From design ideas to dreams yet to be built, at HGSpaces we love nothing more than helping clients find the best solution for their outdoor space.
Although every garden room project is unique to the client and no two projects are the same, there is one question we are often asked: What are ground screw foundations?
To help provide some clarity on the subject, we thought we’d put together a blog that tells you everything you need to know about ground screws.
So, what are ground screws?
As you may have guessed, ground screw foundations are screwed into the ground and remove the need for you to dig and lay down concrete.
Ground screws are put in place using specialist equipment. Once they are in place, they can withstand heavy loads and supports such as joists, pipes, posts and beams.
But how do they work?
The ground screw works in the same way as a concrete block, however its manufacturing, installation and sustainability mean they are a much greener choice.
Made up of two main elements, ground screws feature a helical thread wound around a strong steel shaft. When it’s wound into the ground using lightweight but extremely powerful machines, the screw encounters resistance which ultimately determines how much of a load it can support. Once it’s secure, timber and joists are attached and the base of the structure starts to take shape.
Due to the method of installation, this means that no waste material is produced leaving the surrounding area largely unaffected and the soil undamaged.
Altogether, this means that screw foundations provide a sturdy and neat solution to projects.
So, are ground screws a good choice?
We certainly think that ground screws provide a worthy solution when it comes to building a custom space.
And we’re not alone.
As many construction firms have pointed out, there are 5 main advantages of using ground screws over traditional dig-and-fill methods.
1. They are a greener option
● They don’t produce any waste material due to the way they are installed, and the surrounding area remains largely unaffected, and the soil is not damaged.
● Unlike concrete foundations, ground screws are totally recyclable and are therefore a lot more sustainable. A simple case of unscrewing and moving on, you can rest assured that your project isn’t going to be damaging the planet. (Of course, no one goes into a project thinking about it eventually being taken down, but it’s never a bad thing to be considerate of the environment when building something new).
● They are a low carbon alternative to concrete – ground screws use fewer resources and cause less damage to the environment.
● Concrete is the 2nd highest consumed substance on earth and causes 10% of all carbon emissions globally – it’s a no brainer to making the switch to ground screws.
2. They speed things up
● Grounds screws can be installed 70% faster than normal concrete foundations.
● There is no need for digging, pouring and sealing. In fact, there’s almost no prep work involved before installing ground screws.
● This also means no waiting for concrete to dry – immediately after the screws are installed, the base frame can be attached.
● Weather doesn’t impact installation – the rain will not delay the ground screws going in, and you can rest assured your project will be well underway whatever the weather.
3. They remove headaches
● Ground screws help to eliminate the stress that comes with planning construction projects. For example, If you’ve got electricity cables running beneath your chosen spot, you can still go ahead when using ground screws.
● Similarly, if the ground you’re planning to build on is at all awkward, you can count on this type of foundation to be the solution to your problems.
● It doesn’t matter if your property has poor access, ground screws are easy to transport unlike concrete mixers.
4. They eliminate the need for unsightly excavations.
● No matter how much you enjoy construction, there’s no getting around the fact that excavations are timely and can be something of an eyesore.
● Completely unavoidable when working with concrete foundations, extensive excavations and the movement of soil is naturally quite a messy job and leads to lengthy clean-ups.
5. They make soil sealing a non-issue
● When working with concrete foundations, it’s crucial to remember that the ecosystem will be disturbed and there’s a good chance that rainwater will trickle in and, over time, compromise the integrity of the structure.
In addition to these advantages, ground screw foundations also last a very long time. They have a guarantee of 35 years with an overall life expectancy of over 75 years. This really is quite the boast when it comes to construction materials.
And last but not least, ground screws are much more cost effective than the concrete needed for traditional foundations.