Replace Concrete (and the work)

Diamond Piers

Diamond Pier 50/50 (50 lb. block with 4 – 50″ galvanized steel pins), bearing capacity 3,300-4,400 lb., for most deck frame applications
$163.02 /ea.

Diamond Pier 75/63 (75 lb. block with 4 – 63″ galvanized steel pins)
, bearing capacity 4,200-6,400 lb., for roofs and larger structures

In stock at The Deck Superstore!

If our motto is “MORE ENJOYABLE deck projects”

…Then it’s high time we address one of the LEAST ENJOYABLE parts of a deck project: concrete piers. Digging 3 feet deep – what are you supposed to do with all the dirt anyways? Scheduling a separate inspection for the holes; carrying 60 lb or 80 lb. bags, or scheduling a mixer truck and using wheel barrels… And it’s only going to get worse, as the 2018 ICC includes stricter footing tables, sometimes requiring diameters of 18-20″.

It makes intuitive sense – a heavy cylinder is maybe not the most effective or efficient shape for bearing or uplift loads. If you’ve ever pulled weeds in a garden, or appreciated the beauty and strength of a tree, you have noticed the extremely effective design of roots, as they go into the earth at an angle.

“Where has Diamond Pier been all my life?”

– Each DP 50/50 has a bearing capacity of 3,300 lb. (up to 4,400 lb. depending on soil), uplift capacity of 1,200 lb., and lateral capacity of 600 lb., as shown in this load chart.
– These load capacities give each DP 50/50 the equivalent base area of 2.2 sq. ft., structurally the same as a 20″ diameter concrete pier.
– DP 50/50 is good for a frost zone depth of 48″. Most of the Metro Area requires 36″.
– In some projects, Diamond Piers could save days of work. Each pier takes less than 30 minutes to install – no digging 3 feet deep, hauling away that dirt, or waiting for concrete to dry.
– There is a bolt already cast into the high-strength concrete, ready for a post-base.
– No need for a separate holes inspection – start framing on them immediately. Caps on the steel pins can be removed so that the inspector can measure the pins for length and code compliance.
– Cost of $120/ea. We have 35 lb. jackhammers available for rent, along with the specialty pin driver bit, and we rent and sell the driver bits separately as well. 

What about code acceptance?

Diamond Piers have an official Evaluation Report from ICC Evaluation Services. This ESR alone will earn the Diamond Piers acceptance by building departments on your plans most of the time. And for planning officials who need a little more reassurance, the helpful folks from Diamond Pier are willing and able to speak with the building department on your behalf. But it probably goes without saying, but please get these approved on the plans, instead of surprising the site inspector.

Not the right fit for every project

Diamond Piers have a wider bearing area, which means your “call to dig” area is about 3 feet from the center of each pier location, and obviously these can’t be installed too close to walls. There are ways to maneuver around stones and obstructions in the soil, a topic discussed on their website, here. But if the soil is too stony, it might not be the best fit. That said, Diamond Piers should work for many deck frame applications.

Did you know?

One more thing, Diamond Piers can be removed, about as easily as they can be installed!