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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got my first set of plans for a house with a piling foundation, The detail on the plans shows notched 12" pilings for my beam connections.

The first thing that comes to my mind is my chainsaw, how are you guys making your notches?

Thankyou,
Paul
 

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KemoSabe
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Definitely chainsaw the seat. Some guys split the notch with a wedge, but if you get a good fireman's chain, you can make pretty quick work of the rip.

I like to shoot a piece of 1x below the seat and level it for a bar guide to get the seat accurate. A string pulled across the tops and plumbed down with a lumber keel will give you a guide to get a nice straight stringer.

Depending on how much is out of the ground, sometimes you can push unruly poles straight until you get it decked if you have a really bad one that the stringer won't sit on properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so you can get these things to move around a little?

thats another thing I figured would be a pain is getting decent parallels and squaring

any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
do they set the pilings with a pile driver or do they dig and pour around them usually? I would just think the pilings are all over the place if they are driven with a pile driver
 

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KemoSabe
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so you can get these things to move around a little?

thats another thing I figured would be a pain is getting decent parallels and squaring

any tips?
We always got the surveyor to give us benchmarks on the sidewalks and alleys to locate property lines and setback references, then used a builders level to set up batter boards to locate piling markers. We always staked our own jobs. Once the poles were set, elevations were marked and the poles topped. We always had very specific heights defined for flood elevations and changes in platform heights.

After topping the poles, batter boards got double checked in case they got knocked around. This is when you want to string the tops for straightness. It's rare to get a stringer parallel to the building line, but you can generally get them straight with some fudging.

If you have changes in floor elevations, be wary of pilings with double notches to catch stringers for both floor heights.

We've done spread 3x12s and sandwiched 3x12s. Spread requires notches on both sides of the poles and need to be capped with a 2x for draft stopping. I prefer this method because it looks cleaner when bolted. Code enforcement may or may not frown on this method due to burn rating. If there's parking underneath, they need a specified burn time.
 

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KemoSabe
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Piles used to be washed in with a water jet to get them started, then driven by dropping a specified weight from a specified distance to a minimum blow count.

This method fell out of preference due to the amount of water consumed and the resulting mess.
Now, they typically pound them to refusal with a giant palm nailer.lol

A good driver can get them really straight.
 
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Get the girders close. You can fine tune the joist to meet your set backs. Listen to Lone. He sounds like he's done this a few times.
 

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festerized said:
Just finished this frame a few weeks ago, I would highly recommend having the pile company cut, notch & install banding. I’ll dig up some pics on how we cut & notch the piles
Did that eat much more of labor then you thought . What's the flood height you built .
 

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David Festa
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Did that eat much more of labor then you thought . What's the flood height you built .
What labor? I didn’t do the batter boards and banding on this project so no labor was lost, could I have done the banding to make a few extra bucks? Sure I could have but it’s not worth my time, there’s a process that must be followed, after banding the property must be resurveyed to check the set Backs and heights, all which take time. Not sure what the flood elevation is on this house nor do I care, if your raising 7’ to comply with the flood elevation is makes more sense to raise it another 2’ so you can utilize the space
 

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David Festa
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That depends on the surveyor and pile company. If the HO follows/uses my recommendations then yes the pile are straight. The pile company I use is spot on and because of the tight floor plan layout and blow out wall design the banding needs to be perfect. Most houses with straight stairs are set up in the middle of the house that run parallel to banding board, if the stair banding is not square and parallel you have a problem, once the surveyor has checked your banding its not possible to shift the house so the stairs will work.
 

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David Festa
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Dan I didn't realize you are a helical contractor so now I understand your question. Here’s a good example of a pilling project gone bad. Ho hired the worst architect I have ever seen, a fly by night bulk header who has no experience with house piles, a survivor who must have been drunk, and a GC who was in over his head, combined together resulted in a house that was 2” out of level 12” out of square, it was so bad that the house raising company couldn't lower the house onto the banding. The picture shown is how the house looked when I got the call for the framing. My first question was who’s bright idea was it to lift the house before the garage floor was built?
 

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Our shore towns are 99% driven pile. We have never dealt with them, and I really only notice the bad ones. Those pictures were of a project next to one of our remodels. They had to change a little of the framing to make up for the back piles. It just seems like so much can be so off, glad your having luck.
 

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festerized said:
Just finished this frame a few weeks ago, I would highly recommend having the pile company cut, notch & install banding. I’ll dig up some pics on how we cut & notch the piles
You must be pretty local to me. I've seen some REAL bad pile jobs too along with some real nice ones. I agree that it's easier to have the pile company do them so they are on the hook to make it right.
 
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