Yes, you can build a deck on a retaining wall by using helical piers!
A local decking company reached out to us recently with a challenge: They needed to build a deck on top of an existing retaining wall on a hillside property.
What are helical piers you ask?
Helical piers are innovative solution for reaching stable soil and are particularly useful for deck-building. When placed on top of a helical pier, a structure’s weight is transferred deep onto stable, load-bearing soil. With no digging required! Our equipment utilizes specific torque settings which allow piers to have a high load capacity instantly. No need for a product to cure or acclimate, they are ready to build upon immediately after installation.
The first challenge with this project is there would not be enough space below the wall for our equipment. Getting our equipment up and onto the wall for installation would require some creativity. First, we attempted to build a ramp using wood, but this was a failure. In the end we piled up enough dirt on the shortest area to enable us to drive up and onto the wall.
You Can’t Fight City Hall
The second challenge came during the permitting process. Typically using helical piers for a deck is pretty straightforward, we just need load capacity most of the time. Accounting for the retaining wall made the calculations more complex, so we called in an engineer.
Mike Montgomery from Buyers Protection Group decided that the piers must be anchored properly to the foundation to keep the wall and piers from sliding down the hill. To this end, he had us attach horizontal steel tie rods from the top of the pier and into the basement slab and foundation wall.
Once piers were anchored and in place and concrete caps were poured our job was done. We packed up and moved out, allowing All Decked Out to quickly mobilize their team to install this beautiful deck!
Worth all the trouble, don’t you think?
Interested in using helical piers for a deck? Or do you have a construction challenge that might benefit from the addition of helical piers? Please feel free to contact us for guidance or more information. We are always happy to help.