Should I install Piles instead of Doing Proper Dirt Work?

Another question that I have gotten in my over 15 years of working with clients when constructing a New Residence is the following:

Should I do dirt work or just install piles?

The answer to that is as follows.

Our belief is that dirt work is the most important thing to do on a residence. But more than this, it is to do it properly (compaction at the correct moisture content) and also make sure that you get a proper grading and drainage system once the dirt work is done.

Piles can only protect a foundation from the settlement in the area that the pile is installed. If there is an increased moisture content of the soils that allow the piles to heave (rise up), a pile cannot protect against this. Another thing that we have seen is lateral movement on the side of a hill that allows the foundation to slide down the hill. Helical piles cannot protect against this and concrete piles have to be properly designed to allow for this.

Since drainage causes about 60% of the foundation issues, we feel that the dirt work is most important to make sure that the drainage is corrected. If you want to look at installing additional piles in the foundation design, we can assist with this.

Ewing & Ray has been in business for over 50 years, so if you have any questions about the foundation repairs or concerns for a foundation problem please call us and we will be glad to assist you.