Helical Pile Deck Foundations

A New Jersey deck builder liked helical piles so much he started a new business

About two years ago, I stumbled upon a photo of a deck project that wasn't built on concrete piers, and I emailed the contractor to inquire about what he had used. His answer - helical piles - changed my business.



City Lights

Multiple levels, subtle lighting, and a low-profile stainless-steel cable railing are three strategies used to optimize nighttime views of New York City's skyline from this ipe deck.

Framing Wrap-around Deck Stairs

When deck plans called for a set of wrap-around stairs, this west coast builder thought like a roof framer and laid out and cut the corner stringer like a hip rafter.

Solving the Stair Post Connection Dilemma

The bottom newel posts on a set of porch or deck stairs have to be able to withstand 200-lb. lateral loads, and in some areas have to be supported by footings that bear on undisturbed ground below the frostline. Here are two options for handling this tricky detail.


Footings & Framing Articles

  • A Path to Safer Balconies

    These tricky cantilevered structures demand careful framing and waterproofing details

  • With SIPs, the best option is building a deck or porch that is independent of the house for support.

    Connecting a Deck to a SIPs House

    You can't fasten a ledger to most structural insulated panels, so if you want to add a deck to a SIPs house your best bet is to build a freestanding deck and anchor it to the structure or foundation with special metal brackets.

  • Review: Collomix Xo 4 Portable Power Mixer

    The Collomix Xo 4 is a heavy-duty low-speed drill that can be used to mix up batches of mortar, concrete, and other heavy materials

  • Extra Steps Needed to Prevent Rot and Corrosion

    While not required by code, deck framing and metal hardware that is primed and painted prior to installation will be better protected from rot and corrosion

  • Wood Treaters Under Pressure

    Ground-contact PT lumber is becoming more widely available, thanks to the AWPA's new rules for treated lumber. But the industry is divided on how the new rules apply to deck framing.

  • No Criminal Charges in Fatal Balcony Collapse

    There's not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the contractors involved in the construction and maintenance of the Berkeley balcony that collapsed and killed or injured 13 people last year, but they still face civil suits.

  • Down on the Boardwalk

    This public boardwalk was built over wetlands, so it required heavy-duty framing supported by helical piles to minimize environmental impact on this sensitive site.

  • Notching Guidelines

    Most prescriptive guidelines for notching and drilling in framing members don't account for wet-service conditions.

  • Millions Awarded in Deck Collapse Lawsuit

    Nearly two years after a subdivision clubhouse deck collapsed, sending 22 family members falling almost 15 feet to the ground, an Indiana jury awarded the victims more than $4 million in damages.

  • Exploring the Deck Ledger Connection

    Learn more about the history and evolution of deck ledger code requirements in this new two-part article, posted on THISisCarpentry.com.

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