Soil testing is probably not something that homeowners do on a regular basis, as you may be concerned with your house more than you are the dirt on which it sits. However, your property's soil is very important for a variety of reasons that can affect your house and even your health. While testing your soil may not need to be done regularly, you might note some times when it is recommended so you know if it needs any kind of treatment.
When planning any outdoor additions to your property
If you want to add a sunroom onto your home or build a garage or shed, you need to know if the soil will be strong enough to withstand this weight. Even something as small as a shed can shift and settle when built on soft soil, and any concrete slab might absorb moisture over time and also get soft and crack. On the other hand, if your property's soil is very dry and sandy, it may not be compact enough to hold up the weight of an addition or outbuilding. Before any type of construction project, even something seemingly small, have the soil tested for strength to note if you need to add lime, clay, or another material, or build a retainer wall to redirect moisture runoff.
When planning any edible garden or farm
If you're planning some new landscaping or want to grow flowers, you might not be concerned with the overall chemical composition of your property's soil, other than to know if it can keep those plants healthy. However, if you're planning anything edible, you need to know if the soil contains a high number of contaminants. Remember that your vegetables and fruit trees will absorb the chemicals in the ground and this would include those contaminants. To ensure that your food is healthy for you to eat, have your soil tested before planting to know if you need a new layer of topsoil or other treatment.
When your home's water is not fresh
You can often tell when water is not fresh by the taste, smell, or color; even a slightly rusty taste or bad odor is often very noticeable when you turn on the tap. While this can mean your water supply is not fresh, it can also mean that your property's soil has contaminants that are seeping into your home's plumbing pipes. Have both the water and the soil tested so you can address this problem and always have fresh, safe water in the home.