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The Great Foundation Face-Off: Screw Piles vs Driven Piles

Bridge Média - 10 August 2023

When it comes to laying the groundwork for a sturdy structure, two prominent contenders emerge: screw piles and driven piles

In this article, we will explore the key differences between screw piles or helical piers (piles)  and driven piles (or driven piers) and delve into various aspects to help you make an informed choice for your construction project.

Understanding the Difference Between Screw Piles and Driven Piles

Screw piles, or helical piles, feature helical blades that are carefully engineered for secure installation

Screw pile installation with small equipment

Driven piles, on the other hand, are forcefully driven into the soil, relying on friction and end-bearing capacity. 

Driven piles with heavy equipment

Both methods have their unique characteristics and suitability depending on the project requirements and soil conditions.

Time and Cost Analysis: Comparing the Efficiency and Budget Implications of Screw Piles vs Driven Piles

Efficiency and cost implications play a significant role in construction projects. A helical pier installation offers advantages in terms of installation time and minimal disruption due to their simpler installation process. 

Driven piles, though more labor-intensive and time-consuming, have a proven track record and may be preferred in certain scenarios where specific load-bearing requirements or soil conditions demand their use.

When analyzing the efficiency and budget implications of screw piles versus driven piles, it is important to consider the time and cost factors

Generally, driven piles are slightly more cost-effective. However, it should be noted that the set-up process for installing driven piles is time-consuming and involves costly machinery

This cost is typically offset when a large number of driven piles need to be installed. Conversely, if only a few driven piles are required, helical piles are typically the more economical choice.

Soil Compatibility: Which Foundation Method Performs Better in Different Soil Types?

Soil conditions are a crucial factor in determining the appropriate foundation system. Helical (screw) piles exhibit versatility and can adapt well to various soil types, including sandy, clayey, and soft soils. 

In certain soil conditions, driven piles may face challenges that necessitate additional measures or alternative foundation methods to ensure stability and support

Furthermore, it is worth noting that driven piles are typically installed to refusal, which can sometimes require depths of up to 100 feet

Additionally, when dealing with highly compacted soil, the use of pre-drilling may be necessary during the installation of driven piles.

Environmental Impact: Evaluating the Impact of Helical Piers / Piles and Driven Piles on the Landscape

With growing emphasis on environmental sustainability, considering the impact of foundation systems is essential. Screw piles offer advantages in terms of reduced disturbance to the landscape during installation, as they require less excavation and heavy machinery. 

Driven piles, due to their forceful installation, may cause more disturbance necessitating careful consideration in sensitive environments.

Noise and Vibration Considerations: How Screw Piles and Driven Piles Affect Surrounding Environments

Noise and vibrations generated during construction can have implications for nearby structures and the surrounding environment. Helical piles (piers), being installed with minimal disturbance, produce fewer noise and vibration levels, resulting in a quieter construction site. 

Driven piles may generate more noise and vibrations due to the percussive installation process, potentially requiring measures to mitigate their impact.

Longevity and Durability: Which Foundation Method Offers Greater Resilience over Time?

The longevity and durability of foundation systems are vital considerations for any construction project. Screw piles are known for their robust design and secure anchoring, offering long-term stability even in challenging soil conditions

Driven piles, while also reliable, may require periodic maintenance and monitoring to ensure their continued effectiveness and resilience over time.


In the realm of foundation systems, the choice between screw piles and driven piles depends on project-specific requirements, soil conditions, and budget considerations. Both methods have their merits and can deliver satisfactory results when properly implemented. 

That being said, helical piers, with their versatility, ease of installation, and adaptability to various soil types, are often a solid choice

Ultimately, the decision between screw piles and driven piles should be based on a comprehensive assessment of project needs and expert guidance. Contact a GoliathTech certified helical pier installer in your area to discuss your project.

By choosing the most suitable foundation system, you can lay the groundwork for a successful construction project that stands the test of time.

About GoliathTech

Since 2004, GoliathTech has been the most important manufacturer and installer in the helical (screw) pile industry worldwide. Our patented helical pile foundation system surpasses industry standards and has earned us multiple awards and prizes.

Carried out by certified installers, our quick installation process avoids excavation, which protects your landscape and allows you to begin building as soon as the piles are in the ground. Moreover, you can anchor GoliathTech’s helical pile foundations into any soil or space year-round. Installed deep into the ground, beneath the frost line, they solidly support the structure in even the most extreme conditions. Our technology guarantees that a helical (screw) pile foundation won't move or crack over time.

Integrating both strength and know-how, GoliathTech offers the best anchoring solution to support your residential, industrial, commercial, and municipal projects. Trust the experience and expertise of GoliathTech for your foundation projects. Find a certified GoliathTech installer in your region or become a franchisee.