Piling Costs

I am working with a potential client who asked, "What is the cost of installing pilings?" Do you have a feel for this? I know it is a function of the type of soil and the depth that the piles need to be driven to "set," but is there a rule of thumb?

Tom Bartus Surf City, N.C.

Due to the variability in pile types and site conditions, the best we can do is to point you to the FEMA 550 documents, which were reviewed in the last issue ("Strong, Safe Foundations," September/October 2006). The completed documents are now available online at www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1853. Appendix E, "Cost Estimating," provides a breakdown of installed foundation costs for timber pile, timber pile with concrete column and grade beam, and steel pipe pile with concrete column and grade beam, among others. A range of costs is provided for different elevations above grade (the higher you go, of course, the more expensive it gets). Costs presented are based on a 1,200-square-foot footprint for a single-story home at an assumed 130-mph wind speed, and reportedly include applicable taxes, overhead, profit, and other sub-tier contract costs.

Coastal Plans Source

I love your magazine! The content is perfect for such a large segment of a growing area of the construction industry. I've been designing and building homes on Long Beach Island, N.J., for 20 years and I appreciate having a trade journal that represents what I do.

I have a question with respect to your magazine: Would your readers be interested in "stock plan" sales for waterfront/waterview/coastal conditions? As an architect specializing in pile construction, small lot designs, and coastal vernacular, I've built up a library of hundreds of successful home designs that are specific to the readers of your magazine. I am actively seeking a distributor/vendor/partner in the sales or promotion of my plans.

Michael Pagnotta, AIA Ship Bottom, N.J.

Trade Knowledge

I wanted to express thanks for your Web site. I was pleased to find a resource that shares information so others can benefit from past experience and case studies that illustrate the thought process of other contractors.

I am a state licensed contractor on Cape Cod, and although there are plenty of people in the trades, they don't necessarily give much thought to what they do every day. Thank you for passing on your acquired knowledge and observations and enlightening those of us who can, and will, extend the courtesy to others.

Don Dvorovy South Chatham, Mass.