Get a reference
While this is obvious, there is no better way to predict your experience than speaking with someone who has already worked with the contractor. This will allow you to evaluate their systems, capabilities, problem-solving approach, and communication.
As helical piles are relatively uncommon, it can be challenging to find and contact customers of the installer. The easiest way to find references will be to ask the installer to provide a list of companies they have previously worked with. Contact multiple companies to get a better and more accurate idea of how the installer operates.
Check out their project portfolio
Deep foundation projects are complex and often involve unique restrictions and challenges. Reviewing projects the installer has successfully completed can give a better idea of the installer’s capabilities and challenges they may specialize in.
We recommend identifying restrictions that an installer will experience at your project site and reviewing past projects to see if this is a challenge they have worked with before. This is an excellent way to identify if the installer is prepared and capable enough to complete your project.
What brand of helical piles do they install?
Another consideration is the brand of helical piles that the installer uses. While most installers can install piles from any manufacturer, you should still discuss it with them for a few reasons.
Firstly, if the installer is providing the product, you want to ensure that the quality of the helical piles’ is acceptable. You can evaluate the quality of the helical piles by determining the origin of the raw steel, where they are manufactured, if the factory is ISO certified, and if the product is ICC certified. Some manufacturers also require the installer to be certified to qualify for the product warranty. Therefore, you should confirm your preferred helical piles manufacturer has certified the installer.
Do they have access to foundation design support?
Working with a contractor that has a relationship with a geotechnical engineer can make your projects simpler to manage. In the planning stage, the installer can work with the engineer or handle the foundation engineering for you. This will reduce your workload and keep you from having to relay info between the parties. If any unexpected soil conditions are encountered during the installation, an installer with foundation design support can resolve issues and get them approved much faster. This saves you from experiencing costly delays.
Make sure they’re certified and insured.
Ensuring an installer has the required safety training and insurance is critical. An installer that operates safely minimizes the risk for your company and client. It is also essential that an installer has been certified and trained on the product they are installing. This helps to ensure that the foundation system is installed correctly and according to the specifications.
Get a detailed proposal
Our final suggestion is to get a detailed proposal from each contractor. An itemized proposal will help identify any differences in the solutions the contractors propose. It’s also important to have conversations with each to discuss what will happen if the piles need to be screwed deeper or if the proposed pile configuration will not work. These actions will help you mitigate additional costs and delays from change orders.
YOUR IDEAL CERTIFIED INSTALLER NETWORK
To ensure that our standards for quality are honored when installing, we provide contractors with full training and certification. The course involves onsite training, an educational seminar, and testing.
Using our network of certified installers ensures the products are installed correctly and according to design requirements, providing you with peace of mind.
Contact us to receive information on IDEAL-certified installers in your area.