Common Foundation Piering Terms Homeowners Need to Know

foundation piering kansas city

If you are new to the world of foundation piering, you are not alone. It can be stressful enough to have major work done on your foundation, never mind trying to understand what your contractor is talking about.

These are not terms we use or hear every day so they may sound a bit strange. However, they refer to the task at hand, the tools, or the piece being repaired. Here are a few you can expect to hear.

Common Foundation Piering Terms

Most of us don’t need to have our foundation repaired, so it can be a bit overwhelming. The two most common ways of repairing a foundation are slabjacking and piering.


Piering is a method of repairing your foundation that uses metal or concrete posts to bolster a failing foundation. Piering can be an excellent option for foundation repair, especially for homes built on expansive soils.

Concrete Pier

Concrete piers are made of concrete and they may be made right on-site at your home or your contractor may bring them. They are long cylinders that are used to support your foundation.

Helical Piers

These are the same sort of pier as concrete piers but are made of steel and resemble a large screw. These are used to support a sinking foundation. The piers are driven into the ground to support the foundation before it is lifted and then rested on the pier.

These may also be referred to as:

  • push pier
  • resistance piers
  • resistance piles
  • push piles
  • steel piers
  • steel push piers
  • steel push piles

They are driven into the ground until they are anchored on stable footing, then the foundation is lifted hydraulically. They support the foundation.


Not unlike a car jack, jacking or slabjacking refers to a tool that can lift up a slab of the concrete foundation, and then piers are inserted underneath the foundation.

Screw Jacks

This is another foundation piecing term. Screw jacks are two steel tubes, one inside of the other. The inside tube is threaded like a screw and can be adjusted using a wing nut.

This changes the height of the screw jack, allowing it to support and lift the foundation that has settled.


This is the foundation repair term used to refer to the steel or concrete piers being installed under your foundation. They are secured in place with brackets once they are in place.

Pier and Beam

This term refers to foundation construction usually used in residential buildings. Pier and beam homes are raised off of the ground and have a crawl space under them.

The crawlspace is usually at least 18″ high, as that allows access underneath the house where utilities are located. These kinds of homes usually contain wooden floors.

Slab Foundation

A slab foundation refers to poured concrete walls and floors and is reinforced with steel rebar.

Load Path

The load path is the direction in which the weight is passed through connected sections of the foundation. It starts at the top of the home and is passed through to the footing system, finally passing the total weight of the home to the structure of the foundation.

Foundation Piering

Are you looking for foundation repair or information? Contact us here at KC Pier for any foundation concerns you may have. Foundation repair is a big job so you want to find a company you can trust.

At KC Pier, we have effective, warrantied solutions for foundation problems of all types, and we have the training, techniques, and top-quality products you need to permanently solve your problem.

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