How Helical Piers and Push Piers are Installed

Just as we advise you on the cost of underpinning a foundation, we would like to detail for you how these installations are done. We are the experts and you are our young apprentice after all.

By the time we finish with this, you’ll have a good idea of the installation process and how long it might take given the amount of work that needs to be done. You are almost a pro, my friend.

Installing Helical Piers

Let’s start with the more complicated of the two options. Helical piers can be installed independently of your home; the brackets are essentially installed after the piers have made it to their required depth. The required depth is determined by the depth of the competent soil, bedrock, or required torque; this can be up to 30 feet deep. Yikes, you can see why this might take a while right?

To simplify, these are the steps to installing helical piers (assuming you have done your foundation inspection already and these are the type of piers that will be used based on your specific circumstance).

  •       Excavate the foundation
  •       Dig the required number of holes
  •       Install the brackets
  •       Install the helical piers

If our brilliant apprentice were of the mind that this might be a couple of days, you’re right or you’re wrong. All jokes aside dear friend, the installation process can vary from as short as a day to as long as two weeks for residential properties.  This is heavily dependent on the number of piers the structure needs to recover from and prevent future damages.

  • Excavating the foundation consists of digging until you reach the footing of your home. A standard footing is usually around 18 inches but can be as deep as 4 feet. The depth of the footing will affect the amount of time that is taken to complete the entire installation process.
  • The number of holes that need to be dug is dependent on how many helical piers are required for the project; this is dependent on how big, tall & heavy your home is and other factors. Needless to say, the fewer piers you need, the less time installation should take.
  • Installation of the brackets is really as straightforward as you read it. Of course, you need as many brackets as piers and that’s all there is to it.
  • Installing the helical piers; this is the really tough part. The entire project is really a hand full but we say this is the really tough part because it takes the entire production team to install one helical pier. Can you imagine that? While the team can split the load and work on digging different holes, installing different brackets, and excavating different sections of the foundation, they all need to be working simultaneously on this one task in order to get it done; three, fully grown, really strong and efficient adults for a single helical pier. Whew! The equipment isn’t light. This section of the installation process will for sure slow down the installation time, especially if you have quite a number of piers to get installed.

Installing Push Piers

The easier pier to install is the push pier. This is due largely in part to the fact that we don’t need all hands on deck to install this pier. These piers are mounted on a footing bracket before being installed. The installation depends on the weight of your home to drive the piers into the ground until it reaches bedrock or competent soil.

With these types of piers, we can hope for a faster installation time because of the lower level of complexity involved in the installation process. Fingers crossed we can get three to four piers installed per day and be out of your hair in no time. The process of installation is the same for the first three steps. Since we detailed above how we would excavate the foundation, dig the required number of holes and install the brackets, we can jump right into installing the push piers themselves.

  • Installing the brackets may be slightly different but this is just due to the types of screws and/ or the shape of the brackets.
  • Installing the push piers requires the contractor to use the hydraulic pump to drive the pier into the ground until it reaches the required depth; this can be as deep as 30 feet. Because this typically requires only one set of hands, it makes the installation time shorter. While one member of the team installs the brackets, works on excavating the foundation, and/ or digging holes the other can focus on installing the piers. That way we might be able to get up to seven or 8 piers installed in a day. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

In your estimation of the installation process please bear in mind that contractors we can substitute if a team member has to be out because we have the best of the best contractors here at RhinoLift; they can pick up where their co-worker left off. When you have to depend on machinery to get the job done you really must factor in that the equipment might fail, which will slow down the process even further. This will require a repair of the machinery on site or getting a new machine on site; this will also take some time as you can expect.

If you end up needing a combination of push and helical piers for your foundation repair needs, the factor that into your estimation of the timeframe you can expect the project to be completed. To top this off I can offer up a bit of information that may help you prepare for the overall costs. You can just expect an average of $30,000 for the entire installation process based on all these factors. Wouldn’t want that five-digit number to take you by surprise; if you need a foundation inspection, reach out to us so we can get the ball rolling.

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