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A Beginners Guide To Piling: What Is It & Who Needs It?

Piling is an integral part of many construction and development projects. Our blog dives into what piling is and what its applications are! To find out more, keep on reading.

What Is Piling?

Essentially, piling is a construction technique used to secure the foundations of a building. The foundations of particular buildings or soil being built on can be weak and unable to bear the weight of a building, meaning more structural support needs to be added. From regular construction sites to underwater marine structures, piling can be useful for a range of applications.

Types Of Piling

Some of the common types of piling you should be aware of are:

  • End Bearing Pile – Rely on support from below, protecting weaker layers of soil and supporting weight on top.
  • Friction Pile – The length of the piles is directly related to the amount of weight these piles can support.
  • Bored Piles – Driven into the ground and then filled with concrete afterwards, used for large scale applications.
  • CFA Piles – Continuous flight auger piles are similar to bored piles but are much smaller and designed for lighter loads.
  • Sheet Piles – Common in marine scenarios and provides lateral support.
  • Steel & Timber Piles – Having been around for centuries, they are used on both temporary and permanent structures.

What Kind Of Sites Require Piling Construction?

Piling can be used for a range of different sites, buildings and applications. The primary purpose of piling construction is to increase the strength and safety of the ground before anything is developed or built. A few examples of situations that would require pile foundations are:

  • A heavy structure needs additional support underneath
  • Other foundation types cannot support the weight of a certain structure, or they are too expensive
  • If the soil on a particular site is compressible at a shallow depth pile foundations may be required
  • If a structure is near a river bed or seashore, it will likely require additional support
  • Deep drainage systems near the structure or canals
  • Poor soil condition
  • Foundations of a structure seem impossible to keep dry with other foundation methods

How Are Piles Driven Into The Ground?

Many piling rigs are specialised for different applications, and each type of pile infrastructure is used differently. Driven piles are hammered, vibrated or jacked into the ground. Hydraulic drivers and rams are commonly used for sheet piles, allowing the pile to slide seamlessly into the ground. Bored piles use a continuous auger, which is similar to a large drill bit, for larger operations.

Below Ground: Piling Contractors You Can Rely On

If you’re looking for commercial piling and foundation contractors, look no further. Here at Below Ground, we offer a comprehensive range of piling services for homeowners and commercial sites.

To find out more about our services or what we do, feel free to contact us today!

The Role of Concrete Foundations in Building Stability

The importance of building stability should never be underestimated during the planning stages of any construction project. Every single structure, from warehouses to 20-storey tower blocks, must be built on a strong foundation to give it the best possible head start. After all, the foundation is a building’s bedrock, and should provide it with enough stability to last for many years without succumbing to soil movement or moisture fluctuations. Here are just a few reasons why building stability is so crucial in construction.

Why Stability Matters

In both residential and commercial construction, concrete foundations have the power to determine exactly how long a structure will last. Buildings with a poorly placed foundation, or no foundation at all, are often subject to subsidence because its load is simply not suitably supported.

Construction methods like piling and underpinning redistribute the weight of a building to the stronger, more robust soil located deep beneath the earth. This means that the softer soil on the surface can be impacted by moisture changes, without also affecting the stability of the building.

Types of Stability

Concrete is widely used as a foundation material because of its versatility. To create a foundation, concrete is poured into a wooden frame that forms the slab-like shape of the foundation. Once the concrete is formed, the wooden frame is removed.

The type and mix of concrete will differ depending on the project, but the chosen mix will generally be determined by the foundation’s strength requirements, as well as budget.

Not all foundations are made of concrete, however, and their construction might vary. The type of foundation used will depend on the building’s purpose, as well as its location.

Shallow vs. Deep Foundations

Generally speaking, foundations can be sorted into two distinct types – shallow and deep – each of which has a number of subcategories.

Shallow Foundations

The depth of shallow foundations ranges from 1-3 metres meaning that they don’t distribute loads massively far into the earth. As a result, they are less expensive than deep foundations since they necessitate less labour and resources to install.

Deep Foundations

Deep foundations, as their name implies, are excavated much deeper below the surface to reach the subsoil that underlies the weaker topsoil. They are commonly chosen when constructing a tall structure, or when the terrain being built upon is unstable.

Take the First Step Towards Building Stability

Want to build a stable foundation for your construction project in Bristol? At Below Ground, our experienced team is dedicated to delivering top-notch solutions for all your concrete foundation needs. Contact us today for more information about our services.

The Cost of Concrete: How Much is Piling in 2024?

As we head into 2024, the construction industry is experiencing shifts in pricing dynamics, particularly and piling and underpinning services are no exception. Piling contractors play a key role in laying the foundation, literally, for any construction project. But how much does this kind of service cost? In this blog, we take a look at the factors influencing the price of piling in 2024 to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Market Trends in Piling Companies

The demand for reliable piling contractors is on the rise, driven by a surge in construction projects globally. This increased demand, however, has led to a more competitive landscape among piling companies. As the competition intensifies, contractors are grappling with finding the delicate balance between offering competitive pricing and maintaining service quality.

Concrete Foundation Price Dynamics

One of the biggest cost factors in pile design services is the concrete foundation. The price of concrete can be subject to rapid fluctuations, influenced by factors such as raw material costs, transportation and general market demand. Because of this, piling contractors need to closely monitor these elements to provide accurate and competitive pricing to their clients.

Technological Advancements in Pile Design

In 2024, the incorporation of advanced technologies in piling processes has become a game-changer. While these innovations enhance efficiency and precision of piling projects, they may also contribute to hiking up initial costs. Piling companies need to strike a balance between embracing cutting-edge technologies and ensuring cost-effectiveness for their clients.

Choose Below Ground for Competitively Priced Pile Design Services

Navigating the cost intricacies of piling requires you to have a reliable company by your side. At Below Ground, we have a firm industry of the state of the construction industry and strive to provide competitive yet transparent pricing for our clients. Our commitment to service excellence, combined with our customer-centric approach, sets us apart from other piling contractors in Bristol and beyond. Get in touch for more information about our services.

Understanding Sheet Piling: What Is It & How Is It Used?

Modern construction methods are designed to harness the usefulness of different sites without compromising on safety and stability. Foundations, retaining walls and support beams all contribute to a sturdy structure, even when ground conditions are otherwise difficult.

Sheet piles are one such invention, where they can be installed as a way of making buildings and soil reserves structurally sound. These are typically made of concrete sheets with interlocking edges that come together to form a sturdy barrier or wall. This clever design means that sheet piles can be used for the creation of retaining walls or as a way of holding back flood water.

Read on for an insight into some of the most common ways that sheet piling can be used in the construction industry.


Sheet pile foundations may be used on sites that are particularly waterlogged or where the soil reserves are very unstable. They can provide a sturdy barrier to help prevent shifting ground conditions, where they may be used in conjunction with other foundation types. Sheet piling is also useful for basement construction in order to create steadfast retaining walls.

Marine Projects

Sheet piling is commonly used in the marine industry, where these sturdy retaining walls can be installed to protect against coastal erosion. They may be fitted as part of the creation of docks, piers and harbours, as well as to support bulkheads and berthing structures in busy shipping ports.


Bridges are another key architectural feature that are often built with the help of sheet piling. These sheets can come together to help secure arch supports, or to form retaining walls. This kind of structure is particularly useful if a bridge stretches across an area of unstable ground.

Flood Defences

Sheet piling is also a popular choice when it comes to flood defences. The interlocking sheets can form effective flood barriers for low lying areas, as well as steel sea walls for coastal locations that are vulnerable to storm surges. These defences are designed to endure over time, making for a cost effective investment.

Below Ground: Professional Sheet Piling Contractors

At Below Ground, we can design and implement premium sheet pile installations, whether you require a sturdy retaining wall or reliable flood defences. Beyond this, we can also install ground beams, screw piles and underpinning, all according to the needs of your site. Simply get in touch with us today to find out more about our piling construction services.

How To Prepare Your Site For A Piling Installation

Pile foundations are a great way of securing your build, even if you’re dealing with unstable soil conditions. These concrete pillars penetrate deep into the soil, helping to spread the weight of the structure throughout the ground. This makes for a much sturdier base compared to traditional shallow foundations.

If your construction project is awaiting a pile foundation installation, then it is important to be prepared. You should ensure that all the relevant paperwork is in place, as well as various organisational and safety factors.

Read on for our advice on how to prep your site for the delivery and installation of concrete piling.

Permits & Permissions

When embarking on a big foundation project, it is important to have the right paperwork in place. Make sure that you consider planning permission, local permits and noise pollution assessments well ahead of time.

Site Clearance

It is essential that your construction site is properly prepared in order to anticipate and prevent delays. Clearing away debris, excess vegetation or old foundations can help to ensure that your pile foundations can go straight into the ground upon arrival.


It goes without saying that concrete piles are very large and heavy. As such, you need to make sure that you have an appropriate access plan in place to facilitate their safe delivery onto your site.

Environmental Issues

When building on unstable ground, it is essential that you consider your environmental impact carefully. Prepare for erosion risks and potential runoff by installing protective measures across your site.

Below Ground: Commercial Foundation Services For Your Project

At Below Ground, we work hard to ensure that your piling installation goes smoothly, where our planning and engineering teams are always on hand to assist you. In addition to installations, we also offer pile foundation design, where we understand the intricacies of site stability and erosion control from the ground up. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our piling construction services.

Digging Deep: Piling Foundations Found In Construction Work

If you are looking to reinforce the foundations of a structure, learning more about piling foundations can help you find the right solution. Our guide to piling foundations and where they are used is sure to help you find the information you are looking for. To find out more, keep on reading!

What Is Piling Construction?

Piling is the process of drilling foundations through the ground in order to provide structural integrity to weak soil underneath. Piling is the process of preparing the ground to withstand heavy loads such as houses, complexes and other heavy structures.

The piles used to enforce this strength are usually long poles made from timber, steel or concrete. The size, shape and circumference may depend on how weak the soil is and how large the structure is going to be.

When Is Piling Used?

There are a range of factors to consider before using a piling foundation in construction. These are a few of the situations where piling foundations would be considered:

  • Heavy structures need additional support
  • Other foundation methods are too expensive
  • Soil underneath is shallow and unstable
  • If a structure is being built near a riverbed or seashore
  • Deep drainage systems run near a structure
  • Poor soil conditions

Common Pile Foundations

These are some of the most commonly found pile foundations in construction work.

Driven Pile Foundations

Concrete, steel and timber materials are most often used to make piles for the driven pile method. This method involves precast pile being driven directly into soil to help it become more solid. The piles displace some of the soil, helping it to become more compact and in turn increasing its density.

This method is not suitable for silty, saturated soils that have bad drainage capacity. Watery conditions make it difficult to compact the soil and the process can have an opposite effect, decreasing its ability to support heavy structures.

Cast-in-situ Pile Foundations

This method uses concrete piles but rather than using precast piles, holes are drilled into the ground and supported with steel reinforcements. These holes are then filled with concrete, allowing piling contractors to tailor the foundations depending on the project’s needs.

Combined Pile Foundations

Combined pile foundations use a mixture of the two methods previously mentioned. They retain advantages from both methods and create an extremely strong foundation for a range of different projects.

Below Ground

If you’re looking for reliable piling contractors, our team of piling contractors at Below Ground is here to help. For more information about our services or how we can help you, feel free to contact us today!

5 Reasons You Should Hire A Domestic Foundation Contractor

When it comes to the foundation of your home or property, you want the job done right. Designing and constructing home foundations can include a range of options, such as piling, reinforcing ground beams or installing slabs. No matter what kind of home foundation you are after, hiring a contractor to guide you along the way can be a huge help. To find out more about how foundation contractors could help you, keep on reading!

What Can Foundation Contractors Do For Me?

Foundation contractors can offer a range of services that can help your project run smoothly and hassle free. To find out what else they can do, read on!

Expertise & Specialised Knowledge

Contractors will have years of useful experience and in-depth industry knowledge, which will allow them to complete projects effectively and to a high standard. When it comes to the foundation of your home, you want a proper and thorough job to be done, and a contractor can do just that.

Access To Equipment

Trying to tackle a project like this can be a challenge on your own, and contractors have access to all kinds of new, or specialised equipment which allows them to do their job effectively. It means they can use the latest techniques and precise construction methods to install your domestic foundations.

Problem Solving

Due to their in-depth knowledge and experience, contractors may be able to spot potential problems or issues, which may be things you could have overlooked. They may have seen issues like this before, and can use their expertise to find the best solution or way around the problem.

Quality Service

Contractors have to follow certain regulations and ensure that your construction project meets certain standards, especially for domestic properties. This means that you can rest assured that you are getting a safe installation and a quality service.

Peace Of Mind

Having peace of mind that such an important part of your property has been installed at the highest standard, and in the best way possible is sure to give you peace of mind as a homeowner. This is another great advantage of hiring a contractor, as you don’t need to worry after the job is complete and you can rest assured that the foundations have been installed safely.


Below Ground

If you’re looking for a foundation contractor who can offer you all of this and more, visit our website to read about our domestic foundation services here at Below Ground. We offer a range of commercial and domestic foundation solutions across Bristol, London and Exeter.

To find out more about what we do or how we can help you, contact us today to speak directly to our team.

Is Piling Expensive? The True Cost of Piling in 2023

When it comes to constructing a building that will stand the test of time, a solid foundation is paramount. Piling contractors play a crucial role in creating stable building foundations through a process known as piling. However, the question often arises: Is piling expensive? Let’s delve into the true cost of piling in 2023 and explore why it’s a worthy investment for your building project.

Understanding Foundation Construction

Before we dive into the cost aspect, let’s briefly understand the importance of a strong foundation. The foundation of a building provides the structural support necessary to distribute the building’s weight evenly, preventing settling, shifting or collapsing over time. This is where piling comes into play.

The Role of Piling Contractors

Piling involves driving steel, concrete or timber piles into the ground to create a stable foundation for various structures. Piling contractors are specialists who have the expertise and equipment to execute this complex process efficiently. They assess the soil composition, load-bearing capacity, and other factors to determine the most suitable piling technique for your project.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Piling

Soil Conditions

The type of soil on your construction site plays a significant role in determining the cost. Challenging soil conditions may require specialised piling methods, impacting the overall expense.

Depth of Piles

The depth to which piles need to be driven depends on the building’s load and soil characteristics. Deeper piles can increase costs due to additional materials and labour.

Pile Material

The material you choose for the piles, such as steel or concrete, can affect the cost. Each material has its advantages and price points.

Site Accessibility

If the site is difficult to access, it may require special equipment or more time to set up, potentially adding to the cost.

Investing Wisely in Your Project

So, is piling expensive? While it may require an initial investment, the long-term benefits in terms of structural integrity and reduced maintenance costs make it a wise choice for any construction project. And if you’re looking for reliable piling companies in Bristol, consider partnering with Below Ground. Our team of seasoned professionals brings years of experience and a deep understanding of local soil conditions to every project. We pride ourselves on delivering cost-effective and tailored solutions that guarantee the stability and durability of your building’s foundation. Your building’s stability is our priority, so get in touch today.

The Many Benefits of Hiring Professional Piling Contractors

When it comes to construction, the most important part is laying down the foundations. Without strong and steady foundations, buildings will not last for long. Piling is one of the most popular methods of building foundations – and it’s a job that needs to be done properly. Read on to discover the many benefits of hiring a professional piling contractor.

A clear overview of the site

A reliable contractor will provide a clear and cohesive report that reviews the state of the land and soil before the start of a construction project. They’ll be able to check the soil to see if it can hold moisture and also examine the stability of the existing foundation trenches. These early insights will help you avoid construction issues midway through the project, saving you invaluable time and money.

Selection of quality materials

Piling contractors are experts in the field and will be able to select the most appropriate materials for your project. They understand that high-quality materials ensure the structural longevity of foundations, and so you won’t have to worry about any potential building collapse in the coming years. You can rest assured that piling contractors will provide specialist advice and recommendations on the materials that will be used during the construction project – for example, these experts will know that metal pieces rather than timber should be used when building skyscrapers, while timber is an important part of the equation while building a cottage-style home.

Saves time

Inevitably, constructing a foundation is a very time-consuming job that requires a lot of resources. Piling contractors are on hand to make the process quicker – they are well equipped with the knowledge and resources to get the job done faster and more efficiently. Knowing all tasks are being carried out swiftly and smoothly, you’ll be able to focus on other tasks and activities.

Fulfil legal requirements

Hiring a piling contractor is beneficial to you legally, as the work carried out will be licensed and insured. The installations provided also have a guarantee and this safeguards your investment into the property.

Reduce risk

As with all manual projects, building foundations carries an element of risk. Legal regulations require you to mitigate and insure the people working for you against any possible risk in the construction project. However, this task is not required to be done by you when you are working with a professional contractor as in that case it becomes the job and duty of the contractor to take care of all its workers.

Customised services

When you turn to professional piling contractors, you can count on customised services and solutions to ensure optimal customer satisfaction. You’ll be getting services that have been precisely agreed upon by all parties, which will be delivered with utmost dedication and professionalism.

Belowground Ltd specialise in performing the highest-quality piling construction, underpinning and foundation services. Our vast range of expert foundation services includes the installation of screw piles, ground beams, concrete piles and tailored pile foundation design – get in touch to find out more about what we do.

How To Tell if Your Foundations Are In Need Of Repair

Your home should provide sanctuary from the turmoil of 21st century life, where this domestic refuge becomes a place to eat, sleep, enjoy leisure time and socialise with friends and family. As such, it can be distressing when your property falls into disrepair, which is why it’s important to understand the warning signs that something has gone awry.

It is easy to forget about your property’s foundations, where these important supportive structures are a major part of any building. Read on for a guide to key signs that your foundations are in need of repairs or reinforcements.

Sinking Ground

If the ground beneath and around your home appears to be sinking, then this can cause structural damage to your foundations, putting your property at risk. Also known as subsidence, this can be caused by the shrinking of the ground during dry spells, where this should be corrected to avoid serious damage to your home.

Exterior & Interior Wall Cracks

Large cracks in your exterior walls in the pattern of a zigzag could be a sign that your foundations need reinforcing. This can also be observed inside the house, where diagonal interior cracks, as well as ceiling cracks, could indicate a foundational issue.

Bouncing Floors

If your floorboards are beginning to sag or bounce, then this could mean your foundations are in need of repair or that structural beams have started to rot. For concrete floors and basement spaces, this can manifest in the form of cracking.

Below Ground: Providing Essential Home Foundation Repairs & Reinforcements

At Below Ground, we’re fully equipped to deal with a range of domestic foundation issues, where we can deliver high quality concrete foundation repair and underpinning services. In addition to this we also offer pile foundation design for both commercial and residential properties. Contact us directly today to find out more about how we can help.