This pier is screwed through the ground outside of your home until it hits stable, undisturbed soil. What if it rains between the time of the excavation and the footing inspection so that the hole has 6 in. The owner almost abandoned the project after finding that concrete footings would cost $20,000. Digging the holes was only part of the fun. Deck Footings. Maximum capacity of the steel helical pier is 80,000 pounds! I had never heard of helical piles and had to Google them to find out what they were. a deck or addition), or replacing existing footings, helical piers offer a fast, easy and permanent way to put the best footings possible in place. The load-bearing capacity of a helical pile usually relates to the amount of torque required to install it, a function of both the size of the helical plate and the soil's bearing capacity. There is no cleanup needed and as long as everything goes to plan it is quite simple and easy to install this type of foundation. However, because the deck was to be built over uncompacted fill, those footings needed to be 14 ft. … Hundreds of articles and videos by top deck-building pros on how to design and build a beautiful, sturdy, and safe deck. Structures far more engineered than a backyard deck, sunroom, or addition rely on helical piles for their foundations. The costs can vary regionally and with the size and depth of the pile, but our typical residential helical pile costs $150 to $250 installed. Because helical piles don't disturb the ground much, they can be installed alongside existing landscape features. This includes the pile, installation, engineering, and a bracket to connect the pile to the structure. I went with Techno Metal Post (technometalpostusa.com) - and even bought a franchise - because they are a good fit for my business. If the weight of your deck along with the local climate, type of soil and local building codes allow for above-ground deck piers, installation can save a lot of hard work over below-ground options. I was so impressed that I bought a dealership and now install helical piles for other contractors, as well as for my own decks (see "Helical Piles for Residential Work"). Once the ground is warmed, the pile is driven normally (right).Photo credit: Dave Northup. When you account for all the costs of conventional footings, helical piles are surprisingly affordable. Helical piles are essentially large steel screws that thread into the ground to serve as footings, and they have been in use since the early 1830s. The size of the helix will vary based on soil conditions. Driving a helical pile in average soil takes only about 10 minutes - and it's 100 percent ready to build on, with great bearing capacities. The answer is, it depends. Almost 43.4% of the structures lose their strength within a few years of their construction. We will teach you how to determine the code compliant size of your footings based on the soil type and tributary loads. is a question I hear frequently from contractors considering helical piles for the first time. Apr 2, 2017 - Explore Dave Keating's board "Helical pier or pile" on Pinterest. Sometimes, I'd get a red tag with a note saying, "Clean mud from bottom of hole." Some can be adjusted in height to fine-tune a deck's elevation. A solid foundation is necessary for the construction of a deck. Helical Piers is also known as a helical pile, helical anchor and at times call screw piers and often used interchangeably. This is a detailed guide on Helical Piers. Height of Deck … Figure 2. Next, a cap is inserted into the pile to protect its top. You may experience some push back from your local building official the first time you propose helical piles. A thick coating of zinc protects the steel piles from corrosion. Helical piles are screwed through many different layers of earth until it hits the bedrock. Figure 1. This cap is slammed five times with a sledge hammer (right), and the pile's height is measured again. This is particularly relevant if you're building a free-standing deck where the piers close to the house might start out in backfill. The reason buildings and decks don’t always return to their original height is that surrounding dirt sometimes fills in under the footing while it’s lifted. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The installer records the pressure readings, pile depth, and load-test results for each pile in a field report (Figure 9). Be aware that some installers power their pile driver with skid steers or mini-excavators, which can damage customers' lawns. The original design called for concrete footings. There are some locations where I don't even bother trying to install piles because every lot on the street was blasted out of bedrock. Before I switched to helical piles, I wore out plenty of post-hole diggers and shovels, and I even bought a compact track loader with an auger to make installing deck foundations a little less offensive. While a floating deck might be next to a building, it may also be a standalone structure in the middle of your yard. Nearly all cities have recognized helical piles as a superior foundation option for decks, 3 season porches and additions. A helical pile in poor soil might extend down 20 feet; think about a traditional excavation that deep - if it were even possible to do - and how much dirt would be brought up. When the helix is below the frostline and the pressure gauge hits a high enough number relative to the loading requirements of the structure, the installation is complete. Figure 1. Helical piers are good for building foundations on top of soil that’s less than ideal (i.e. Innovative Pier Solutions specializes in deck pier solutions for a wide variety of landscapes, obstacles and project types. With slippery soil, the bearing capacity can be higher than torque readings would suggest because the soil is lubricating the helix and reducing the force required to turn it. Their job is to take the weight of the structure and transfer it stable, load-bearing soil deep within the earth. Helical piers are basically a steel pipe or square shaft that has one to four steel plate “helices” welded onto it. A thriving industry offers concrete-free alternatives for additions, deck footings, and foundation repair ... but designer Michael Maines decided to build the structure on helical piles instead. You will absolutely know the bearing capacity of each pile (Figure 13). For more photos and details, click the View PDF button below: Sign up for eletters today and get the latest how-to from Fine Homebuilding, plus special offers. A Google search on "helical pile" will reveal plenty of manufacturers and installers. Another is when the soil is particularly slippery - wet clay, for instance. Home owners and contractors can build or repair decks and porches effortlessly and be guaranteed a strong, stable, and durable structure. Your local installer will know the acceptable way to proceed.) The helical screw pile replaces the concrete footing + embedded post bracket used in conventional deck construction. https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/helical-piers-screw-piles-pros-cons-and-faqs His answer - helical piles - changed my business. Frost heaving on a deck can not only cause cosmetic damage to your deck it can also be a safety hazard. Because helical piles' load capacity can be verified, it's often possible to use fewer footings and a larger support beam. My first inclination was to dismiss helical piles as just another gimmick. Contact our expert team for help on any marine construction project Techno Metal Post’s helical piers are the best foundation available to help you redefine your outdoor living space. After almost 20 years in construction, I became a dealer for Techno Metal Post (TMP), a helical-pile manufacturer. The smallest pile I install can support a 6,800-pound load, whereas a concrete pier would need to be bigger than 16 inches in diameter in verified 4,000-psi soil to achieve the same capacity. Another benefit of the larger capacity is that you can usually use fewer piers, although you may have to use larger beams to achieve the greater spans. But it turns out that they have been used for more than 100 years in the United States, mainly on heavy commercial projects. Typically, piles for residential use are hot-dipped galvanized steel (Figure 2). Whether your project is new to your home (i.e. Next I'd have to schedule an inspection with building officials incapable of committing to a specific time or day, but with a knack for showing up after a heavy rain when my formerly pristine holes had become mud bogs. Generally, a helical pile installer will select a smaller helix for rocky soils and a larger one for marshy and clay soils. Helical piles can be driven almost anywhere, install in minutes, don’t make a mess, and come in sizes that can support an enormous variety of structures. How Helical Piers Work: A Brief Overview A helical pier is a steel shaft with screw-like plates on the end. Many of the advantages I discuss here are common among manufacturers. It has a lead or shaft - usually 7 feet long - welded to a helical bearing plate or helix, and a cap that attaches the shaft to the framing. Helical piles overcome all of these concerns. Helical piles also save a lot of time and offer a lot of load capacity in the bargain. About two years ago, I stumbled upon a photo of a deck project that wasn't built on concrete piers, and I emailed the contractor to inquire about what he had used. If it didn't pass the load test, the pile would have to be installed in a different spot. See more ideas about Pier, Pile, Raised house. Figure 3. As the pier is screwed into the ground different sections are added. Many contractors assume that helical piles are too expensive. Learn everything you need to know about installing concrete footings to support your deck. Occasionally, however, there is so much rock on the job that helical piles just won't work. Assuming all 3 screw piles may be capable of carrying the required compression loading for the respective decks. Helical piers (shown installed below) have been around for over a hundred years, but have only become more widely known within the last 20 years or so. As the driver turns the pile, it simply screws into the ground until the installer is confident it's below the frostline and in soil with sufficient bearing capacity. I was able to save him $8000 with helical piles. A helical pier is a steel shaft with screw-like plates on the end. Figure 12. It's no problem to drive a helical pile to this depth (Figure 7). Like any shallow foundation in the Northern regions of the US frost is the main concern. Most of the installers I know will travel significant distances to spread the word about their product. The sledge's weight is specific to the size of the pile - a heavier hammer is used with bigger piles. Our piers combined with the deck brackets are a fast and hassle-free alternative to building your next deck. This point will be below the frost line and the fluctuating water table; this keeps the pier … If the soil is particularly corrosive, sacrificial anodes (similar to those used to protect underground LPG tanks) can be used. The last time I did this, the homeowner ended up with a $6,000 change order for additional excavation, not including the soil engineer's fees. When poor soil conditions mandate going deeper than the standard 7-foot-long shaft, an extension is welded on (Figure 6). Consider these costs: renting an auger or hiring an excavator, or the time it takes to dig by hand; removing spoils from the excavation; and repairing site damage from heavy equipment. This pressure reading is plugged into a formula called a torque correlation that calculates the actual bearing capacity of the pile. Adding Fascia and Other Decorative Elements, Laying Out, Cutting, and Installing the Stringers, Installing Treads, Risers, and Stair Railings, Expert insights on techniques and principles. Generally, most officials just need to understand how a helical pile works, but some can make life difficult. Helical piles offer a number of advantages over traditional footings. For helical piles, frozen ground isn't an obstacle (Figure 10), so in colder climates they make building decks all year round easier to manage. Figure 9. Although pricing for piles can vary widely based on availability, contractor, and location, my company can install four piles for a typical residential deck for $600 to $900. The frostline in the area of New Jersey where I build is at 36 inches, and we're blessed with every rocky soil type known to man. Helical piers will give you the peace of mind to know that these will be the last footings you will ever need to install for your project. I learned that a helical pile is a manufactured steel foundation that screws into the soil (Figure 1). Once the pile is set, a variety of caps are available to tie the pier to the framing; some of them have a screw assembly that allows fine tuning of the elevation (Figure 3). If the concrete will come from a truck, how will it be moved to the hole? Helical piles are screw-shaped plates welded to a steel shaft. PierTech Systems presents a concrete free deck foundation using helical piers and innovative adjustable bracket system. Also, with a traditional concrete footing, you never really know what lurks an inch below the bottom of your footing excavation. He resides in Canton, GA with his wife and daughter. Figure 7. The helical pile's bearing capacity usually relates to the torque required to drive it. That's less than it costs me to install a concrete footing when I factor in all my labor costs in addition to the cost of the materials. Helical piles are screwed into the ground to below the frostline using hydraulic machinery (Figure 4). 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Finally, there's the value of an engineered product. Most other helical piers require a skid-steer or an excavator to provide the power for their drivers, but Techno Metal Post uses proprietary equipment that's small enough to fit through a gate, climb steps, and even drive onto an existing deck to retrofit footings, say to support a new hot tub. Revolution in deck support, the Magnum Helical Deck Pier installs in just minutes. A ground-level deck, sometimes referred to as a floating deck or platform deck, is so-called because, unlike conventional decks, a ground-level deck is not attached to a home or building. With piles, there's barely a trace other than the pipe protruding from the ground. Ask your installer for this documentation to submit with your plans. Total height of low level ground level deck. Additionally, I always wondered how much weight my concrete piers could support. Fully meets the Ontario Building Code. Apr 28, 20 11:17 AM. The original design called for concrete footings. They can also be installed where a traditional footing hole would fill with water as it was dug, making helical piles a good solution for boardwalks, docks, and lakeside decks (Figure 11), The process of installing helical piles leaves most of the ground undisturbed (Figure 12). Since becoming a dealer, I’ve installed piles to support decks, porches, boardwalks across wetlands, industrial equipment, and business signs; to shore up failing house footings; and to underpin concrete slabs that were settling. Sometimes, the pile has to be steered around a below-grade rock by moving the driver's boom. A puny little deck on inadequate footings doesn’t stand a chance. Make sure your installer is properly trained and can provide engineering backup for their work. This is how you build a structurally sound deck without concrete. This revolutionary engineering technology was discovered and developed by Alexander Mitchell and became utilized as a successful foundation for lighthouses, bridges and piers. Screwed into the ground using a hydraulic torque motor, deck piers are designed to bottom below frost in most areas (30″ 6″ above grade) and have an integral plate cap with 1/2″ threaded hole to receive any number of post bases and beam connections for support of residential wood decks. Greg has also made TV appearances on the The Today Show, DIY Network, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, House Smarts, and the Food Network. This point will be below the frost line and the fluctuating water table; this keeps the pier stabilized and immobile. And even on the steep slope of that site, the installation took a couple of days instead of a week. of water in the bottom? A pressure gauge on the installation machine reads the torque as the pile is rotated into the ground (Figure 5). No matter how hard you try, the use of heavy equipment needed to build concrete footings is going to destroy a finished yard and cause frustration. HISTORY OF HELICAL PIERS Helical piers also known as helical piles, screw cylinder anchors and helical foundations started to be used in 1836. “Passionate” is the best word that can be used to describe Greg DiBernardo. (constructed by Your Deck Company) GoliathTech Helical Screw Piles The installation machine generates sufficient torque for the helix to push rocks out of the way as it turns. My deck company builds about 50 projects a year, running the gamut from basic to elaborate. For helical piles, frozen ground isn't an obstacle (Figure 10), so in colder climates they make building decks all year round easier to manage. However, the question is, do they still meet the actual Ontario Building Code for the decks they support? Some of the machines used to drive the piles are small enough that they can be used inside a house — for example, to add a footing to a basement. Helical piles don't create piles of waste soil the way conventional footings do. He’s a regular contributor to the industry’s trade publication, Professional Deck Builder magazine, writing feature articles that dictate the deck and outdoor industry’s best practices for design, construction and management. Figure 11. The 50″ helical screw pile from Pylex.
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