What is Shoring?

Feb 06, 2018

What is shoring and how does it affect the way in which homes are constructed? The short answer is that shoring is the architectural process of supporting a structure, usually a home, with shores or other props to prevent the structure from collapsing.

Why is Shoring Important? 

Laying down shores for homes in hilly terrain – think San Francisco or large swathes of the Northwest United States – is essential to making steep or hemmed-in sites habitable for homeowners and local businesses.

Actually, shoring has become an increasingly popular option over the years as developers are keen on building in previously untapped urban areas.

Soldier Pile Shoring 

In short, homes built on hilly terrain rely on shoring to remain safe and habitable. The shoring process that developers in urban areas frequently use is called soldier pile shoring. This is a type of vertical shoring that utilizes durable steel flanges enveloped in concrete to do most of the heavy lifting.

Piles and Lagging 

Every flange is placed approximately eight feet apart or even closer on tight lots. Architects and developers call these flanges “piles” when they’re arranged in a shoring configuration.

Now that we’ve talked about the vertical process of “piles,” we can move onto the horizontal concept of “lagging.” In the context of shoring, lagging refers to the wood boards that move horizontal and tamp down the surrounding area so that the overarching shoring structure doesn’t suffer too much stress and collapse.

The horizontal lagging structure has the appearance and many of the internal features of a retaining wall.

Concrete Retaining Wall vs. Shoring Wall 

In fact, some forms of shoring actually involve retaining walls as well as the use of trenches, hydraulics and steel reinforcing bars.

With respect to shoring, concrete retaining walls are sometimes used but they have some serious drawbacks vis-à-vis using a shoring wall. A concrete retaining wall requires excavating a sharp angle on both sides of the wall, which may be difficult in already tight spaces.

A shoring wall, contrastingly, requires a few inches on either side and remains the easier option to work with.

Shoring’s Relevance for Homeowners 

So, why should homeowners and local businesses be concerned with shoring? Shoring can help to protect the integrity of your home or place of business by providing vertical and horizontal structural supports.


The process of shoring can also be done cheaply and efficiently by contractors – it normally takes one workday for delivery and setup at which point five piles and/or five lagging structures can be installed each day.

Other Considerations 

What are some issues that homeowners need to be concerned about when it comes to shoring?

Even considering the advantages of a shoring wall over a concrete retaining wall, it’s important for homeowners to know the exact locations of surrounding structures and their own property lines.

Neighbors should also be keep abreast of the shoring that’s underway to ensure that their home or business place isn’t compromised in any way.

Contact the Professionals at ESOG 

If you’re considering shoring for your home or business, contact the professional engineers and experienced contractors at Engineered Solutions of Georgia (ESOG) today for a quote and consultation.