What is a Screw pile?

A screw pile is steel tube with a helical head that screws into the ground and is used as a method of foundation in a wide range of constructions situations. DIY screw piles are suitable for making quick, easy and strong bases for sheds, garden houses, log cabins, garages, fences, decks. Larger machine installed screw piles are suitable for bigger structures like residential and commercial buildings.

A screw piles can offer a range of advantages over traditional concrete footings for example:

  • Speed of install
  • Install in limited access areas
  • Reduced man hour costs
  • No waste removal
  • Install in any weather condition
  • Ability to build on structure same day as install

UK Helix is one fo the few UK based companies that offer smaller piles which are ideal for the DIY user, however we serve the commercial industry and our clients have had success on a wide range of structures like garden houses, sheds, decking, fencing, noise reduction barriers, ground solar installs, noise reduction barriers and more… see our gallery here

What if you hit a hard rock with a DIY screw pile?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked at UKHelix and we love answering it because there are a range of options.

Before you start putting any screw piles in the ground, the first thing to consider is what type of ground are you going to use the screw pile in? Clay, Chalk or Peat for example?

Doing a soil survey is what we would recommend and is the first step to determining whether you are likely to hit rocks when using the screw pile and lets you know “what’s under the ground”. This investigation will let you know from the start whether screw piles are a viable option.

If you do hit a rock when using a screw pile there are still a good range of tactics you can employ.

  1. If you encounter a rock within the first 12 inches of drilling you can simply dig out the rock
  2.  If you hit an obstruction whilst having already achieved “sufficient depth” to ensure the required load capacity of your structure, you could simply cut the top of the pile using an angle grinder and re-drill the bracket hole.
  3.  If you hit an obstruction while having not achieved a sufficient depth, you can extract the pile and and re screw it further down the foundation line.

Again, the first step to determining whether screw piles are a good solution for you is do a soil survey, even then if you do hit something hard there are a range of options at your disposal to ensure the screw pile installation is successful.

Contact us today if you have any questions or need help with your foundations.

How do you build on a screw pile?

There are many ways to build on screw piles, from fixing wooden frames to brackets on top of the pile, to fixing a steel cage and filling the cage with concrete. See 3 easy steps to install Helix screw piles

At UKhelix we offer a range of smaller screw piles and provide a large selection of brackets that allow you to fix any number of structures to the pile heads, from fence posts to decking from sheds to garden offices.

Typically though, once the DIY screw piles are installed a wooden frame is attached to the piles using brackets for example an “L” or “U” shaped bracket.


Once the frame is in place you can start work on the structure immediately. This means that “potentially” you could have the screw piles installed in a morning and be building on the foundations within one day for a structure like a garden house, shed or log cabin.

Contact us now for a quote on your project.