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The same helical piles that are used to stabilize and lift the foundations of buildings that have settled or that have experienced foundation shifts can — and should — be used in pre-construction situations as well. Buildings being constructed in sinkhole-prone areas or areas that may potentially shift over time can have helical piles installed prior to the building’s construction to ward off any potential hazards in the future. Doing so works as an insurance policy, helping save thousands of dollars in repair expenses should a shift occur.

Advantages of Helical Piles

Helical piles can be used to resist both uplift and compression loads when installed to proper depth and torque. The helix bearing plates serve as individual bearing elements to support a load.

  • Advantages include:
  • Hydraulically driven
  • Non-invasive
  • Fast installation
  • Immediate load bearing
  • Limited excavating
  • Unlimited depth

About Pre-construction Helical Piles

Pre-construction helical piles have three main components:

  • Helical lead section with helix bearing plates
  • Helical extensions
  • Pre-construction bracket

Helical Lead Section

As a result of their true helical shape, the helix bearing plates do not auger into the soil but rather screw into it with minimal disturbance. The first section, called the Lead Section, has one or more helix bearing plates welded to it.

Helical Extension Sections

Helical extensions are constructed from high strength steel pipe (schedule 80 P110 grade) with outside diameters (O.D.) of either 2.875” or 3.50”. The pipe is threaded with a triple-start thread for ease of installation and can be hot-dipped galvanized, when necessary, to the ASTM A -153 standard thus ensuring maximum corrosion protection.  If required, helical extensions can also have helix bearing plates welded to them.  Multiple extensions are typically added one after another until the required installation torque and specified bearing capacity is achieved.

Pre-construction Bracket

A pre-construction bracket can be ordered in a variety of sizes. Square seats made of ¾ in. steel are available in 6” to 16” sizes with four support gussets for added structural support. The top seat can even be ordered with pre-drilled holes for foundation rebar tie in.

Recent Project Example

Helicon recently installed pre-construction helical piles as deep foundation support for The Collective in Naples, Florida, partnering with DeAngelis Diamond and Universal Engineering Sciences. Over the course of approximately five weeks, Helicon crews successfully installed (226) galvanized helical piles to an average depth of 25 feet. To learn more about the project, visit

Helicon Trusts Helical Piles as the Preferred Solution for Pre-Construction Foundation Projects in Sinkhole-Prone Areas

April, 2019


11103 North 46th St., Bldg B

Tampa, FL 33617

844-HELICON (434-4266)


The Collective - Naples, FL