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May 22, 2024
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Builder & Construction

What Should I Know Before Building During A Pile Foundation?

Before performing any building construction, always do your research and make sure you fully understand the specifics of your project. This is especially true when going into a project that needs a foundation, such as a pile trench. Breakdown of the process of actual piling and what your advisor might ask from you if you are unsure about anything in what you’re doing.

Construction accidents happen, unfortunately. While you might have enough professionalism and experience to avoid them, it’s always best to have something on hand before building to keep an eye out for anything that could go wrong. Here is a guide on how to build a pile foundation.

pile foundation

  • Know the most beneficial types of foundations

Before building a pile foundation, you should assess the job, time constraints, and location. Different foundations have different strengths and weaknesses. Choosing a pile foundation with good density and high bearing capacity will give your walls more structural stability. If you are short on time or want a temporary worksite, a floating foundation is an option.

  • Know what type of pile foundation is best for your base

Different piles are best for different types of foundations. For example, prop piles are best for foundation pads on concrete slabs because the uplift soil is concrete and allows the pylons not to sink into your concrete. Precast piles typically require an I-beam to help stabilise the legs during travel, but these softwood bipods work well if the foundation section is hinged to the ground and can be adjusted after installation. Piles can also be more expensive than a slab, so you should make sure that you understand what type of foundation will suit your job best!

pile foundation

  • Know ways to prevent building collapses with a pile foundation

To prevent collapses, homeowners are supposed to have 2 foot of clear space around their foundation. This allows the soil to breathe and not at risk of collapse. Test your foundation by pressing on different places in the soil with a screwdriver or similar tool. Also, make sure that concrete has been poured onto the piles and before adding structural materials like metal reinforcing rods.

  • Know how to protect from potential future basement problems with a pile foundation

Ground shock is one of the most common problems that result in basement leaks during a pile foundation project. Many homeowners feel that these shocks come from the foundation. However, according to an article by NationSwell, it comes from the groundwater below the building. It is important to not walk or put any running or flowing water on top of your pile-soil during construction. If you see a speck of dirty water coming out near the border of your base, this could be evidence that something is wrong underneath. Don’t do anything until talking to a contractor familiar with site work.


When building a pile foundation, it is wise to note that the piles always sink. The length of the piled foundation and any changes in topography or soil type will also determine how much the piles will sink or rise. These factors can lead to curve settlements if they aren’t considered when designing and building the home.

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