[Posted on July 11th, 2013 by Aaron Presley]
Houston often faces harsh weather conditions, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to make the right decision about construction items such as house pilings the first time. Whether you’re building your home on the water, in an area where water may become an issue, or you’re simply interested in creating a “pier” foundation for your home, it’s important to pick the right materials for the specific building project, scope, size, and needs you’re dealing with.
As with most things in the construction business, the size of the pilings you purchase matter a great deal. They come in a wide range of sizes; however, it’s not simply the diameter you should consider but also the length. Depending on how far you’re building your home off the ground, longer is often better. The downside of that, though, is that longer lengths require greater diameters in order to maintain the strength and integrity of the pilings. In coastal areas, soil composition also affects the types of pilings that are necessary, according to a 1994 Journal of Light Construction article. The article explains that even when stilt housing pilings aren’t necessary, they are wise investments due to the soil composition in coastal areas.
When you’re buying pilings upon which you plan to build homes, it’s also important to consider the treatment. You need different treatment levels for various conditions and exposures. For instance, house pilings often require .60 chemical treatment levels while pilings used for docks and piers generally require 2.5 treatment levels. These are for pilings that receive constant exposure to saltwater and not for homes that face temporary and very occasional submersion due to tidal flooding or storm surge.
Consult with Construction Experts
Many coastal communities have regulations regarding the necessary use of house pilings. However, if you consult closely with your homebuilder, you may find that he or she recommends going above the minimum legal requirements regarding height and diameter for your pilings. That’s one reason it’s so wise to choose local homebuilders who know the lay of the land, the temperament of the seasons, and which are the best lumber yards in Houston.
Resist the Temptation to Cut Costs Here
House pilings, for many are kind of like flood insurance or even car insurance. You really resent the monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments until you find yourself in need of it. Then you’re glad you kept your policy up-to-date. Insufficient pilings in height or circumference can leave your house flooded when the tidal surge rolls in or, worse, snap with the force of the pounding waves.
Don’t take unnecessary risks with your home construction. Invest in the best house pilings Houston has to offer and build with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve gone well above the minimum for the safety of your family and the protection of your family’s treasures.