A deck built on a hill requires special consideration when it comes to its footing. 

The homeowner’s property in Forest Hills boasted a picturesque, wooded view from the existing deck.

The deck, supported by interior floor joists that extended to the exterior; featured a cantilevered design, eliminating the need for support posts. The homeowner’s desire to extend the deck to line up with an existing enclosed porch required a new support method. As with any hillside property, erosion, gravity, hillside creep, soil quality are all factors to consider when building a deck. So, they contacted AO Engineering for designs. The new deck plan utilized the trimmed-off joists (See below), cut flush to the house, to attach a new ledger board for the extension.

This ledger board couldn’t support as much weight as it typically would, due to the existing design. So, AO Engineering designed the load to transfer onto an existing 4 x 14 beam and a new deck beam consisting of two 2x12s. Three 4×4 posts per beam will support the new beams.

Initially, the plan included 6 concrete piers as footing for the 4×4 posts, but this homeowner decided that they would like their deck to have a higher load capacity. So, they contacted us to ask about our deck Helical Piers.


Benefits of using Helical Piers for Your Deck Footing: 

  • Helical piers offer several advantages for construction projects. They enable quick installation and immediate use.
  • No impact from weather– Unlike concrete, which cannot be installed in cold or wet weather, helical piers are not affected by such conditions.
  • High load capacity- provides design flexibility and ensures the pier will not settle over time due to overloading.
  • Torque pin monitor- ensures installation accuracy. This in-cab computer, connected to the drive head, allows us to instantly determine the pier’s capacity as we install it and record it for project files.
  • Helical piers can be installed at greater depths to reach undisturbed soil, preventing settling over time. In contrast, concrete piers are typically installed just below frost depth (32 inches in our region).
  • Pier coatings are available in bare steel, which takes a long time to rust (manufacturer says 80 years +), or galvanized steel, which does not rust and has an expected lifespan of over 120 years.
  • The deck connection bracket provides flexibility during construction, allowing for minor placement adjustments without affecting performance. The bracket attaches directly to the pier, eliminating the need for concrete.
  • No Digging-Helical piers also eliminate the need for excavation, eliminating soil haul-off requirements.

Ensure that you are building on solid ground, contact us today for more information about helical piers for your deck.