Oklahoma’s clay soil can play rough with a home or commercial building’s foundation. And while an existing foundation can often be shored up, it’s smart to strengthen new home and office builds with proper pier support systems before the construction is completed. Installation of pre-construction piers from the start provides many preventative benefits to property owners, and sometimes it’s also necessary.
Here’s a closer look at what pre-construction piers do, and reasons why it’s a good idea to include them when you are building a new home, commercial building, or even installing a pool or retaining wall in the Tulsa area.
What Are Pre-Construction Piers?
Also known as foundation piers or as helical piers, pre-construction piers are used in new construction for both residential and commercial properties. They look like a tall pole, and they are placed at strategic locations underneath the foundation of a building or wall to increase the structure’s stability. During installation, they are driven with precision detail deep into the ground so that they are firmly secured and can provide load-bearing functions for your construction.
How Foundation Piers Benefit New Construction
In places where the ground tends to shift easily, such as Oklahoma, pre-construction piers are useful to ensure the building’s foundation has the best chance to remain securely in place. Here’s why it’s smart to do it at the start of a new construction project.
Makeup of Local Soil
In the Tulsa area, our soil has a clay composition that easily expands when the weather is wet and shrinks when the weather is dry. These shifts can make structural slabs move and crack, which puts homes and office buildings at risk of structural damage.
Installing piers from the beginning of construction mitigates that risk. It helps provide a strong, reliable, lasting foundation and thus protects your investment.
While it’s true that foundation piers can be added after a building is built, the process is more difficult if you wait. During new construction, there is nothing impeding a foundation installation company’s ability to access the ground they need to work in. There are no trees to work around, and no fences to squeeze through.
It’s simply easier to get the piers where they need to go without disrupting the home or commercial property owner’s life.
With all the steps involved in remediating foundation issues—such as getting a foundation inspection and the installation of the piers—it can be costly to address structural problems in an existing building. Even the materials needed for post-construction piers is pricey.
By comparison, helical piers are more budget-friendly than using post-construction, drilled piers. This means if your new build is likely to experience a shifting foundation, using pre-construction piers is a smart, cost-saving measure.
Heavy structures, such as warehouses and tall commercial buildings, can create specific spots of added weight that wear down the foundation over time. This can often be detected and planned for at the beginning of the new build.
By planning to install foundation piers during the new construction process, these load-bearing spots can be strengthened from the start—prolonging the life of the building and reducing the likelihood of future structural damage.
Depending on where the residential or commercial property is being built, foundation piers may be required by local municipalities to ensure the structural soundness and safety of your new construction project.
In addition, pre-construction piers may count as a factor in reducing the overall cost of your home or commercial property insurance.
When you think about your residential or commercial property’s foundation from the very start of the construction process, you put yourself in a good position to plan ahead for the building’s needs. An experienced foundation company can help you make smart decisions that preserve the value of your new home or commercial building.
With an inspection or formal consultation, you can learn a lot about what your property needs—such as the type of soil you’re dealing with, structural issues common in your area, foundation design options that are best for your needs, and more.
Prevent Foundation Problems Before They Occur
If you’re building a home or business office, don’t wait until structural issues arise to deal with them. Plan ahead to address the issue with professionally installed foundation piers during the construction process—and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your foundation is secure.
We’re here to answer your questions and help you be confident in your residential or commercial property’s foundation. Check out our pre-construction pier services and contact Edens Structural for a free estimate.