UKhelix supply high quality DIY screw piles for structures like sheds, garden houses, man caves, decking and fencing. These applications are suitable for the DIY enthusiast, but where does the enthusiast start?

In this article, we lay out a simple 5 step plan.


Step 1 Establish the load of your structure

The weight and use of your structure will have a big influence on the type of foundations you will require.

If you are buying a shed or a garden house from a company they should be able to let you know how heavy the structure is. If the shed or garden house is a bespoke design the engineer should let you know the weight.

Example of a floor plan with screw pile positions

The use of the structure of course will also influence the load. For example a shed with a few tools in it will not be comparable to a home gym with a weight rack and a running machine.

If using screw piles the lateral load, the load placed on the structure by the wind, may also be a factor to take into account.

Once all these factors have been taken into account. Move to step two.


Step 2 Learn what soil you are working with

If you have decided to use screw piles for your shed or garden house the type of soil will dictate the size and length of screw piles you will need.

Chalk for example, generally is stiffer than clay so a shorter pile may suffice.

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If the project is a DIY job for a shed, often we will suggest the client purchase a single screw pile and an install kit to test the ground before making a full order.

If it is a larger project we suggest a soil investigation.


Step 3 Speak to a pile company

UKHelix pride’s itself on it’s friendly and approachable customer service and in supplying the highest quality DIY screw piles on offer in the UK today.

An example of our patented Helix design. Only available from UKHelix in UK.

Once you have outlined you project to us we can inform you of the next best action to take, whether that be sending you a test pile or referring the project to our pile design consultant for a larger project. Our goal is to help you get your project done.

Form the clients perspective it is very reassuring that UKHelix has dozens of case studies of clients who have successfuly installed screw piles by themselves with excellent results.

We have the support to guide you through the process and are also here on the end of the phone or via email to inform you or our factories best practises.


Step 4 Install the piles

Once you have your screw piles it is time to install them.

Typically, it goes with out saying that you will have established that the site is clear of any service cables by checking building plans and by using a CAT scanner and a Genny.

Screw piles 101 All the basics you need to know

A screw pile installed by hand

With regards to the install that can happen one of three ways:

  1. By hand
  2. By a hand held machine
  3. Using and excavator with a driver head unit

Many DIY srew pile installs are executed by hand, particularly for smaller structures. The hand held machine is suitable for bigger piles and structures. The use of an excavator and driver head unit again is typically for bigger job or jobs with many piles.


Step 4 Build the base

A timber frame for a garden room supported by screw piles

For a shed or garden house it is typical to use a timber base. The type of timbers used will have been established in the planning phase. Alternatively,  Some garden house may use SIPS panels that sit directly on the piles.

Timbers can be attached to the piles using a wide variety of brackets supplied by UKHelix. We typically have a bracket to suit every occasion.


Step 5 Build the structure

Once the base is down, it’s time to put up the structure.

A finished garden room supported by screw piles

It is common, with the correct planning, that this can happen on the same day that the piles are installed, especially if the build team is familiar with pile installation.

Time will also have been saved if the piles have been used in place of concrete footings because there will be no need to wait for concrete to set, to wait for the right weather conditions or to remove excess top soil from the excavation.

Good luck with your project!

You can a free quote for UKHelix today contact us