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Soil compaction is frequently overlooked on residential building projects. Yet much good effort and quality workmanship on framing and finishing a building can be offset when a slab or foundation settles. The resulting cracks and distortion may reflect serious structural problems, or they may simply be an eyesore and an inconvenience. But one thing is certain: The unhappy owner will be calling you to discuss repairs and compensation. You can avoid this outcome by understanding a few basic principles of soil behavior and by developing a healthy respect for the consequences of not getting it right. Poorly compacted fill will compress and settle over a period of time, often with disastrous results. By contrast, properly compacted soil should be worry-free. In