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Warning on low-cost, self-install screw piles

This low-cost, over-the-counter screw pile is not suited for use on attached decks, platforms or stairs. (Contractor-supplied, Code-compliant piles are, however, suitable.)

We have run into a few issues of late with homeowners and contractors using an over-the-counter screw pile available over-the-counter from hardware stores. While advertised as a foundation screw for decks, these piles are NOT acceptable for attached decks. For one, they only allow for the attachment of a 3.5-inch post which is not Code-compliant for bearing any kind of deck load. Secondly they have not been approved as Code-compliant by the National Research Council of Canada, which oversees testing of construction products.

Please ensure that if you are using helical piles that they are the kind compliant for attached decks, and have met the engineering tests required to ensure they meet Code. Yes, they may cost more, but there is a wealth of testing to make sure they will do what they say they can do.

As always, please contact our planning and inspections department (and apply for/receive a permit) before beginning construction: you don’t want to rebuild an improperly-constructed deck, and we don’t want that to happen either.

We serve the unincorporated rural regions of Charlotte and southern York counties as well as the municipalities of Saint Andrews, St. George, McAdam and Harvey. If you live in any of those areas,

call us (466-7369) to make sure you have all required permits. That way, our team of professionally trained and certified building inspectors can ensure your plans meet or exceed the requirements of the National Building Code of Canada (2010 edition) which in turn will give you the confidence that your project will be done right the first time.