Pier Drilling – The Basics

Pier drilling is one of several deep foundation methods which can be used to bypass surface-level ground, which is usually relatively soft and unstable, instead of the favorable solid ground that would be found deeper down. Bedrock is the ideal layer sought by deep foundation drilling because it provides the best support for a structure for passive as well as dynamic conditions.

To reach the harder ground further down, it is usually necessary to use an auguring tool, which can bore into the ground to create space for a vertical column. This dug out column would then be filled with concrete and reinforced steel to create an extension from the foundation to the bedrock. The size and number of these columns will depend on the size and load of the foundation.

How Pier Drilling Works

The process for pier drilling works something like this:

augur drilling – an augur, or spiral drilling tool, is attached to a motorized shaft and is forced into the ground under rotation. When it becomes entirely filled with soil it has loosened, it must be brought to the surface to have the soil removed. This process is repeated until the column depth is reached.

bell pier drilling – when the soil is considered too soft for normal support systems, the augur might be replaced by a bell tool which can dig out a ‘bell pier’, i.e. a shaft wider at the bottom to provide additional support.

concrete insertion – once the hole has been dug to the desired depth, all water if present, is pumped out from the bottom of the shaft. A reinforcement cage is placed in the shaft, then concrete is poured in and allowed to settle.

Pier drilling offers one big advantages over ordinary pile driving in that pile driving creates a lot of noise and ground vibration. In most conditions, especially those near other buildings, piers may be a much better option.

The Bay Area Pier Drilling Experts

If you need any kind of deep foundation drilling or excavation for your construction project, the company to call in the Bay Area is Lassiter Excavating Inc., a family-owned business which has provided expert excavation services to people of the region since 1989.

If you’re not thinking of installing a whole new building, but just want to implement some deck piers or footing piers as a preliminary step toward a follow-on project, we can do that too. Whatever your project consists of, contact us at Lassiter Excavating, Inc. for a free estimate, or to have any of your questions answered courteously and professionally. Our phone number is (925) 490-2037

The Five Steps of Excavation

Construction site excavation can be a very difficult process sometimes, in the Bay Area and elsewhere, whether it’s for a home, an office building, or for public construction projects like road buildings. Soil conditions can cause problems, close quarters with other buildings can create logistical issues, and any number of other obstacles can pop up to hinder the process.

5 Steps of Excavation

To overcome whatever hindrances do occur and complete a construction project successfully, there are five main steps which have to be accomplished:

  • Rough-Staking – this process is necessary to identify approximately where a home or other building will be situated. If trees or other obstacles will have to be moved, rough-staking will make this more obvious by placing stakes around the designated area of where the structure will be built. 
  • Clearing – if your excavation site has vegetation or tree roots that have to be removed, this happens during the clearing phase. If there’s a significant amount of this material, you may need to decide where all the debris has to be hauled to.
  • Excavation – any building that requires a basement will have to be excavated, and the dirt which is removed will have to go somewhere. You can count on heavy equipment like a bulldozer or backhoe to be involved in this phase, as well as dump trucks to haul away fill.
  • Rough-Grading – some of the dirt which was removed during excavation can be back-filled around the home to establish the right pitch toward the curb, for drainage purposes. Then you’ll also have to overlay that fill dirt with the richer topsoil that was removed, so that grass and shrubbery can grow well around the home.
  • Erosion Control – some locations have regulations about not allowing topsoil to be eroded away by runoff from heavy rains, so you may have to investigate local restrictions on this. In any case though, steps will have to be taken to prevent your cleared plot of land from having soil washed away and possibly into adjacent properties. This ceases to be an issue once grass is growing on the land, but until that happens, the effects of erosion must be accounted for.

Contact a Bay Area Excavating Company

For any kind of construction excavation project you have in mind, the excavation experts to call are at Lassiter Excavating, Inc. Whether you need demolition in the Bay Area, building site excavation, or some kind of foundation work, the clear choice for all excavation work in the region is Lassiter. Since 1989, this family owned and operated business has provided excavation expertise and outstanding customer service to commercial and residential clients in the Bay Area. Call us at (925)-420-0146
or fill out our contact form here for an estimate, or with any questions you may have about a project.


Pool removal – What to do With an Unwanted Pool

For most homeowners, a time comes when your pool receives less and less attention, and falls into disuse. This is often because children grow up and go out on their own. As parents grow older, they simply don’t have as much interest in swimming and water-lounging as they did when the kids were still around. That leaves you with the prospect of removing an unwanted pool, as opposed to maintaining it year after year. Here are some less common pool removal possibilities which you could consider. Continue reading “Pool removal – What to do With an Unwanted Pool”

Straight Pier and Bell Pier Drilling

Pier drilling is an effective way to provide a strong and secure foundation for a Bay Area structure, especially in areas where the ground is less stable. As its name suggests, pier drilling consists of creating a shaft in the ground which is bored with specialized machinery, after which it is usually filled with concrete to add strength and stability to the foundation. This kind of drilling or excavation can be at normal depths or it can involve deep foundation drilling, when extra depth is needed to reach stable ground for a larger structure. Continue reading “Straight Pier and Bell Pier Drilling”

The Perfect Homeowner’s Guide to Pool Removal

There comes a time when swimming pool demolition makes just as much sense as installing a pool did some years ago, when it got a lot of usage. But the kids have grown up now, and moved out on their own, and no one really uses the pool much anymore. So now you go through the hassle of opening it and closing it each year for just those few occasions when family members visit, or when you’re really in the mood. The time is right to remove the pool, and reclaim the space in your back yard for more practical usage and greater aesthetic appeal. Continue reading “The Perfect Homeowner’s Guide to Pool Removal”

When to Use Helical Pier Drilling

Helical Pier drilling in the Bay Area and Sacramento can be thought of as a system which uses anchors to secure structures to the ground when soil conditions are rather challenging, and where the usage of a more conventional foundation system is not indicated. These piers consist of a steel shaft with helicals that make it look like a very large screw, and help to secure any structure tied to it. It is especially useful for drilling where there is unfavorable ground conditions. Continue reading “When to Use Helical Pier Drilling”

Preparing Your Site for Excavation!

Before any Bay Area home or office building can be constructed on a given site, excavation and site preparation must take place. Without this important precursor to construction, it would be impossible to install an appropriate foundation upon which any permanent structure should be built. Continue reading “Preparing Your Site for Excavation!”

Choosing the Right Pool Removal Process

Going back for as long as almost anyone alive today can remember. When an inground swimming pool was built in the Bay Area it required a city or county permit to do it. This means that there is public record  that a swimming pool was built and the specific location where it was built. If you should want to remove your pool go swimming pool demolition it’s illegal to simply fill in your pool without obtaining a permit for the process. You or your pool demo contractor must obtain a permit from your city or county before you can proceed. The permit will spell out the type of demolition the owner chooses, both of which are described below. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Pool Removal Process”

What You Need to Know About New Home Excavating

Before you have your new home built, you should be fully aware of that very important first step which precedes the laying of your home’s foundation – the excavation of the area beneath the new home. After all, your future will literally be built from the ground up on that foundation, and that is true in more than just the figurative sense. Therefore, it is imperative that the work be done by an experienced and highly knowledgeable excavating company in the Bay Area. Continue reading “What You Need to Know About New Home Excavating”