Deep foundation pricing is multifaceted and a one price fits all approach can lead to unexpected costs. To break down the pricing, the following list can help provide a better understanding of the top 4 factors that can affect pile prices and why they are important pieces of information when looking for estimates:
- Loads: CHANCE Certified Installers are often asked for a per pile price without knowing the required capacity. Helical pile loads can range from as low as 25kN (5.6 kip) to 1200kN (270 kip) or higher. The load required determines the size of Chance Helical Pile used in pricing.
- Depth: One of the biggest cost factors in any deep foundation system is how deep it has to be installed in order to achieve the required capacity. This could be a depth to bedrock, a depth beyond a fill layer, a depth to competent soil, or even sometimes a depth we’re not allowed to exceed due to weaker soils beneath a competent bearing layer or a confined aquifer. A 5-metre (16.5 ft) pile is going to have a substantially different cost than a 50-metre (164 ft) pile. While anyone in the geotechnical field knows there are almost always some variations in the soil conditions, having a geotechnical report can help us understand and better prepare for how deep the piles will need to go beforehand. This information will always help minimize the cost of extras on projects.
- Soil Conditions: As mentioned above, soil conditions play a huge factor in determining costs for any deep foundation system. Some key things are soil type (cobbles and boulders can interfere with installation if they are not expected), water table elevation, obstructions or rubble infill layers, artesian conditions, as well as many others. The more we know about the soil we are installing in, the better we can prepare and the more the estimate will reflect what is actually required to install the piles.
- Project Location/Access: Knowing the project location is a large part in getting an accurate estimate. Some sites are wide open flat sites where installation equipment size is not a factor, whereas other sites have complex restrictions or challenges - including limited overhead, limited site access, steep slopes, underground services or other factors - that make installation more challenging. This isn’t to say that deep foundations cannot be used in those situations, simply that to get an accurate price these are things we need to know about the site.
The more information about the project you can provide, the more accurate your price will be.
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