Tim Copeland Construction
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Plans > Footings, Piles, Piers & Blocks


These days we are mostly using helical piles for deck support.

These install by turning them into the ground like a big screw.
They are galvanized steel, made to last well over 100 years.

goliathtech helical pile

The bottom retaining bracket is adjustable by spinning it up or down
to the perfect height. The bottom of the posts stand above standing water.

goliathtech helical pile installation

The helix is installed usually 7 to 10 feet deep. The operator makes sure to acheive a certain torque, and submits that report to the building official.

Pile Report 520 Koehler Rd

There is no need for a separate footing inspection, so it speeds up the job a bit and eliminates the hazards of having too much water in the ground when making and pouring with concrete.


The size of the bell or helix at the bottom is proportional to the load that it supports, which can be up to 55 lbs. per square foot with snow, people and the materials themselves.  The city building official must inspect the holes to verify the depth and base diameter before I can pour the concrete.

The ground freezes up to a depth of 42 inches in the Twin Cities area.  Therefore your footings must be at least that deep or ice will form under them and cause frost heave. By Belling out the bottom of the hole and using the tube to form a smooth sidewall, ice is unable to form the leverage necessary to grip and move the footing.

Once the footing is hardened, metal connections join the wood to the concrete in a manner that will not sway, stray, or wick up water into the wood.


Requirements for future 3-season porches or screen porches:

  1. increase corner footing size by 90%
  2. locate all footings at extremities of deck (no cantilevers).
  3. increase center footing size shown by 55%
  4. beam sizes indicated need not be altered
deck footings


These are a good alternative to helical piles when you are unable to get the equipment to the back yard. They are good in wet locations. Tree limbs and proximity to the house and other obstacles can present complications to installation.

Diamond Pier Footings
Diamond Pier Footings


Decks that are not attached to the house AND are less than 30" off the ground can be built free standing on deck blocks. This can save a lot of money.

free standing deck block

The utilities will have been marked prior to digging whether you think there are any back there or not. This is a state law.   I will take care of making it happen, and you will have little temporary lines painted on your lawn.

utility marking