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Types of Piling Foundations that Beach Property Owners Should Explore

Building any structure on a beachfront can be a tricky affair because beach soil is weak and it cannot support a spread foundation. For this reason, piling is essential for such structures. Therefore, if you want to add a structure to your compound such as a boat garage, then you need to accommodate piling as part of your construction plan. However, before you hire the services of a construction contractor, it is vital to know what type of piling foundation they do. A contractor might be proficient in all or one specific kind of piling construction. This article highlights the three basic types of piling foundations.

Friction Piles -- As the name suggests, friction piles rely on the frictional force created between soil and a pile. When a pile is driven down into the earth, the resistance built along the side of the pile's shaft enables the foundation to achieve the required strength. For this kind of pile foundation, however, a contractor has to use longer piles. It is because sandy beach soil is less cohesive and thereby a large surface area is desired. Friction piling is the best for a foundation site that lacks a rock bed within reasonable depth. The massive shear strength created by long piles is enough to support the intended load of a structure.

Point Bearing Piles -- If a contractor makes a site visit and concludes that there is bedrock within a reasonable depth, then it is more than likely that they will opt for point bearing piling. Just like friction piling, this type of piling foundation involves driving piles down into the sand. The difference between the two is that for end bearing piles, there must be a rock-like material underneath the soil. Once the piles are in place, the structure's load is supported by the rock below. The principle behind the point bearing piling foundation is that the end of a pile that rests on rocks acts as an intersection of the weak layer (sand soil) and the stronger layer (hard rock). Note that construction of an end bearing piling foundation is relatively cheaper than friction piling foundation.

Friction-cum-End Bearing Piling -- In most cases, contractors will take advantage of the benefits of both friction and end bearing piling foundations. For this particular type, a contractor will use long piles as well as rely on the presence of a layer of rock below. The frictional force created by the long piles combined with the support offered by the rock layer provides more weight bearing capacity. While most contractors recommend this type of foundation for beach property owners, it is the most expensive.