How Much Do Helical Piers Cost?

Helical piers provide foundational support and can be leveraged for a multitude of structures and applications. They can be used in both a residential and commercial capacity, offering load support through tension or compression, which is applied via a steel shaft fitted with one or more circular plates. The name was originally derived from the physical design of the piles, which resemble a helix. Helical piers are commonly added to existing foundations to bolster support when there is structural damage, or when the infrastructure is built on unstable soil.

When it comes to determining the cost of helical piers, it’s important to take several factors into consideration. In order to procure the most accurate estimate, you’ll need to call on the expertise of an experienced installer who will factor in the following criteria. 


How Much Do Helical Piers Cost?

When pricing out the cost of helical piers, a number of variables, such as soil conditions, the size of the structure, its design, and the overall weight, will have an impact on the final price. The method of installation is also a common determinant of cost. While the dimensions of the affected area and the severity of the settling are incredibly significant in calculating the price, most circumstances require more than a single pier

helical pier costDuring the installation process, piers will be positioned on the outside of the foundation, approximately every 5 to 7 feet along the impacted area. If the area surrounding the settling wall is fairly clear of any obstructions, the machines can be used during the excavation process. This installation method requires less manual labor and can be executed in a relatively quick manner. When dug by machine, you can expect an estimated cost of $1,100 to $1,500 per pier. 

If the surrounding area contains a driveway, deck, or similar structures, the settling wall is harder to access, and the piers will be dug manually. This process comes with a higher expense and a longer time-till-completion. The price range for piers dug by hand is typically between $1,200 and $1,600 each. 


What Are the Factors to Determine the Cost of Helical Piers? 

Location of the Project Site

Geographic location is one of the elements that directly affect the cost. From a high-level perspective, the Northwest and Mid-Atlantic states tend to come with more expensive pricing. Project sites located in the Midwest and Plains states are on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to cost. 


Type of Project Site 

It should come as no surprise that the type of project site you’re working with will also determine the cost of the helical piers. Universally, remedial projects carry a higher price point that new construction that requires pile work. In some instances, the cost of helical piers for new construction projects can be almost half the price of projects that call for repair work. 


Soil Condition and Composition

When it comes to selecting the size, design, number, and depth of the piers needed to complete a project, the soil condition will be taken into consideration. Liquefaction, density, and buckling of the bearing layer, as well as the density of the upper fill layers, will play a huge role in determining the type of pile needed and the projected cost of the job. If you are located in an area where the soil is softer, contains a significant number of organics, or your project is taking place in an area with a naturally high water table, there will be additional costs factored into the overall price. 


Types of Helical Piers

The cost of helical piers will vary when size, style, and diameter are taken into consideration. There are two types of helical piers – ones with round shafts and ones with square shafts.

Round piles are typically seen in:

cost of helical piers

  • 2 7/8”
  • 3.5”
  • 4.5”
  • 5.5”
  • 6.5”
  • 8”
  • 10”, and higher

While square piles are usually:

  • 1.5”
  • 1.75”
  • 2”
  • 2.25” and up

Round shafts work well when there’s a need to maintain lateral stability and deal with compression forces. Square shafts, on the other hand, are better suited for areas with tension forces as they have greater yield and tensile strength. You can expect to see a higher price tag associated with helical piers that have bigger diameters. 


The Number of Helical Piers Needed

It’s highly likely that your project will require more than one pile. That number is determined and influenced by several factors, including support requirements, loading requirements, structure type, and any building codes applicable to the project. Because helical piers are available in different sizes and price points, two hundred piles in one specific size and wind up costing less than one hundred in another. 


The Depth of Installation

Cost is also influenced by the depth of the pile installation, as it requires more material and time when installing foundations at a deeper, more secure level. Many instances call for anchoring to be drilled deep into a layer where more competent soil lives. Required bearing depths can range drastically depending on the specific design loads needed for the proposed structure.  

For instance, installing a pier 40’ deep will increase the material cost of the project compared to a job that only requires a depth of 20’. The greater the depth, the more pile extensions needed, which are affixed to the main shaft. With longer piers, drill teams will also need to be on-site for a longer period, impacting the overall cost


The Bottom Line

As with the majority of construction projects, bids serve as an estimated cost, as unforeseen developments may occur. When you partner with an experienced team of experts to guide you through the process – and have the right product on hand – you’ll not only reap numerous benefits, but you can ensure the work is completed in a quick, cost-effective, and innovative manner. 


Remember, when determining the cost of helical piers, there are several factors that are taken into consideration: the type of job (repair or new construction), the style, the location, the depth of the pile installations, the number of piers needed, and the type of soil on site. The best way to map out your project is to request an accurate estimate from your vendor to ensure you make an optimal choice.

What are Helical Piers? A Look at the Purpose of Them for Commercial & Residential Structures

Whether you’re in commercial construction, an architect, or a homeowner, you know that building any kind of structure requires a strong and stable foundation. Think about when you’re driving or walking across a bridge. If you see chips in the concrete or an exposed rebar, you begin wondering about the structural integrity of the bridge. Is it safe? A common and effective solution for ensuring the strength and stability of a residential or commercial structure is the use of helical piles


What Are Helical Piers and Helical Piles?

If you’ve conducted any research, you may have come across two competing terms – helical piers and helical piles. So, what’s the difference? The truth is the two terms are interchangeable and refer to the exact, same product. They both refer to deep foundational elements that leverage compression or tension to transfer/resist vertical and horizontal loads. 

Helical piles, also referred to as screw anchors, screw piers, screw piles, helical piers, helical anchors, helical screw piles, and screw foundations are embedded deep underground during the installation process in order to distribute the massive weight that rests on top of them.

how do helical piers work

The only difference between these two key terms is the size and materials used. Helical piles are commonly made of concrete, long steel, or wood while piers include materials like concrete/masonry. In order to reach their intended carrying capacity, end-bearing piles are placed in rock or dense soil. They can also shoulder the load via the friction created between the surface of the pile and the soil that surrounds it.

Often, piers/piles will leverage cement grout to elevate the surface friction with the soil. Once installed and positioned correctly, helical piers/piles can either be attached to an existing foundation or utilized for new construction. 


What is The Purpose of Helical Piles?

Helical piles/piers resemble hollow steel tubes and are an effective way to stabilize structures of all types and sizes. By anchoring the weight of the loan to the surrounding ground, like a driven pile, these products provide unparalleled foundational support. In order to work adequately, they are installed deep into the ground – sometimes even section by section for optimal functionality.

Helical piers are highly effective when dealing with challenging soil conditions. They’re also used in a variety of applications – from repairing weak foundations to building new structures to stabilizing existing foundations that will be taking on heavier loads. When it comes to the restoration process, piles can be used on a wide spectrum of structures, such as bridges, docks, or railroads that reside on a harbor, wetlands, or areas with weak soil. 


How do Helical Piles and Helical Piers Work?

The screw piles are installed directly into the soil. Load capacity is predetermined before beginning installation, in order to calculate where they should be positioned. For example, you’ll want to space them at the right intervals to ensure they are equally sharing the weight of the structure on top. 

Creating a solid foundation is paramount. Trains, for example, can be derailed if their tracks settle from softened, oversaturated, or weakened soil. Just a few inches is all it takes to throw a structure out of alignment. 

During the installation process, a Hydraulic drill motor is attached to an excavator, screwing the piles/piers into the ground at varying depths. Generally speaking, these are installed between ten and thirty feet below the ground’s surface. The depth is ultimately determined by the size, shape, and build of the structure. If they don’t meet the required torque, for example, they will be screwed deeper into the earth for maximal support. 

What Are They Made of and How Long Do They Last?

In order to prevent rusting, helical piers are made of galvanized steel and concrete. They will always vary in size, style, and diameter based on the structure that’s being built or repaired. When it comes to their shape, you can expect to see two types of helical piers – ones with square shafts and ones with round shafts. Square shafts are the preferred choice for areas with tension forces due to their tensile strength and greater yield. Square piles are typically sized 1.5”, 1.75”, 2”, 2.25” and up while round piles come in 2 7/8”, 3.5”, 4.5”, 5.5”, 6.5”, 8”, 10”, and higher. Round shafts are effective for construction projects that require strong lateral stability and will be exposed to compression forces. The bigger the diameter, the more you can expect cost-wise for these helical piers.  

Generally, piles are expected to last around one hundred and fifty years. Their lifespans may be longer or shorter – it all depends on the surrounding soil conditions. 


Foundations created or repaired with helical piers and piles are an effective way to ensure the foundation is adequately reinforced. Not only are they an economical solution, but they’re relatively quick to install and provide a tremendous amount of strength and stability for various structures. They’re especially handy when it comes to reinforcing a foundation that requires repairs. Whether they’re being used in a residential or commercial capacity, their long life spans and proven efficacy make them a popular choice to use when doing construction projects.