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.
During 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:
- 2 7/8”
- 10”, and higher
While square piles are usually:
- 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.
Tella Firma is an evolved, hybrid commercial foundation process that costs less to install and is less susceptible to timing, labor and weather uncertainties. This patented process elevates a slab-on-grade foundation above active soils to protect the slab from damaging soil swells, contractions, and movement.