What are Caissons and Grade Beams?

California Foundation Works provides caissons and grade beams to residential and commercial properties in Los Angeles, CA.

Caissons and grade beams are most frequently used for hillside home stabilization, or to support retaining walls.

They are often the perfect way to protect your property when other foundation systems are inadequate.

Caissons and Grade Beams are foundation supports systems constructed by placing fresh concrete and reinforced steel (rebar) into a deep, drilled shaft hole.
These reinforced concrete piles are cast in holes drilled through soil and rock layers down to the desired bedrock.

This permanent substructure permits excavation to proceed inside while being sunk into position and also provides protection for the workers against water pressure and the collapse of soil.

The term caisson refers to a wide range of foundation structures. Caissons may be open, pneumatic, or floating type; deep or shallow; large or small; and of circular, square, or rectangular cross-section. Caisson walls may consist of timber, steel shells, or concrete.

Large caissons are used in foundations for structures, such as bridge piers, and deep-water wharves. Small caissons are used singly or in groups to carry such loads as building columns. Caissons are used where they provide the most feasible method of passing obstructions, where soil cannot otherwise be kept out of the bottom.

Grade Beams

A grade beam footing is continuous reinforced-concrete support designed to maintain loads with minimal bending. Grade beams are capable of spanning across non-load bearing areas and are commonly supported by soil or pilings.

A continuous grade beam is commonly constructed by digging a trench at least 8″ wide. Grade beam footings distribute loads differently from continuous spread footings. The depth of a grade beam footing is designed to distribute loads to bearing points, whereas the width of a continuous spread footing is designed to transfer loads to the ground.



grade beams foundation

Grade Beams


Caissons Installation

Why Do I Need Caisson Foundation Repair?

Building and safety requirements mandate Caissons and Grade Beams as part of new construction, addition, or in any instance it is recommended by structural or soil engineers.

Caissons and Grade Beams are capable of supporting high, concentrated loads and are typically used to set piers for bridges, underpasses, structural supports, as well as in slide prevention applications in residential homes.

Caissons are viewed as a reliable, versatile, and economical foundation support solution in Los Angeles, CA.


caissoning work is the process of drilling 24”+ round holes in the ground down to the bedrock layer and is especially important for houses located on hills or unstable soils in order to prevent the house from sinking.Whether you require Caissons and Grade Beams due to problematic soil conditions, or you own a hillside property, California Foundation Works can help.

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.


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