House Foundations: Choosing the Ideal Pile System Material

The foundation of your home is the most critical element in the structure. This is the base that will support the cumulative weight of the walls, roof and floors, so it should be resilient and durable. There are different forms of foundations that you can install when building your new house. However, if the ground or soil structure is not strong enough to anchor the mass like on the sandy beach environment, you must use a pile foundation system. Basically, piles are post-like building supports that are driven into the bedrock or more stable soil structure in the ground. These structural members will elevate and anchor the weight of the building. Here are the main materials to consider when choosing a pile system residential foundation.


Concrete is a perfect material for pile foundation construction because it has high compressive and tensile strength. If you decide to use this type of system, you will need to select between poured and precast concrete elements. In the former, concrete is poured into the ground on the site into the desired positions. This type of system is favourable because it offers design and casting flexibility. However, it will require reinforcement elements to prevent distortion when curing. Precast concrete is formed in controlled factory environment, so the piles are more stable and can be driven into deep depths. Unfortunately, this displaces the soil structure when the post is driven into the ground. It can also sustain significant damage during transportation.


Steel pile systems are built using strong posts which can handle heavy weight. This metal is strong and dense, so it can penetrate the ground with ease during installation. Moreover, the steel posts can be cut or even welded to another piece to create the desired length. On the other hand, steel is vulnerable to rusting when exposed to moisture and air, and it will corrode in acidic soils. Therefore, you should ensure that the pieces used are protected from exposure to moisture and soils. In addition, steel is an expensive choice, so this might be a limiting factor.


Timber is the traditional material for piling construction because the material is resilient and durable. Additionally, sections of wood can be joined or sawed to form more suitable lengths. If you choose this type of piling, ensure that the wood is not vulnerable to insect infestations. In addition, the piles should be above the water table to protect against rotting and the ground should be soft to prevent accidental mechanical damage to the wood.