diy helical piers for decks

He resides in Canton, GA with his wife and daughter. Here, he discusses the parts of a helical pile, how to install one, and how to attach it to a structure. 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. 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. Some can be adjusted in height to fine-tune a deck's elevation. 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. Start your subscription today and save up to 52%. Apr 2, 2017 - Explore Dave Keating's board "Helical pier or pile" on Pinterest. When a large rock is encountered above the frostline, it can be drilled and the pile's shaft pinned to the rock sans helix. As with any sub, you need to be careful about who you hire. 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. Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features. 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 ground is warmed, the pile is driven normally (right).Photo credit: Dave Northup. Our Helical Pier system allows you to install a deck foundation in hours instead of days and build on it immediately. It is possible to have multiple piles installed in a matter of … I went with Techno Metal Post (technometalpostusa.com) - and even bought a franchise - because they are a good fit for my business. Occasionally, however, there is so much rock on the job that helical piles just won't work. 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). 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. Helical piers don’t require any excavation, and there’s no need for concrete trucks. The vertical part of the u-bracket is usually around 2 ¼” high. The first project I ever did — a 30-ft. by 80-ft. deck for a winery — exemplifies some advantages of helical piles. I learned that a helical pile is a manufactured steel foundation that screws into the soil (Figure 1). 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. A solid foundation is necessary for the construction of a deck. It can be relocated. This is a detailed guide on Helical Piers. Total height of low level ground level deck. Home owners and contractors can build or repair decks and porches effortlessly and be guaranteed a strong, stable, and durable structure. 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. Ask your installer for this documentation to submit with your plans. Sometimes, I'd get a red tag with a note saying, "Clean mud from bottom of hole." Many contractors assume that helical piles are too expensive. A pressure gauge on the installation machine reads the torque as the pile is rotated into the ground (Figure 5). The size of the helix will vary based on soil conditions. In places like that, different methods need to be employed. Maximum capacity of the steel helical pier is 80,000 pounds! Contact our expert team for help on any marine construction project 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. Typically, piles for residential use are hot-dipped galvanized steel (Figure 2). 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. Height of Deck … 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. Which layer the pier is going though is measured by the torque pressure as the different material will create varying amounts of friction. There's no spoil dirt to lose on the site or haul away. Figure 10. A Brief Overview. After almost 20 years in construction, I became a dealer for Techno Metal Post (TMP), a helical-pile manufacturer. 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. Like any shallow foundation in the Northern regions of the US frost is the main concern. I am building a 10'x12'deck (not attached to a ledger board). This is particularly relevant if you're building a free-standing deck where the piers close to the house might start out in backfill. Helical piles don't create piles of waste soil the way conventional footings do. If it didn't pass the load test, the pile would have to be installed in a different spot. Figure 1. You’ll need to know if you need a spread base for your footings, how to dig the holes, how to mix the concrete, and what … PierTech Systems presents a concrete free deck foundation using helical piers and innovative adjustable bracket system. This pier is screwed through the ground outside of your home until it hits stable, undisturbed soil. (Some departments don't require a stamp. This point will be below the frost line and the fluctuating water table; this keeps the pier stabilized and immobile. Next, a cap is inserted into the pile to protect its top. Their helical piers are accessible, both in cost and logistics. Also, with a traditional concrete footing, you never really know what lurks an inch below the bottom of your footing excavation. This includes the pile, installation, engineering, and a bracket to connect the pile to the structure. The installation machine generates sufficient torque for the helix to push rocks out of the way as it turns. HISTORY OF HELICAL PIERS Helical piers also known as helical piles, screw cylinder anchors and helical foundations started to be used in 1836. Uses of Helical Piers. per square inch—enough force to lift even a large building. https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/helical-piers-screw-piles-pros-cons-and-faqs Additionally, I always wondered how much weight my concrete piers could support. 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. Sometimes, the pile has to be steered around a below-grade rock by moving the driver's boom. Author Jeremy Hess installs them to support structures such as decks, porches, and boardwalks; to shore up failing house footings; and to underpin settling concrete slabs. 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). 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. They can be used to support a foundation frame, deck, patio, second addition, or whatever you need to support! Because helical piles don't disturb the ground much, they can be installed alongside existing landscape features. This point will be below the frost line and the fluctuating water table; this keeps the pier … A thick coating of zinc protects the steel piles from corrosion. You may experience some push back from your local building official the first time you propose helical piles. Often, the posts suppor… Be aware that some installers power their pile driver with skid steers or mini-excavators, which can damage customers' lawns. This pressure reading is plugged into a formula called a torque correlation that calculates the actual bearing capacity of the pile. A Google search on "helical pile" will reveal plenty of manufacturers and installers. Several types of caps are available to attach piles to framing. Figure 4. "What do you do when you hit a rock?" Ice exerts a pressure of about 50,000 lbs. 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. 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. The standard practice of installing poured concrete piers for decks, porches, sunrooms and similar structures has caused plenty of frustration over the years. 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. 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. The sledge's weight is specific to the size of the pile - a heavier hammer is used with bigger piles. 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) We specialize in residential & commercial bulkhead replacement, docks and piers, boat-lifts, pile driving, house foundations, deck building, dredging and helical piers. If the soil is particularly corrosive, sacrificial anodes (similar to those used to protect underground LPG tanks) can be used. Load testing a helical pile is far simpler than it sounds. Helical piers are basically a steel pipe or square shaft that has one to four steel plate “helices” welded onto it. 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"). This revolutionary engineering technology was discovered and developed by Alexander Mitchell and became utilized as a successful foundation for lighthouses, bridges and piers. Figure 5. 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. Load testing, as opposed to taking a torque reading, is done in several instances. 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 cost of this engineering is built into the cost of every helical pile we install; a different manufacturer may charge separately for an engineering report. That makes for a lot of footings, and I hate digging footing holes. It would have been impossible to dig a traditional footing in this ground without it filling with water. Frost heaving on a deck can not only cause cosmetic damage to your deck it can also be a safety hazard. 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. Check out our deck footing frost map to help you understand how deep your footings will need to be excavated. 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. Various sizes are available for different soils and applications. A helical pier is a steel shaft with screw-like plates on the end. The report is sent to an engineer for review and stamping. Figure 6. 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