the 20 foot cut.  This is normal to the soil nail process, but may be an unacceptable condition to you.  If properly designed, it is stable.  

Besides the geotech, I would engage a good real estate attorney...pronto.  I would also poke around the city and see what I could find out regarding the neighbor's project.

 

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

The above comment is more applicable to permanent anchored walls, which I don't believe we are talking about.  As for the other discussion about subsidence and rotation, I think this is highly theoretical at best.  I would not worry about it.  Temporary, left-in-place, soil nails should not affect your property or property value.

The important things here, as msquared48 said, are (1) if the wall was designed properly, (2) how close to the wall is your house, and (3) how much compensation they are willing to give you.  If you get greedy, they will find another way to support the excavation and you will get nothing but an irate neighbor.  Don't overplay your cards.  Be reasonable and move on.

RE: Removal of soil nails

I know you stated that you had a real estate attorney and it was briefly mentioned before, but the installation of the soil nails on your property would require a perminant easement.  An easement is "An interest in land created by grant or agreement that confers a right upon owners to some profit, benefit, dominion, or lawful use of or over the estate of another."  Basically you still own the property over which the easement was granted, but the entity be it a person, coorporation, or property has rights to your property also.  Commonly they're used for public utilites like storm drains and sanitary sewer that cross private property and grants access to the property by the owners of those utilities for maintenance and repair of the utilities.  

As I understand it, this is a perminant retaining wall installation.  If you you were to grant an easement for the soil nails to be installed on your property and if sometime in the future you wanted to install a swimming pool or some other structure that would disturb those soil nails the other property owner would have a say in it due to the easement.  

There are damages to your property which can easily be proved.  You could in theory make them remove the soil nails and restore your property at their costs.  Second I'd dieny them an easement on your property make them put in the more costly retaining wall.

Make sure your attorney has experience with property disputes as they can get complicated.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Two more cents worth:

If the difference in cost between the nails and building the retaining-wall system entirely on their own property is only $16k, I suspect they will want to do the latter, rather than fight about it.  A lawyer can swallow up that much money in a week.  The nails they have in place so far can be left until you build your swimming pool, and then you just torch them off in the excavation; I don't think they would be close enough to the surface to affect a sprinkler system.  (Just insist through your lawyer that any retaining wall, temporary or permanent, is signed and sealed by a PE.  The fair thing would be for them to at least cover your costs, and send you a bottle of Laphroig as a token of apology.)

This assumes that no existing structures have been affected.  That's a whole different story.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
There is no easement in this case and we won't grant one. We are adamant that we don't want 15 foot soil nails tying up our yard.

From what I have learned, I think the rods were to hold up the dirt only. They must have planned on attaching something to these nails to hold up the dirt wall and then placing the cement wall in front this retaining system. I think that might make them "temporary, in-place nails." As I watched some of these nails being driven into our yard, they placed them at varying angles because they were hitting boulders and having to pull out and try again. There was no standard angle of placement with what they did, so it becomes a crap shoot to know where they're really located.

I worry about property values, too. My husband has mentioned that, too, but I just don't know about that. We'll have to ask the attorney. They drilled the rods under at least one 20-foot pine tree in our yard. I saw that rod go in and it went in at about a 25 degree angle and only 12-18 inches from the surface. I wonder if it might kill the tree (the rod and grout), since it was drilled into the root system. If the tree dies one day (of any cause, not just this) and it has to be removed, the rods will have to be addressed one way or another. They are there somewhere, but nobody really knows where!

Our sprinkler system is right along the property line, so the rods are only (literally) inches away. Again, we could have trenching issues. They drilled the rods into the area of our yard where the main water line comes into our property from the street. They are both literally on top of one another. The gas main is only about 15-20 feet away from one of the rods. So, both our main utilities are in this area of the rods.

We really like the new neighbors a lot, and yes PEinc, this is making the relationship strained (it's too bad), but we aren't willing to give up our rights to our entire side yard so they can have a walk out basement on their side yard. The entire hillside was removed so they could have this walkout basement. Nobody else has this configuration in the neighborhood (they are all custom-built homes by the same builder-our house is several years old) and the builder (and subcontractors) have told us this excavation project has been a very "challenging" situation. They have heaved this their difficult situation on us, in this case utilizing our yard for the nails, without our permission. The alternative retaining system is now going to cost $30,000 instead of $14,000(which was the cost for the soil nail system.)

Yesterday, the builder asked us if he could continue drilling again. We told him, "no" (again). The drill rig is still sitting there.

I appreciate all the comments here, because they help us formulate questions. In reading about these nails on the internet (from manufucturing web sites) apparently some are not rust-proofed and can degrade and cause some caving in and if placed improperly will impede drainage, etc. These are exactly the things we need to know about.

To answer other questions. . . there is a permit, the project was approved by a structural engineer, and there is liability insurance. Whether the structural engineer is competent, I don't know. I have someone investigating that now.

Now is the time for us to know the problems we could face down the road, in order to figure compensation. I have a call in to a geotech firm for a consultation appt. I have been waiting for a call back all day. Any other ideas??

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
That might be a stretch, cvg, but I like that stretch!! It is a very interesting thought and I will add it to my list of questions.

It is unknown where these nails are located in relationship to the water and gas pipes. Like I wrote, I watched them drill them in wherever they could get them to go in. They would hit a boulder, pull out and try another location, at all kinds of angles. They are all right there in the same area, but short of using some kind of detection device, we won't know unless we dig everything up. Is there some kind of device (like the utility companies use to stake out the water and gas lines before digging) that can detect the location and depth of these nails?? Could the geotech firm map it all out for us??

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
What depths are water and gas pipes installed?

RE: Removal of soil nails

I agree with dgillette's first response.  I guess we are in the minority.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
What do you mean, PEinc? I am not following it. That the rods will never be an issue?? It very well could be (probably is) that these rods will never bother us, but I certainly want to explore all potential problems. Then we feel that we made an informed decision about them. The builder certainly hasn't given us any say in regards to our property up to this point.

And, PEinc and dgillette, since you are geotechnical, could it be that we will have a difficult time getting a geotech engineer to consult with us?? The company I called today never called back. I wonder if this is too hot of an issue to touch. It is a can a worms, but we are very reasonable people. We certainly aren't greedy. I haven't told you the second half of this story (I didn't want to muddy this thread) about the $40,000 worth of drywall, window, stucco, and patio slab cracks (all documented through our insurance co and a structural engineer) that we've sat on for a year and not pressed with the builder or insurance co; just to keep a good relationship with the neighbors. We were willing to bear that financial burden oursleves. I don't think most people would do that. This trespassing issue just became the final straw for us. Now we will press compensation for all damages, because the builder's disregard for our property hit its peak with this drilling. It was so reckless. And, the cracks. . . all due to heavy machinery vibrations. It is another long story, but they had to compact the soil next door for five days with a large rolling compactor. My house shook; my walls, dishes, stoves, can lights, everything, for five days. They settled our house. Cracks appeared all throughout the construction side of our house. This could be another thread in and of itself. This latest excavation of this side yard (and the drilling of the screws) caused two ceiling cracks in our master bedroom and one ceiling crack in our livingroom. We have run out of patience.

RE: Removal of soil nails

No, I don't think it would be such a hot issue that they wouldn't want to touch it without even looking into it.  Not knowing whether they were busy, had key people on vacation (yes, some engineers do take vacations - we just don't like to), or what, it's not terribly surprising that they didn't get back to you immediately.  I have a goal of returning all phone calls the same day, but I have to prioritize that with other tasks - reports due, coworkers needing technical assistance, real or perceived emergencies, etc.  Sometimes, I'm just out of the office.

Is the contractor with the nails the same one that caused the other damage, and is the same neighbor's house involved?  You should have raised hell back then, when there was demonstrable damage - $40k!!  (I wouldn't have been that much of a good neighbor.)  They could have/should have switched to smaller compaction equipment, thinner layers, better moisture control, etc., and they would still have been able to get the compaction they needed.  (It would have taken them longer, but if the vibrations are kept small enough, that's not a problem for you.)  There are plenty of legal precedents that say contractors are responsible for vibrations off the site.  One judge's decision about damage caused by pile driving next door compared it to "...a giant striding past a kindergarten..." and I believe that's an exact quote.  Got it in my files somewhere.   

Restating what I said before, the neighbor and his contractor will probably have to swallow the extra cost and stabilize the slope on their side of the lot line.  [Insist on the engineer's seal on the design!]  Once that is done, the soil nails that have been installed already are simply pieces of steel rod in the ground, with no remaining purpose or effect.  Unless those nails can be shown to have caused damage to structures or utilities at your place during installation, I believe you would have a hard time collecting much in court, unless the judge awards large punitive damages (which I don't think is very likely).  He or she may consider that any impairment of the future use of your yard is hypothetical, and most likely limited to having to cut off a few soil nails with an acetylene torch if you need to excavate.  You could spend a lot of money on lawyers, court costs, and geophysics with little potential recovery.  The net cost of fighting for monetary damages would likely exceed anything you would ever spend on the extra work caused by the nails.  While I understand that the soil nails come on the heels of the earlier problems and that you are seriously POed by the contractor's arrogance, the difference between the nails and the earlier damage is the difference between insult and injury.  If the statute of limitations has not run out, I think it makes more sense to pursue compensation for the actual, proven damage caused by the earlier work, or make it a package deal if the same people are involved.

Depending on the contractual terms between the new neighbors and the contractor, the difference in cost for stabilizing the cut may be entirely on the contractor, and not on them.  In that case, you are more likely to see them come over with the aforementioned Laphroig.

When this is all resolved days or months from now, please come back and tell us how it came out.  We'll all be curious.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
dgillette, I agree with everything you wrote. And yes, I thought that maybe it was just a busy Friday for this geotech firm and they couldn't return my call. I understand that completely.

Yes, the contractor with the nails is the same as the cracks. Same project next door. We did raise hell last year during compaction. We've raised hell every time. A backhoe cracked our master bedroom and living room ceiling just a few weeks ago. The builder, of course, just listens as we take them on a tour of the damages, but he won't acknowledge they had anything to do with it. They pretty much just stare at the damage and shrug their shoulders. They don't say anything. I think their MO is, don't apologize or take any responsibility. If they get pushed with legal action, then they'll move. And, it is probably a MO that (they've learned) works for them, as it almost did this time around. Since we were willing to bear the $40,000 burden to keep the peace. They almost got away with it until they trespassed on our property and drilled those nails. That was just too underhanded and brazen. And, yes, they should have switched to smaller equipment, but didn't. Our structural engineer (who inspected our house--this was before the soil nail situation) wrote a 16-page report for the damages to our house (including photos). In his report, he refers to geotech studies that have been conducted in other locations in our city that demonstrates that our house sits within an area of "peak performance or peak velocity vibrations" from a rolling compactor (this damages part could be a whole other thread). Given the size and location of the compactor (they compacted only 40 feet from our house), the location of our cracks (only on construction side of the house), and the time period they appeared, he concluded that the heavy equipment caused our cracking. It was a huge compactor. Everything shook in my house. They did bring out a smaller compactor for a later project (the garage floor), but that "smaller" compactor shook my house and everything in it, too. From all the shaking and damage to our house, I wondered if our house was maybe built on a lot of unstable fill dirt. But, our structural engineer went through our (extensive set) of blue prints and found the foundation of our house was built entirely on native soil, so they just shook it up a lot.

A large back hoe is currently sitting three feet (albeit down the earthen bank) from my property line and has been sitting there since the day the rods were drilled and the builder inspector shut the project down. We'll see if they take that thing away. It is what caused the master bedroom and living room cracks a few weeks ago. The cease and desist letter that went out last week from the attorney put them on notice that they cannot create one more crack in our house or we will shut the whole project down and seek legal action for trespassing. We are already seeking compensation for all the structure damages. The soil nails compensation is still up in the air, until we can get a consult with an engineer.

I didn't know about the engineering seals on the plans. Thanks for the info. Our structural engineer's report for our house damage has a seal, but I didn't think twice about it. We are going to have to get the plans for the hillside project next door and investigate further. What does the seal mean?

This story will continue. I am afraid that their "Plan B" for the hillside might involve pile driving. Someone mentioned I-beams this last week, but I can't remember who. What does that mean for our house?? Stay tuned. . .

RE: Removal of soil nails

Again, I agree with dgillette's last response.  The bigger problem is the damage to your house.  The nails are nothing more than trespassing.

If you can show that your house damages are new, since the new house construction started, then you should file a lawsuit or claim against the contractor's insurance company.

There are many geotechnical engineers that do not have experience with soil nail walls.  That may be why the engineer did not return your call.  Another reason is that the soil nails on your property probably haven't caused any problems yet and may never.  What do you expect the engineer to do?  The wall was never built so you can't complain about its design or performance.  And, as I said before, the potential soil nail problems you talked about are highly theoretical.  I wouldn't want to write a report about stuff that is slightly possible in the future.

If I were you, I'd focus my energy on addressing the house damages.

A seal on a design or plans indicates that the engineer who designed the work is, or was at some time, a licensed engineer.  Unfortunately, having an engineering seal does not mean that an engineer is qualified to perform certain types of design.  It is not uncommon for an engineer to engage in work beyond his or her capability or experience.  If the soil nail wall was designed by an insured engineer, and if the performance of the wall caused you damages, then you could try to file a claim against the insurance company.  If the engineer isn't insured, then you would have to sue.  In some areas, before you can sue an engineer, you would need to get a Certificate of Merit from another engineer stating that there is merit to your lawsiut angainst the wall designer.  remember, the contractor probably has a lot more insurance that the engineer has.  And, you should go after the contractor because, ultimately, he is responsible for both construction and the design of the soil nail wall, if he hired the engineer.

If the contractor is not allowed to use soil nailing, then he may need to resort to installing steel sheet piling or soldier beams with timber lagging between the spaced soldier beams.  Soldier beams are usually H-Piles but can also be wide flange steel beams.  These beams may be installed by driving them into the ground (with associated vibrations and noise) or set into drilled holes (with less vibrations and noise).  If the finished shoring wall is more than about 12 to 14 feet, the wall may need to be supported by inclined raker braces which aim down and into the excavation site or they could use tieback anchors which would need to extend under you property similar to the soil nails.  For tiebacks, they would need your permission.

The house being constructed must be pretty big if it's been under construction for a year!  Or, the contractor is very slow.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
Thank you for all those explanations, PEInc.

Drilling sounds most reasonable and I would bet they'll do that, since they are on notice they can't cause vibrations anymore. We'll see what plan B turns out to be. I would certainly hope that things will be quieter from here on out. The construction next door only has a few months to go before completion.

I have a very good witness to the timing of our damages. It couldn't get much better than this! I had a painting contractor come in, just before construction began next door (it was total luck), to give me a bid to paint the interior of my house. He inspected the whole house for holes, cracks, anything that he would have to repair, and thus would have to bid out. He said I had a very "clean" house, meaning not very much prep work. He came back to my house six weeks later (after the compaction work next door) and I showed him all the cracking, room by room. He said, "What HAPPENED!!?" He was completely shocked. This is the good part. . . he happens to be the painter for the builder's (next door) personal family homes. This painter stands by me because he's a good, honest guy. He is coming back this next week to bid out all the repairs to present the bill to the builder, which kind of puts him in a tough position, but he's going to do it because it is the right thing to do. (I would love to be an attorney on this case.)

Thankfully, according to our structural engineer, the damage to our home is cosmetic, except for one part of the house that we are watching (a topic for the structural engineering forum!) Thankfully, there are no foundation cracks, though. Nevertheless, we will still try to work it out with the builder rather than accelerate the legal route. I think/hope the builder will come through and take care of (most of) it. And, also give us a bottle of Laphroig (I had to look that one up!) It is all so damning that I just don't see how he could get out of this.

By the way, the house under construction is 8,000 sq ft and is a custom-built home. The houses in our development are big and the architecture and finishing work are known to be exceptional (even though they seem to be built by he three stooges!), so they take almost 18 months to build. This has been a long road for everyone. Our own house was built by this same builder, but seven years ago. We've owned this house only 18 months (it was inspected by a licensed house inspector as part of the purchase of the house 18 mos ago, so he's another witness to the changes.)
 
Thanks to all for your thoughts and ideas.  

RE: Removal of soil nails

From all the comments here, the most logical solution for everyone is a drilled H-pile lagging wall with temporary steel rakers as needed.  This may end up being a significant design modification for the other owner though as the horizontal soil forces to the wall will eventually have to be resisted by the permanent structure of the new residence.  However, that is not your problem.  The redesign will probably delay the project one to three months.

PEinc:

I have reservations here as a structural engineer that the soil nails were intended to be anything but permanent as to not do so would significantly increase the lateral structural resisting requirements, and overall on costs,of the residence due to the 20 foot cut.  However, this is conjecture, I admit.  

Regarding the rotation, I consulted the 1998 USDOT pub FHWA-SA-96-069R and figure 2.8 on page 55, all based on the 1991 work of Clouterre, and Figure 2.9.  For this 20 foot cut, the movement may be small, possibly in the order of 2 to 4 inches, but is there, and has to be there for the nails to load properly, otherwise, the nails see no load.  If they see no load, why the need for them?

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
One thing I forgot to mention is that a good half to three-quarters of the dirt (removed for the 20' wall) was put back because our yard was starting to collapse. They needed an emergency support system, and so they spent three days putting back the dirt that it took four days to remove. The earthen wall has been stable since. The soil nails were going in to support this dirt, so they could continue removing the dirt again. I don't know how they were going to accomplish that. I can't work that process through in my mind.

So on that fourth day of removing this dirt, at about 6 pm, the backhoe driver came knocking on my front door. He wanted to apologize ahead of time that he was going to be working into the night (and the following days) to put the dirt back that he'd spent four days removing. He told me our yard was beginning to collapse, he was afraid we'd lose our entire side yard, the dirt was falling on their heads, and he said it was scarey (He ACTUALLY told me all of that). He said this project was very difficult and he didn't feel comfortable going any further with it. He said he was going to put this dirt back and his company was pulling off the job. I sensed he was pissed at the builder because he was so honest with me. I went out to look at what they'd done and I saw dirt clods popping out of the earthen wall and falling down the embankment. Of course, as the uphill homeowner, this was horrifying to watch. It reminded me of the videos I had watched on tv for the mine disaster in Utah this fall, where the earth was "bumping" and the dirt was popping away from the walls. I was just waiting for my house to start sliding down the hillside. The backhoe driver worked into the night and the next two days to put at least half (maybe 3/4) of the dirt back. He ultimately didn't pull off the job because about five days later he hit the natural gas line on the construction site and everyone had to be evacuated. He was also the backhoe driver that hit my $16,000 hand-crafted wrought iron fence with a backhoe bucket full of dirt. My beautiful fence looks like a car ran through it. (More damages that will be tacked onto the builder's bill--that was the only thing the builder said they would pay for). The day of the gas line break happened to be the day that my insurance company sent out a (general) building inspector (not the structural engineer, but the general building inspector--like the kind who comes out when you buy a house) and he witnessed the whole natural gas disaster unfold. I told the inspector that he should ask for hazard pay for coming to this job site. I actually was afraid we'd lose our insurance coverage after that day.

I could write a book about this experience. I guess this thread is turning into a book! It has been a long year.

RE: Removal of soil nails

I don't knowwho the general was on this job, but he needs to be demoted to private.  What you have described is utterly ridiculous.  This makes the Keystone Cops look like good contractors.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

If the contractor was originally attempting to make an open excavation (without shoring or a soil nail wall), then the new building must have been designed to support the lateral earth pressures.  Therefore, the soil nailing was added only after the open excavation started to collapse.  Therefore, the soil nail wall was probably intended to be a temporary structure.

The original post does not clearly describe the situation.  snsl123 said there was excavation made to construct a retaining wall and that there was a 20' drop to the property below - whatever that means.  It is not clear if this excavation was to the basement foundation wall or just for a site retaining wall that needed to be cut into a sloping side yard in order to provide a flat side yard for the new house.

I don't believe that snsl123 ever said how far away her house is from the face of the soil nail wall or how deep her basement is with respect to the proposed excavation.  Therefore, it is not possible to determine whether or not the performance of the soil nail wall would even affect her house.

Again, it sounds to me like her only significant problem MAY BE the damages to her house caused by vibrations.  The soil nails should not have been installed without permission but their presence should not create a problem, unless the contractor tries to remove them.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
PEinc-those are very good points, if I am understanding you correctly. The soil nailing was added after they removed all the earth in their side yard, because of this collapse. This hillside spanned 20 feet from the side wall of the new house to our property line. And, from our property line to our house is a span of another 20 feet. So, from house wall to house wall, the span is 40 feet. And yes, it is a sloping side yard, so the further down the property line you go, the earthen wall depth is not as deep. Our front yards walk out into the street above, our backyards walk out into the street below. They builder cut into this sloping hillside to make this new side yard (the houses themselves are cut into this hillside). I can't tell you what that elevation change is from street to street. Our houses are on 3/4 acre lots. If I went out to my property line and looked down from my FRONT yard to the house's foundation below (before they put the earth back that they removed), I could look down to the level of their basement floor, which was 20 feet down. If I went out to my backyard and looked down, the elevation change to their yard is maybe five feet. I guess you could remove our entire side yard, too, and there wouldn't be any issue as to a collapsing wall(??) The houses would just be sitting there on their own foundations without any great changes in depths between the houses. As I think this through in my mind, though, the bottom grade of my house is probably five feet above their grade. In other words, if I go out into the street that spans our back yards and look at the basement grades of both houses, I think my house might be five feet higher. I will have to look at that so I can understand this better.

So, if I am understanding you correctly, our side yard could collapse without support, but our house wouldn't collapse because our house isn't actually 20 feet higher than the house's foundation next door. They are independently sitting on their own foundations. Maybe mine is five feet higher, which isn’t that much change. It is just that I have so much dirt piled up against my house that it wants to collapse into their yard.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
I can now see that my descriptions have handicapped the discussion. I apologize and I am glad PEinc could see through them. I am sure that probably changes the loads on the rods. Yes, they still may cause issues some day tying up my yard, but at least I know my house won't collapse because of this particular earth removal.

I emailed our real estate agent, who is the top agent in our city and has been forever, to ask about any re-sale implications for our house. I will let you know her thoughts. Thanks again and, sorry Mike, for my handicapped descriptions.

RE: Removal of soil nails

PEinc:

I disagree that the soil nails pose no problem here.  If they were in fact permanent by design, then they could not be removed by snsl123 if the installation and design were allowed to go to completion.  If they were temporary, then you are correct, and they could be removed or interrupted if snsl123 chose to perform construction on their property that would have to cut the nails.  So the answer is, if the shjoring is redesigned, that they can be interrupted in any future construction if the neighbor's design does not depend on them.  Snsl123 needs to make sure that this is the case as it is in their best interest.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

They're probably not permanent nails.  snsl1223 should confirm this by talking to the wall's designer and the local building inspector.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Where I live and practice, these temporary excavation and property line issues are an everyday issue.

The following is straight out of the CBC (California Building Code), which is simply a modified version of the UBC. Of course, this or an equivalent section of Code may not apply in your area.

Chapter 33, Site Work, Demolition and Construction

Protection of Adjacent Property (Sec 3301.2 and Sec. 3301.3)

"Prevailing law shall decide the requirements for protection of adjacent property and depth to which protection is required.  However, if the law does not define the requirements, then the following shall apply.  Persons making excavations 12 feet or less in depth shall protect the soil on adjacent property from cave-in or settlement.  At least 10 days written notice and access to the excavation must be given to adjacent owners so they may protect their buildings.  Persons making excavation over 12 feet in depth shall not only protect the soil on adjacent property from cave-in or settlement, but shall also pay to extend the foundations of adjoining buildings below that depth."

So, why was this an afterthought on the part of the adjacent property owner, or the jurisdiction for that matter?

RE: Removal of soil nails

Exactly.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
Thanks for that info epongra2. I am going to research that for our state.

I would LOVE to know what they were thinking with this project. The only definitive piece of info I can add is the city building inspector, whom I called for help, told me the builder said they didn't know they had to get our permission to drill these nails into our property. Of course, that is ridiculous. The only reason I can think why the builder did this without consulting with us is to get the job done, come hell or highwater, and worry about the consequences later. As I have written in this thread before, soil nailing into our property was costing $16,000 less than the alternative. Maybe they figured they'd do the job, and the consequences, whatever they may be, would cost a lot less. They didn't bank on having 'the neighbor' being home and watching their every move. I caught them in this deceiptful act. I am sure they were disappointed they didn't get away with it. This builer has been around for decades and has probably learned these tricks. It all comes down to money and soil nails was a lot cheaper.

Anyone else have a guess?? That's mine.

RE: Removal of soil nails

It sounds to me like the soil nails are the least of your problems.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
PEinc-you work for the dark side. smile

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
I learned that our state adopted the 2006 International Building Code. Is there a similar code (protection of adjacent property) as in the UBC and CBC?

The builder called and wants to see bids for the repairs (cracking) to our house.

I don't know if the nails are permanent or temporary. Since we aren't chit-chatty with the builder, it hasn't come up. The building inspector doesn't know.  I asked. It's still up in the air. The attorney put the builder on notice that we are investigating them and we might request they be removed at his expense.  

I spoke with a geotech firm today. Like PEinc wrote, they weren't overwhelmingly knowlegable about the soil nails. They are checking for someone with expertise in this area. I think it's a dead end. That doesn't mean I am done with these nails. I actually decided I want them out. (PEinc is rolling his eyes.)

RE: Removal of soil nails

I'd ask the building official what Code set the jurisdiction follows.  They may even have their own set of Codes.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Just focusing on the real problem!

RE: Removal of soil nails

You may want to talk to your lawer about writing a letter addressing/denying adverse possession. If the nails remain in place (especially if they are part of a structure/wall vs inactive rods in the ground) the current neighbors or any future owner of their land may legally attempt an easment of your effected land based on their historic and unattested (unless you have this letter) use of it.

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
jmgray-that is an interesting thought. We'll look into it. Thank you.

RE: Removal of soil nails

at this point, if you intend to pursue anything in court - I would advise you to not have any discussions with the neighbor or his contractor.  Do not discuss cost of anything, show him the bids for crack repair, agree or sign anything.  Instead, have them ask your attorney.  you have already established that this contractor is sneaky so let your hired gun be your representative.

RE: Removal of soil nails

At this point you may have some serious problems. In most states, you are required to either grant an easement to a neighbor to support your property during construction or support it yourself. Since you allowed neither, you may be liable to the contractor for the damage due to the slope , including the gas main rupture. The $40,000 worth of damage is unforntunate, but if you did not properly notice the owner in writing at the time of the occurance, your recovery may be denied. Although you complain about the contractor, your course of action is probably against the neighbor.
As has been said several times in this dicussion, if the nails are temporary, you have not been damaged,and your hame value has not decreased.
You are currently spending a considerable amount of money on lawyers and engineers and in the end there will probably be very little recovery.
I would suggestyou dicuss havng the cosmetic damage fixed with your neighbor and the contractor. if that doesnot work fix the damage, look at the costs and decide if you want to pursue reimbursement.

RE: Removal of soil nails

"I spoke with a geotech firm today. Like PEinc wrote, they weren't overwhelmingly knowlegable about the soil nails. They are checking for someone with expertise in this area. I think it's a dead end. That doesn't mean I am done with these nails. I actually decided I want them out."

This seems luuducrous to me, that a Geotech is not knowledgeable regarding soil nailing, when they have to set the geotechnical parameters for the design in the first place.  Someone is feeding you a crock here.  They know.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
DRC1--are you serious??! This was the neighbor's choice to remove their hillside, so they could have the convenience of a walk out side yard. It wasn't a natural event that caused my yard to start collapsing. It is all man made on their part.

(And, the gas main break was on the other side of the construction site.)

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
Also, DRC1, the building inspector said he gave them several options to support the earthen wall (all but one utilizing their own property for support), but they chose soil nails because it was the cheapest method. Since, they had other options available, the builder is most certainly liable.  

RE: Removal of soil nails

msquared48,  many geotechs know little or nothing about soil nailing.  However, that often does not stop them from jumping right in.  I admire the engineer who knows his or her limitations.

RE: Removal of soil nails

there a good many geotechs that could properly analyze the soil nail issue, but they would typically work for the better / larger geotech firms.  Soil nailing is not often done for residential construction.  It is done quite frequently for highway construction, so you could possibly get a referral for a good, experienced local geotech from the highway department.

RE: Removal of soil nails

Quote:

so you could possibly get a referral for a good, experienced local geotech from the highway department.

Unfortunatly, a right-many good experienced geotechnical engineering firms do not accept work for single-family residences.  Too litigious!

The best way to get a qualified geotechnical engineering firm to get engaged is to have your lawyer hire the firm.  It's unfortunate, but often this is the case.

f-d

p.s., this is an interesting and troubling thread.  I hope that it all gets worked out.

¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

RE: Removal of soil nails

Too add to the previous post...

So, you are a "good" geotech engineering firm that is already leary of litigation associated with single family residence work.  Now, you are asked to work on a job that has a pretty good chance of ending up in in court...

What you need is a geotech expert who specializes in forensic work.  They seem to be few and far between, and often time it is a semi-retired individual who now works out of the house.  

Fattdad was right, if you have a lawyer who specializes in this type of litigation, he/she will often have contacts with forensic geotechs.  Birds of a feather..

RE: Removal of soil nails

An interesting thread to read.

We work with soil nails/soil anchors on a frequent basis and also from the other perspective of when a house is cracked (forensic approach one may say).

According to our legislation (South Africa), we cannot install soil nails beneath another property unless written permission is given by the owner of the house we are going to install the nails under.  They should have notified you of what they were going to do (bad/slack communications).

As a standard paragraph, we always include the following in our reports/letters that 'no matter how well a lateral support design (soil nail) may be, there will ALWAYS be movement associated with it'.  It is the way the system works and has been discussed earlier in the thread. Removing the nails could proof more troublesome to you, and your house in the long term

With being on both sides of a similiar position, I would steer away from the lawyer approach as it can only be expensive, time consuming and it will make communication with the neighbour difficult (if not already).

Depending on the soil conditions below your house, removing soil nails could be problematic. In very few cases (from a geotechnical point) installing the nails beneath a property can improve the soils.  In terms of future excavation work on your property, removing the nails is a simple process easily taken care of by means of an angle grinder. Get the estimate to repare the cracks and "bypass the angels and go directly to God' i.e. speak directly to your neighbour as he/she is the person you will be living next to for the next few years or so.

Get all of your house checked/documented/photographed for cracks/movement etc. immediately so that you have a record on the current state of the house. My gut feeling tells me in your situation and the way you described their soil nail installation that there are not fully aware of what they are doing and they may not be geotechnically aware of the conditions beneath your house.  
 

I am surprised that there are geotech firms that do not know anything about soil nails - but I suppose in terms of small residential applications, it would be expected.

Hope that the matter is resolved.  

RE: Removal of soil nails

My point was that in most places in the US the contractor is entitled to reasonable access to your property for support of an excavation, or it is incumbent on tyou as the abutting owner to provide support. Since the use of nails for temporary support (permenant support is a different issue) has not really caused any harm to your property, you had the right to stop work until the easment was obtained, but if you refused the easement, you may be responsible for the additional cost of the wall and any associated costs for that wall. My point is that as far as construction damage, many states have explicit laws on notice , which if not adhered to, can limit your ability to collect. Add to this that any construction law proceeding will be influencedas much by common law as by staute, I would say your caser is far from solid. I see you brining in more and more experts and legal advise for a case that has an upper limit of $40,000.Leagal fees are nearly impossible to recover. I caution yu that you may spend $60,000 to recover $20,000 from a neighbor who will no longer talk to you.

RE: Removal of soil nails

DRC1:

I disagree here in part.  Just because a decision was made to ignore the requirement for obtaining an easement to install the soil nails doses not imply any responsibility or legal obligation on the part of the transgressed party to grant that easement.  That would be to say that if you thought that your neighbor would not grant you an easement, it is OK to proceed and force the issue, hoping to get the easement granted, because you could sue him later for damages if it was not.  Sorry, but just because an easement is asked for does not mean it has to be granted.  Otherwise, what is the purpose of the easement?

While it is true that anyone can sue anyone for anything anytime, what the contractor did really is not only trespassing, but could be tanamount to "adverse possession" if they are left in place without the easement being granted.  This is really getting sticky legally.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Removal of soil nails

does anybody know how to cut a granite boulder?

RE: Removal of soil nails

Wire saw?

Drill & split?

RE: Removal of soil nails

I would like to add a few thoughts to this discussion.  It has been stated in previous posts that you must give reasonable access for wall construction or you could face paying the difference.  This has not been my experience.  I work for a contractor that installs every types of shoring systems there is and we see issues with property lines all the time.  Most developers know little about shoring so they will contact us for a design build solution.  We always offer the cheapest alternative first, which usually entails drilling under the adjacent property if the cut is on the property line.  When the neighbor doesn't allow this we come up with another solution that can be done without encroaching on the adjacent property.  This is something that the developer works out with adjacent neighbors.  I have been involved in many projects that got very expensive for the developer because the adjacent owner would not allow drilling under their property.  I have never heard of the developer taking legal action against the adjacent owner to recoup his added costs.  In one case the neighbor wouldn't allow it because he might want to develop his property in the future, no immediate plans he might just want to some day.  It can't be considered reasonable for you to give up space that you might use in the future so your neighbor can install permanent nails.  It sounds to me like a developer just didn't follow typical protocol.  

I would strongly recommend against removing the soil nails.  If they try to pull them out they could cause damage to any utilities that are nearby.  If they dig them your yard will be a mess and will most likely damage utilities that are nearby.  Soil nails are very easily cut if and when you need to cut them.  They are typically just 1" diameter steel bars that can be cut off with a grinder.  Just make sure that whatever they build doesn't require the nails stay in place.

I think you tell them "no you can't drill under my property" and that is the end of that, they need to go to plan B.  I think the only issue where you can be compensated is for the vibration damage.  I don't see you getting anything for them drilling under your property, no damage has occurred.  I would insist on seeing a set of the final plans for whatever they build though.  Make sure that they are sealed by a professional engineer.

Anyhow, when is the BBQ with the new neighbors?
 

RE: Removal of soil nails

Well said, geostructural.  Any compensation for allowing temporary (left-in-place) nails under another's property would probably be minimal, if anything at all.  Unfortunately, the job is probably done by now.  I wonder how it turned out.

snsn123?????

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
Here is a bit of an update. Our side yard, sprinkler system, and our hand-crafted wrought iron fence, that bordered the construction site, collapsed in February. The collapse took out a five-foot-wide by 20-foot-long area of our side yard. The fence and side yard collapsed about eight feet down into the construction site next door. The excavation company had previously replaced much of the dirt in that side yard because of the instability of our side yard (it HAD been about a 15 foot drop before they replaced the dirt), so our collapse didn't fall that far down into their yard. If it would have been a longer drop, our wrought iron fence is so heavy, that it would have pulled a much longer section of our fence down the hillside. Mind you, this side yard excavation next door was an extraordinary undertaking for our neighborhood; nobody had attempted to excavate a side yard before (just for the owners to have the luxury of a side patio), because we live on a hillside and the forces of nature are too great. The contractor took full responsibility for our collapse, though, and had a temporary fence installed in our yard that afternoon. They have since reconstructed our side yard, sprinkler system, and wrought iron fence on their dime. So, Geostructural had it nailed pretty well, as far as the outcome to our situation. I would still debate the compensation part for tying up our front yard with rods, though. When asked her opinion regarding leaving the rods in vs. removing them, our real estate agent said, "Take them out." Her feeling is that it leaves doubt in a purchaser's mind as to what problems these rods could cause some day. She likened it to any other past mechanical issues with a house. Buyers don't like to hear about any potential issues. And, I know you will say the rods won't cause any problems, but in an ignorant buyer's mind, it causes doubt and could give us a re-sale problem some day. My husband and I have debated these rods in length ourselves; he thinks they should stay and I think they should go. So far, they are still in place and will probably stay that way. We did determine that our utilities (water, gas, electrical) all enter our property more in the middle of our front yard, rather than down our property line where these 16 foot rods are currently in position, so there are no issues with the rods and utilities. The rods are just sitting there one or two feet underground.

In the end, after all of this mess with the hillside, the final result is laughable. Everyone in the neighborhood chuckles when they see the side yard for this new house. Forget plan B, geotechnical, they had to move on to plan C. And you are totally correct about starting with the cheapest route to building this retaining wall, which was drilling the rods into our front yard. That is exactly what they attempted to do until I caught them in the act. Thankfully, I was home that day, otherwise our entire side yard would have been full of dozens of 16-foot rods; without ever being able to make that decision ourselves. It was a terrible thing for this construction company to try and pull off without telling us ahead of time.

Plan B, which was to drill very long rods vertically into the earth to hold up a retaining wall, encountered too many huge boulders in the earth and they couldn't drill far enough down to support any kind of tall retaining wall. Their final try was Plan C and that was to build a series of "stepped" planter boxes that start at the level of our side yard and work their way down the hillside towards the side wall of their house. Their walkout side yard (and patio they had hoped for) ended up being a two-foot-wide cement walkway alongside their house; then there is this series of planter boxes stepping up the hillside towards our property line. So, they will now walk out their side door to find a 4-foot high cement wall two feet away from the door, and a series of stepped walls up the hillside. I am sure this mess ended up costing a fortune. Plan A was in the $14,000 range, but we cut those plans short; Plan B was supposedly in the $30,000 range and had to be abandoned, and they ended up with plan C. They ended up drilling rods into the earth to hold back/up each of these smaller planter box walls (maybe each 4 feet high). I didn't see how long those rods ended up being.

The house next door is still under construction (mainly just landscaping remains). Total construction time will almost be 2-years for this custom home, so not all has been resolved. We will be sending the construction company all the repair bids in the next month.

And, geotechnical, you won't believe it, but we get along with our new neighbors well (they are here checking on the construction site almost everyday). We each have a fairly healthy sense of humor. They complain about the contractor just as much as we do (you can only imagine what they have been through--this side yard mess was just a part of their many many problems), so we understand one another. Our humor ends with the construction company themselves, though. The construction company is NOT invited to the BBQ.  

RE: Removal of soil nails

(OP)
Sorry, geostructural. I meant to write geostructural, not geotechnical.

RE: Removal of soil nails

snsl23,

Glad to hear its worked out, more or less okay.  But the point is that you still have, in effect, granted a permanent easement onto your property without getting compensated for it.  And you have no idea what the extent of the encroachment onto your property actually is.  

You need to find out what was done and agree equitable compensation for it (probably 30K-50K) from the contractor before he hands over the house to the owners.  

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close