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Basics of Screw Piers for Building Owners

While building owners have the largest stake in the structures being built by engineers, architects and contractors, not too many actually know the technical aspects of their physical aspects. While such technical matters are best left to the trained professionals, building owners are well-advised to have basic knowledge, if only to be able to participate in the discussions and understand the jargon at a certain level. Here are a few things about screw piers that you may want to know.

What These Are 

Also known as screw piles, screw piers are used by piling contractors as excellent alternatives to traditional stumps. These are long steel tubes with two ends – the screw end will be screwed into the ground while the other end will be capped with a circular platform, which will serve as the base for the house frame.


Screw piles are typically made from high-tensile steel because of their notable strength, a must for house framing purposes. Plus, these are also strong enough to resist buckling and twisting upon installation.


What Its Benefits Are 

Piling contractors recommend screw piles in many projects because of their numerous benefits including: 


  • Fast and efficient installation since these piles require neither pre-dug holes nor pouring of concrete, which means the frame can be installed as soon as the piers are capped;
  • Termite-proof, rot-proof, and fire-proof qualities;
  • Easy to adjust once the piers are installed
  • Minimal cleanup after installation


These benefits mean that screw piles provide in substantial time and cost savings, which both building owners and piling contractors, among other building professionals involved in the project, appreciate.


But there are also disadvantages to screw piers. These include the fact that the piles cannot be drilled through solid bedrock but these can be drilled through other stone types, as well as the need for sufficient rolls for an excavator to perform the installation job.


What the Installation Process Is 

Keep in mind that screw piers have their variations, too. These are, nonetheless, relatively minor in nature as the basic design of screw piles is almost similar across the construction industry. As a rule, all of them are installed with the same basic purpose and in a similar process.


As previously mentioned, the installation of screw piles is extremely fast in relation to the installation of other types of piers - most large-scale projects only require four to five hours for completion. The process can be summarized as follows:


  • The site is marked to determine the position of each post.


  • The piers are then drilled into the ground with a hydraulic drive motor that, in turn, is connected to an excavator. The screw head is designed to disturb very little soil, which means that the surrounding earth firmly presses against the pile. The result: The piles are highly stable.


  • Once on the ground, the piles are kept level with the use of a laser. These are cut to size, capped with a circular platform capFree Reprint Articles, and the frame lowered onto the piles. The capped piles may or may not have a slab across their feet for added moisture protection and stability.


Ask your engineer today about screw piers!

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JL is an experienced freelance writer, Blogger, Mother and a graduate from the University of Chicago. Being able to write at her own time, JL has the leisure to spend time with her family.

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