Steel Piers vs. Concrete Pylons for Foundation Repair

Both steel piers and concrete pylons are common methods for foundation repair, but they have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

Strength and Durability:

  • Steel Piers: Much stronger than concrete, withstanding over 50,000 PSI of pressure. Highly resistant to cracks and corrosion. Offers a permanent solution in most cases.
  • Concrete Pylons: Less strong than steel, typically able to handle around 3,000-4,000 PSI. More susceptible to cracking due to soil movement and environmental work factors. May require future repairs.


  • Steel Piers: Can be driven deeper, reaching stable load-bearing soil (up to 75 feet). Ideal for uneven soil conditions or heavy structures.
  • Concrete Pylons: Less versatile in depth, usually reaching 10-15 feet. Suitable for shallower foundations or lighter structures.


  • Steel Piers: Faster and cleaner installation with minimal disruption. Requires specialized equipment and expertise, potentially increasing cost.
  • Concrete Pylons: Installation can be messy and disruptive, taking longer due to curing time. Lower installation cost generally.


  • Steel Piers: More expensive than concrete pylons due to material and installation complexity.
  • Concrete Pylons: More affordable option, but long-term cost may be higher if future repairs are needed.

Other factors:

  • Soil conditions: The type of soil plays a crucial role. Steel piers are better for unstable or deep foundations, while concrete pylons may suffice for shallow, stable soil.
    Structure weight: Heavy structures require stronger support, making steel piers the preferred choice.
    Accessibility: If access is limited, concrete pylons might be easier to install due to less equipment needed.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific situation. Consulting a qualified foundation repair professional is crucial to assess your needs and recommend the most suitable option based on factors like budget, soil conditions, and structure type.

Additional notes:

  • Pressed concrete pilings are sometimes mistaken for concrete pylons. These offer deeper reach and higher strength than standard concrete pylons but remain less robust than steel piers.
  • Steel micropiers are another option for specific situations, offering a narrower profile and potential for minimal disruption.