Atlanta/Dekalb builder -piles/pin foundation

2 Replies

Im in planning/approval phase of RSM residential development in Dekalb. Plan includes 6 homes on 5 acres. Home <2000sf on 15% slope in Georgia forest. Looking for alternatives to dig/fill and traditional foundations. Main goal to minimize land disturbance and tree removal

Would love to talk to foundation contractor/builder w expertise with piles, pins or concrete-free foundations


Susan Moss

well if your not going to do pony walls with concrete down the slope.

you can build on pilings like your saying.. 

a trip to Sausalito CA and you can see just about every type of piling construction that is and has been used.

along with the West slope above down town Portland and of course SF and Seattle.. 

on another note in Charleston SC we have to do piles  but they are 30 to 40 feet into the sand.. just to stabilize the above ground foundations.. about 1 to 1500 per pile and usually takes about 40 piles. 

one thing about the concrete pony wall is you can use that sq ft as you go down for bonus room storage etc.

I may be able to help, please feel free to reach out to me. We've done work with pile foundations and suspended construction. Not so much with pin foundations, although I am familiar with the technology (Diamond pier in particular)... I don't know of any developer in Atlanta using pins right now, so you'd have to have all kinds of third party letters for it.

Suspended foundations (IE: above ground piers with framing suspended) are cool and there's some very solid modern architectural roots in it (See, Villa Savoye). It's a challenging way to build though, as getting everything level and plumb is a pretty taxing production. There's also some interesting challenges in the form of lateral bracing that can come up. We did a pretty large project using helical piers and posts that had the house about 10' above ground - came out well, took a LOT of laser work and math to get it all to be flat though. The challenge is that if your foundation pads aren't exact level (and it's almost impossible to get them level to each other), your above ground piers all end up being different heights. We were using structural steel piers for that project, so it took a lot of work with the steel fabrication team to get it all to come out level at the top. Lots of hardware...