Timber framed houses are enduringly popular. Construction is faster. The build isn’t weather reliant. And there is no need for a drying out period. But the ultimate success of the build depends on the foundation type. In areas where there is high moisture retention, timber frames have a tendency to rot, if not properly treated and maintained. And while a concrete slab is often the method of choice to combat this, there are some limitations as to where concrete slabs can be effectively used. Where this is the case, screw piles can be the ideal foundation solution for timber framed houses.

What Do You Need to Know About Building Timber Framed Houses on Screw Piles?

Why are screw piles a good foundation choice for timber framed houses?

There are a number of reasons why you might consider using screw piles as the foundation for a timber framed house.

Ground conditions

There are certain ground conditions that can be difficult to build upon with other foundation types. If you’re dealing with sand, an area prone to flood, somewhere there is likely to be a lot of thick tree roots or sporadic rock, screw piles can be considerably quicker, easier, and safer than other foundation types. Screw piles can also be used in conjunction with concrete rafts, ring beams, and other foundation types, where required.


If you’re working in close proximity to existing buildings, screw piles can also be a lot easier to manage. They are less disruptive. They will not damage existing foundations. And they’re a lot cleaner and quicker to install.


One of the draws of timber frame construction is that it’s a lot faster than masonry builds. But much of that speed is compromised when working with concrete foundations. With screw piles, you have no need for excavation. You don’t have to wait for the right weather for installation. And the piles are ready to use instantly. So, as soon as the last pile is in, you simply have to cap them and continue with the next phase of construction.


Because you can save so much time, screw piles are often a far more cost effective option than other foundation types.

Environmental impact

Screw piles are widely considered to be a lot more environmentally friendly and sustainable than other foundation options. Which really ties in with the appeal of a timber frame. They are fully recyclable. And they do not leach any contaminants into the water table.

How to use screw piles in timber frame house construction


Screw pile installation is simple. In most large construction projects, such as houses, a groundworks vehicle will be used to rotate the piles into the ground until the required torque and height is achieved.

Where space or accessibility is an issue, hand installation is possible. Using an installation tool, or machine.

Attach the base of the frame to the piles

Once the screw piles are in place, you can top them with brackets. The type of bracket you need will depend upon the width of your timber. But in most cases, flat, U, or L brackets will do the job. Allowing you to attach your timber frame to the piles. That done, construction can continue as usual.

There are many reasons to choose to use screw piles as the foundation for timber frame houses. But the primary draws are that they are fast, easy, safe, and practical. Which is really all anyone wants from a construction project.

For more information about the best type of screw piles to use for your timber frame house, get in touch with UK Helix.

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