Q. Can helical piles be used on a freestanding deck? How do you brace them for lateral stability?

A. Greg DiBernardo, author of “Helical Pile Deck Foundations” (May/June 2012), responds: There are several ways to brace freestanding helical-pile decks. Diagonal 2x4 cross-bracing can be fastened below the joists, or the helical piles can be cross braced using galvanized steel angle welded to the posts. Most times, though, 6x6 or 4x4 posts are used on top of the piles, so traditional “Y” bracing can be used, too.

Greg DiBernardo owns Bergen Decks and is a partner in Techno Metal Post of Northern New Jersey, in Waldwick, N.J.