Their job is to take the weight of the structure and transfer it stable, load-bearing soil deep within the earth. This point will be below the frost line and the fluctuating water table; this keeps the pier stabilized and immobile. For my company, the advantages of helical piles far outweigh the drawbacks, but that might not be the case for yours. The 6 1/4-inch Paverdeck panels are screwed to galvanized 10-inch LGS steel beams bolted to … A thriving industry offers concrete-free alternatives for additions, deck footings, and foundation repair. If we used a ready-mix truck, it was a little easier, but they cost a lot for small jobs, could damage driveways, and didn't always show up on time. A field report filled out by the installer notes the piles' location and depth and either their torque readings or the amount they sank in a sledge-hammer test. 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. With helical piles, the torque correlation combined with per-pile load testing also means there is no need to test the soil capacity or rely on guessing. You wouldn't know it by looking, but this pile penetrates about 13 feet into the ground. Apr 28, 20 11:17 AM. Figure 9. Fully meets the Ontario Building Code. Next, a cap is inserted into the pile to protect its top. A pressure gauge on the installation machine reads the torque as the pile is rotated into the ground (Figure 5). The machines used to drive the modern versions come in many sizes, from the walk-behind machine I use to versions that are mounted on excavators. How do you know that the soil will support the structure? Nearly all cities have recognized helical piles as a superior foundation option for decks, 3 season porches and additions. Deck Footings. It is possible to have multiple piles installed in a matter of … The first project I ever did — a 30-ft. by 80-ft. deck for a winery — exemplifies some advantages of helical piles. My deck company builds about 50 projects a year, running the gamut from basic to elaborate. The answer is, it depends. Make sure your installer is properly trained and can provide engineering backup for their work. This pier is screwed through the ground outside of your home until it hits stable, undisturbed soil. 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. My plan was to pour concrete footings, then run doubled up 2x8 beams setting on the footings. The helical screw pile replaces the concrete footing + embedded post bracket used in conventional deck construction. Figure 7. Instead of massive concrete footings, helical piers—each capable of supporting 5,000 to 8,000 pounds—were installed to support the freestanding deck. All of them work pretty much the same way. There's no spoil dirt to lose on the site or haul away. Apr 2, 2017 - Explore Dave Keating's board "Helical pier or pile" on Pinterest. Decks Project Guide. Home owners and contractors can build or repair decks and porches effortlessly and be guaranteed a strong, stable, and durable structure. A solid foundation is necessary for the construction of a deck. A Google search on "helical pile" will reveal plenty of manufacturers and installers. See more ideas about Pier, Pile, Raised house. 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. Get complete site access to expert advice, how-to videos, Code Check, and more, plus the print magazine. Almost 43.4% of the structures lose their strength within a few years of their construction. Innovative Pier Solutions specializes in deck pier solutions for a wide variety of landscapes, obstacles and project types. A Brief Overview. Because helical piles don't disturb the ground much, they can be installed alongside existing landscape features. While a floating deck might be next to a building, it may also be a standalone structure in the middle of your yard. Figure 4. Typically, piles for residential use are hot-dipped galvanized steel (Figure 2). It can be readjusted after installation by multiple inches. That makes for a lot of footings, and I hate digging footing holes. As the pier is screwed into the ground different sections are added. The installation machine generates sufficient torque for the helix to push rocks out of the way as it turns. 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. 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). Helical piers, or piles, are used to secure new or existing foundations. 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 amount that the pile sinks indicates the soil bearing capacity, which an engineer will verify. The height of the pile above grade is measured (left). He’s also a Contributing Editor for Tools of the Trade magazine and a frequent author for The Journal of Light Construction and Fine Home Building.He has been a presenter and speaker for the National Association of Remodelers (NARI) and large building supply companies on advanced deck building and business topics.A deck and construction industry insider, Greg’s notoriety affords him close personal connections with major industry manufacturers assisting them with product development, design and testing of new and existing building materials. Be aware that some installers power their pile driver with skid steers or mini-excavators, which can damage customers' lawns. Structures far more engineered than a backyard deck, sunroom, or addition rely on helical piles for their foundations. While there are other helical-pile installers, most don’t focus on residential work like TMP does. 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. Figure 1. Two big ones are that they eliminate the tasks of digging footing holes and dealing with concrete. It is not uncommon for my helper and me to pull up to a job site first thing in the morning, install 10 or 12 piles for a large deck, and leave by midafternoon with no evidence of our having been there besides the piles themselves. Helical piles are screwed through many different layers of earth until it hits the bedrock. His answer - helical piles - changed my business. Figure 10. It would have been impossible to dig a traditional footing in this ground without it filling with water. Some manufacturers sell piles to anyone with a check that doesn't bounce. To start with, installing a helical pile requires hiring a subcontractor to perform the work, unless you invest in training and equipment, as I did. of water in the bottom? 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. The 50″ helical screw pile from Pylex. If the soil is particularly corrosive, sacrificial anodes (similar to those used to protect underground LPG tanks) can be used. The original design called for concrete footings. However, because the deck was to be built over uncompacted fill, those footings needed to be 14 ft. deep to reach bearing soil. 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. 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. The first project I ever did — a 30-ft. by 80-ft. deck for a winery — exemplifies some advantages of helical piles. I was able to save him $8000 with helical piles. is a question I hear frequently from contractors considering helical piles for the first time. Once the obstruction is passed, the boom pulls the shaft plumb again. They can be used to support a foundation frame, deck, patio, second addition, or whatever you need to support! 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. This pier is screwed through the ground outside of your home until it hits stable, undisturbed soil. Occasionally, however, there is so much rock on the job that helical piles just won't work. Helical piers are basically a steel pipe or square shaft that has one to four steel plate “helices” welded onto it. However, because the deck was to be built over uncompacted fill, those footings needed to be 14 ft. … With a concrete footing, you have to dig down to virgin ground at the house foundation level, as much as 7 feet or 8 feet if the house has a basement. Generally, a helical pile installer will select a smaller helix for rocky soils and a larger one for marshy and clay soils. This would be followed by hours of joyless mixing in a wheelbarrow. 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. sandy soil) and where a traditional foundation just isn’t the right choice. Then I'd load 80-pound bags of concrete mix into my truck, unload them at the job site, and carry them to the back of the house. Helical piers don’t require any excavation, and there’s no need for concrete trucks. However, the question is, do they still meet the actual Ontario Building Code for the decks they support? Figure 8. 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. Maximum capacity of the steel helical pier is 80,000 pounds! If the concrete will come from a truck, how will it be moved to the hole? When a large rock is encountered above the frostline, it can be drilled and the pile's shaft pinned to the rock sans helix. The size of the helix will vary based on soil conditions. Floating decks are also called ground-level decks because they typically hug the ground. Helical Piers is also known as a helical pile, helical anchor and at times call screw piers and often used interchangeably. HISTORY OF HELICAL PIERS Helical piers also known as helical piles, screw cylinder anchors and helical foundations started to be used in 1836. Figure 6. Your local installer will know the acceptable way to proceed.) With piles, there's barely a trace other than the pipe protruding from the ground. However, many of them don't have small enough equipment to do residential installations, or the contractors are so used to doing heavy-duty work that they may not bother with small residential projects. Load testing a helical pile is far simpler than it sounds. Figure 5. Ask your installer for this documentation to submit with your plans. This pressure reading is plugged into a formula called a torque correlation that calculates the actual bearing capacity of the pile. Also, some installers are used to doing heavier commercial work and may charge commercial pricing, even for residential work. 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. Compact Kitchen Remodel - Common Code Mistakes - Installing an Endless Pool, JLC Online: Best practices for professional builders and remodelers. The helical pile's bearing capacity usually relates to the torque required to drive it. When you account for all the costs of conventional footings, helical piles are surprisingly affordable. The report is sent to an engineer for review and stamping. The standard practice of installing poured concrete piers for decks, porches, sunrooms and similar structures has caused plenty of frustration over the years. In places like that, different methods need to be employed. Sometimes, the installer can actually steer the helix around a rock, then use the machine's boom to pull the pile back into plumb (Figure 8). Total height of low level ground level deck. The helical pier is screwed into the ground with a hydraulic torque motor. Helical Piers Helical piers are becoming a the go-to footing solution for decks and various other applications. You will absolutely know the bearing capacity of each pile (Figure 13). 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. Plus, the equipment is lightweight and can traverse a manicured lawn without damaging it. Photo credit: Greg DiBernardo, Figure 13. His professional world revolves around constructing beautiful outdoor spaces for his clients using cutting edge materials and methods that will stand the test of time.Greg is a nationally recognized figure in the deck building industry. “Passionate” is the best word that can be used to describe Greg DiBernardo. 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. Often, the posts suppor… Contact our expert team for help on any marine construction project Figure 3. Assuming it passes the load test - it usually does - the pile will never move. This is a detailed guide on Helical Piers. After almost 20 years in construction, I became a dealer for Techno Metal Post (TMP), a helical-pile manufacturer. Without a soil engineering report, it's impossible to know the exact bearing capacity of the soil, so I'd usually over-build the footing to be safe. Ice exerts a pressure of about 50,000 lbs. 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. Helical piles also save a lot of time and offer a lot of load capacity in the bargain. 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. The owner almost abandoned the project after finding that concrete footings would cost $20,000. 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