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How Much Does Helical Pier Installation Cost?

Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant

How Much Does Helical Pier Installation Cost?

Wondering how much the installation of helical piers cost?

Great! Regional Foundation Repairs is your one-stop shop for all your foundation repair needs.

In this guide, we answer all your questions related to the cost of helical piers, including:

  • How Much Does The Average Helical Pier Installation Job Cost?
  • What Factors Determine The Cost Of Helical Piers?
  • How Are Helical Piers Installed?

And much more!

There are no scarier problems for homeowners than those related to their foundations. Not only are such issues costly to repair, but they also compromise the overall stability of the house and reduce the level of comfort.

Luckily, foundation problems are not terminal, and with the appropriate methods, equipment, and skills, they are easy to fix.

One such method of resolving foundation issues is using helical piers. Before you brush it away as an expensive option, read on to know why it may be the most logical option for you.

How Much Does The Average Helical Pier (Pile) Installation Job Cost?

The average cost of installing helical piers ranges from $48 to $143 per foot. Therefore, for standard installations where 21-foot long piles are used, the price will be between $1,000 and $3,000 per pier.

To put it in perspective, if your home requires four piers to stabilize, the total cost of installation will be approximately $4,000 – $12,000. While the 21-foot piles are usually enough for most projects, others will require additional depth to offer the required support, calling for the addition of more piers.

Are Helical Piers Worth The Cost?

Yes! Helical piers are totally worth their cost. They offer the right balance between cost-friendliness and effectiveness, along with numerous advantages over other foundation repair methods.

Here are some benefits that make helical piers a go-to method for most contractors, architects, builders, and structural engineers:

  • They are Versatile- Their versatility allows them to fit an array of projects. For instance, they can be installed either vertically for lateral load-bearing, or horizontally where more earth-retention is needed. They are also suitable for different depths, and you can add more piers as per the needs of the installation area.
  • Quick Installation – As we will discuss more in-depth later, the average installation time for helical piers is short, and most projects only take a day to complete. This method will save you a lot of time compared to concrete piers that take up to a week to cure.
  • Minimum Intrusion – With helical piers, our contractors will only excavate the little patch required to expose the foot of the foundation. Since accurate machines handle most of the drilling, only the specific installation points will be affected. Our technicians will look for the area where there will be minimum interference with your flower beds, verandas, and other fixtures.
  • They are eco-friendly – One way to preserve the environment is to reuse items to avoid the excessive production or mining of new material. Helical piers are reusable, where you can remove them from one structure after years of service and use them in another site with minimum disruptions to the original area. The process of screwing them into the ground is also quiet, causing little-to-no vibration, an important factor if your area is environmentally sensitive.
  • Permanent solution – When a pier system is used to repair your foundation, you should expect it to last a lifetime. The combination of a high installation depth and bearing plates provides the stability to hold your foundation in place without shifting or buckling. Most repairs will come with a lifetime warranty, meaning that if the same problems return after installing helical pier foundations, the contractor will conduct necessary repairs without additional costs to you.
  • They are precise – The installation of helical piers uses handheld equipment to determine the required resistance to lift and hold the building. The machines also indicate when to stop digging, ensuring we use the least time and resources possible without compromising the quality of service.

What Factors Determine The Costs Of Helical Piers?

Before giving you an accurate cost estimate for your project, we will have to visit you and look at all the factors affecting your foundation. Some factors that will determine the pricing of your helical pier installation include:

How Easy is it to Access the Job Site?

If your installation area is in the open, our contractors and the machines will have an easy time maneuvering, reducing the need for manual labor and the amount of time it will take. Easily accessible areas do not require extra clearing and demolition of obstacles, keeping the costs lower.

However, if a crawl space, deck, driveway, or similar structure obstructs the construction site, the excavation machines will find it difficult to access the area. The process will therefore require more manual work and time, leading to higher installation costs. In some cases, it may be necessary to use cranes and other special equipment to reach limited access areas, which will raise the prices considerably.

The Type of Project

The reason for installing helical piers will also determine the overall cost of the projects. For new foundations, the costs of installation will be cheaper since no foundation lifting will be required. Repair projects will most likely require more preparation work, and the area will be less accessible due to the presence of obstacles such as crawl spaces and the foundation walls.

In the same way, the condition of your foundation will also impact the cost. Foundations that have suffered more sinking will require more lifting and more complementary works to restore than those that have undergone just a slight amount of settling.

Geographical Location of the Job Site

Another factor that will determine your cost of installation is the geographical location. Differences in the type of soil, altitude, and distance from the water table all impact installation costs.

The building codes of your area will also determine the size and number of helical piers to use, which will ultimately affect the cost of installation. In general, the Plains and Midwest regions tend to have low prices, whereas the Northwestern and Mid-Atlantic states will have higher prices.

The Depth of Installation

Besides the size and number of screw piles, the depth of installation is also an important determiner of the strength of your helical piers. As a result, projects requiring more support will require our contractors to install deep foundations that reach more competent soil levels.

Factors such as the size of the structure, your geographical location, and the type of soil will determine the amount of support required.

For instance, a small house built on a plain will require the contractors to dig just a few inches before reaching a steady, load-bearing soil level. On the other hand, a large mansion near a lake (where the water table is high) will call for the piles to be drilled deeper.

The amount of time spent and building materials consumed will increase as the depth of installation increases. We will also have to use heavier machinery and more pile extensions, translating to higher overall costs.

The Type, Size, and Number of the Helical Piers

When installing helical piers, size is an important factor. Depending on the project site, the structural engineer will determine the width and number of piers that will provide the required load capacity to lift and underpin your foundation. Building codes also have minimum sizes for residential and commercial projects, where the minimum size for residential projects is 2 ⅞’ helical piers.

The more piers you need, the higher the labor costs you will incur since our technicians need to spend more time on your project. Also, large piles will require heavier equipment, and the installation will take longer than smaller ones. Large helical piers will also require bigger drive heads to achieve the required torque, which will cost you more.

The Condition and Composition of the Soil

Our specialists will use factors such as the liquefaction, density, and buckling of the bearing and upper fill layers to determine the number, size, depth, and design of piers to use for your project.

If your region has a high water table or where there is soft soil with lots of organic material, the installation will require the use of larger and more helical piers than areas with more compact and drier soils.

Another soil factor that will influence the cost of installation is its rockiness. If the soil in your area is generally rockier, the job will take longer and require more specialized equipment, translating to higher overall costs.

How Are Helical Piers Installed?

Installing helical piers is a straightforward process, and it is easy to see how it achieves the required purpose. It involves:

Step 1: Preparation of the Job Site

The first step when installing helical piers is to prepare the job site. For foundation repairs done outside, preparation involves excavating the soil around the foundation to expose the footing. For inside installations, our technicians will first remove a section of your slab foundation. After the job is complete, they will restore it to its original form. For new installations, preparation involves excavating and compacting the soil.

Step 2: Helical Shaft Installation

After the land is ready, hydraulic torques are used to rotate the steel shafts until they reach a stable, load-bearing soil level. Unlike push piers which leverage the weight of the building to push them down, helical piers work like screws that are rotated slowly into the ground. As the depth increases, more pier extensions are added until the required depth is reached.

Step 3: Attaching Foundation Brackets

Once the steel shaft reaches the required depth, foundation brackets are tied to the helical piers and attached to the foot of the foundation. The contractors will first install all the necessary piers before connecting the brackets.

Step 4: Lifting and Underpinning the Foundation

After all needed helical piers have been installed and the brackets are attached, the lifting can now begin. Hydraulic jacks are tied to the brackets, which are then used to lift the foot of the foundation. When the required elevation is reached, the brackets are secured, preventing the foundation from moving.

Step 5: Restoration of the Area

Our contractors will try their best to restore the area to its original state. They will replace any removed slabs and floors and clear the area of any after-construction debris. An added advantage of helical piers is that they are unintrusive, making it easy to restore the construction site.

How Long Does It Take To Install Helical Piers?

Another advantage of helical piers is that the installation process is quick, which means the inconvenience won’t last for too long.

For new constructions, it will take about one day to install 25 – 30 piers, whereas existing structures will take a day to install about 4 – 8 piers. For foundation lifting, most houses will require an average of 2-5 piles, meaning that the work will last for just a few hours.

Reinforced concrete pier foundation on the construction site

What’s better, the foundation is ready as soon as the construction is complete. Helical piers do not require time to set like concrete piers or mud jacked surfaces, allowing you to return to your regular activities as soon as possible.

Are Helical Piers The Right Fix For Your Foundation?

Although helical piers are a diverse and functional method of repairing foundations, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution for all your construction needs. In some instances, helical piers are effective, whereas for other situations they may be unnecessary.

Helical piles are perfect for:

Lifting and Stabilizing Moderate Constructions

The weight of the building under repair or construction will determine the best type of foundation system to use. For light structures such as sidewalks, helical anchors would be overkill since less intensive methods like poly jacking and mud jacking would be sufficient.

For heavier structures, push piers would be a more cost-effective solution. Such constructions will provide the required resistance without the risk of structural damages, saving on the energy costs of operating the hydraulic torques.

Therefore, the ideal projects for helical piers are constructions that are too light for push piers but too heavy to be lifted by slab jacking.

Addressing Foundation Problems Caused by the Compression of Underlying Soils

When the soil underneath the foundation undergoes changes and shrinks or settles, it will take the foundation support down with it, which is usually the cause of most foundation problems. You will begin to see signs such as cracks in the walls and floors, slanting or sagging floors, and sticking windows and doors, among other issues.

Helical piers offer the best solution for such problems. They penetrate the soft upper layer of soil and burrow into the more compact load-bearing layers, limiting lateral movement. The helical anchors along the shaft also offer added resistance to prevent the foundation from moving even when changes in the underlying soils occur.

You can also use helical piers when:

  • Preparing a site for construction and want enough support for the foundation, regardless of the area’s soil condition
  • You want to offer sufficient support for tiebacks to hold walls and other structures in place.
  • Extending commercial and residential properties and need to increase the support for the new structures
  • Offering support to auxiliary structures and slabs like sheds, garages, outbuildings, parking covers, mezzanines, balconies, pole barns, etc.

If you are wondering whether or not your project requires helical piers, we can help! Just tell us more about your project in the form and schedule a free inspection with one of our technicians.

How To Save Money On The Costs Of Helical Piers?

The high cost of foundation repairs makes many homeowners prefer ignoring the issues and hoping they will go away. Fortunately, even with helical piers, there are some steps you can take to make the price as low as possible and still get an effective and long-lasting solution.

Quicker Is Always Cheaper

In our long experience repairing foundations, we have learned that the more you delay repairs, the more damage your building will suffer and the more the process will cost. Therefore, as soon as you see the first signs of foundation damage, get the issue looked at and resolved to prevent it from spreading.

Get It Fixed Right

The most costly construction repair is one that has to be repeated after just a short time. This is why cheap solutions end up being expensive in the long run. Even if they seem costly at the start, contractors who do it right will solve the problem from its root, ensuring it never recurs.

To keep your prices low, follow up on the process and ask questions to make sure they are not just going for the easiest solution. Simple online research, such as reading this article, is a great place to start if you wish to know what the process involves.

Concrete slabs offer a level platform for a home to sit on

Choose the Right Contractor

A good contractor will examine all the aspects of your project and explore all possible solutions and calculate the most efficient repair at the lowest costs to you. If the technician is inexperienced, miscalculations could cause them to suggest an expensive method that will cost you more than necessary in the long run.

At Regional Foundation Repair, our customers report high-quality and effective services at very friendly prices.

Our technicians will keep you informed throughout the process, help you understand the best options for you, and give you tips on how to maintain the structural integrity of your home for longer. Contacting us today is the first step towards enjoying the peace of mind that comes with living in a secure, beautiful, and comfortable home.

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Sam Smith Foundation Repair Consultant
SHORT BIO: Hey, I'm Sam Smith. I'm one of our service techs here at Regional Foundation Repair. I'm here to help you learn more about your home's foundation. I've been doing this for a while, so I have a few insider tips and tricks to share!

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