Q: A local construction company offers a “helical pier system” when building a deck. How does this type of system work?
A: Helical piers are steel foundation pins that are driven into the earth below the frost line. Installation requires expensive hydraulic machinery (i.e. a skid steer or excavator). The system is often used in commercial construction, but is gaining popularity for deck construction in smaller areas and on tricky sites, such as steep inclines or poor soil conditions, where it is otherwise difficult to dig footings and pour a concrete foundation.