Building in wet area

by Greg
(Wixom, MI)

I have a customer requesting a walkway from his house to the lake he lives on.

It is a very low and wet area and I am concerned about longevity of the work and would like to present him a proposal with options based on different costs and designs.

The distance between the house and lake is roughly 100 ft. I am familiar with deck work but have never built one in an area like this,(peat bottom).

Would like to explore some options.




Editor's Comments

First thing I would do to be safe is talk to a geo-technical engineer who knows the soils and does work in your local area. He probably will already know that area and may not charge you a penny.

That may be all you need to know to decide on what options you can even consider when you begin to enter discussions with your client.

Otherwise you are walking in the dark and you could create some huge problems for you and your client if you build something that can't perform in that environment.

Engineered Helical Piers?

From my experience, if I were being asked to build this for a customer the first thing I would consider as being a possible solution is helical piers.

This would be an engineered solution and I am pretty sure this could be built rather simply. But not cheap. You see the beauty of helical piers is the just keep driving them deep into the soil and adding extensions to them until they hit bedrock.

At that point there is no worries. Or they reach a point where they are happy with the torque rating measured as they drive them into the ground.

The torque rating and the size of the helix can all be used with some mathematics which the engineers will state is capable of supporting a certain weight.

And they can take it to a point that is way below the frost so it will never heave. Also they can get that torque to a rating that may be a certain multiple above the intended design load of your deck.

But given this is just a walkway one would have to wonder

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