As a construction project manager, you understand the importance of properly supporting excavation sites and structures during construction. To stabilize the area and ensure worker safety, you employ shoring techniques. However, not all shoring is created equal. It’s critical to know the difference between temporary shoring vs permanent shoring to select the appropriate solution for your specific needs. Temporary shoring provides short-term support using components that can be installed and removed efficiently. It’s a flexible option used during initial excavation and construction until permanent structures are in place. Permanent shoring, on the other hand, utilizes durable components designed for long-term stability and strength. Permanent shoring systems become integrated into the final structure. The choice between temporary versus permanent shoring depends on factors like soil conditions, project duration, and cost. With an understanding of these key differences, you can make an informed decision about which shoring strategy is right for your project.

Defining Temporary and Permanent Shoring

Temporary shoring provides temporary support and stability for structures or slopes during construction or repair. It is meant to be removed once the permanent supports are in place. Examples of temporary shoring include timber shores, bracing, struts and sheet piles.

Permanent shoring, on the other hand, is designed to provide long-term support and stability. It is constructed from durable materials like steel, concrete and masonry and is embedded deeply and securely into the ground. Permanent shoring is used when temporary supports will not suffice or when long-term stability and support are required. See DSS Shoring Products .

Some key differences between temporary and permanent shoring:

  • Materials:
    Temporary shoring uses materials like wood, while permanent shoring uses steel, concrete, etc.
  • Installation method:
    Temporary shoring is easier to install and remove. Permanent shoring requires excavation, drilling, welding, etc.
  • Duration of support:
    Temporary shoring provides support for a limited time. Permanent shoring offers long-term stability.
  • Cost:
    Permanent shoring tends to be more expensive due to the materials and installation. Temporary shoring is often more economical.
  • Appearance:
    Permanent shoring has an engineered, robust appearance. Temporary shoring looks makeshift and impermanent.

In summary, the main distinction between these two types of shoring comes down to the duration and purpose of support. Temporary shoring offers short-term support during construction, while permanent shoring provides ongoing stability and reinforcement for the long run.

Key Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Shoring

As a contractor, it is important to understand the key differences between temporary shoring and permanent shoring in order to utilize the proper method for various construction projects.


Temporary shoring is designed to provide temporary support and is removed once permanent structures are in place. It is often installed quickly using basic materials like wood or metal to shore up unstable soil or structures during excavation or construction. Permanent shoring, on the other hand, is built to last and provide long-term stability and support. It requires more robust, durable materials like concrete, steel, or stone and a more intensive installation process.


The purpose of temporary shoring is short-term support, while permanent shoring is implemented for ongoing, long-term stability. Temporary shoring is used when digging trenches, during the early stages of constructing foundations, or when stabilizing structures that have become unstable. Once the temporary support is no longer needed and permanent structures are in place, the temporary shoring is removed. Permanent shoring is designed and installed to permanently support structures like bridge abutments, retaining walls, and building foundations.


Temporary shoring utilizes more basic, inexpensive materials, so it tends to be more affordable in the short term. However, since it requires removal and replacement, it may end up costing more over the lifetime of a project. Permanent shoring provides a long-term solution using higher quality, durable materials, so although installation costs are typically higher, it often works out to be more cost-effective in the long run.
In summary, the most significant differences between temporary and permanent shoring are their installation method, purpose, and cost. Understanding these key differences will help contractors select and utilize the most appropriate shoring method for their construction projects.

When to Use Temporary vs. Permanent Shoring

Temporary shoring is used for short-term support of unstable soil or structures. It provides temporary stability until permanent shoring can be installed or the area in question can be rebuilt or repaired. Temporary shoring includes components like sheet piles, timber shores, and trench boxes. These are designed to quickly stabilize an area for a limited amount of time, around 6-18 months.

Permanent shoring, on the other hand, is used for long-term support and stability. It consists of components like steel sheet piles, secant piles, and soldier piles and lagging. These provide support for the lifetime of the structure or area. Permanent shoring requires more intensive design and construction to ensure maximum stability for extended periods of time.

You will want to use temporary shoring in situations where work needs to begin quickly to stabilize an area but more permanent solutions are still being designed or are cost-prohibitive at the time. It can also be used in emergency situations where permanent stability is not initially required but some temporary support is needed.

Permanent shoring should be used for any long-term structures or stability needs. This includes building foundations, bridge abutments, retaining walls, and underground parking structures. Permanent shoring provides a sturdy, long-lasting solution where temporary fixes will not suffice.

In summary, the main differences between temporary and permanent shoring are timeline, cost, and construction. Temporary shoring provides short-term stability at a lower cost using basic materials, while permanent shoring offers lifetime stability and support using intensive design and robust, engineered materials. Choose temporary or permanent shoring based on how long support is needed and the level of stability required for your project.


As you have seen, temporary and permanent shoring provide different purposes and outcomes in construction. With temporary shoring, you gain flexibility and cost-efficiency for your project. However, permanent shoring provides long term stability and durability. Now that you understand the key differences between these two methods, you can make an informed choice based on your specific project needs and priorities. Whether opting for adjustable versatility or fixed fortification, shoring allows you to safely and effectively support structures and ensure successful construction projects. With this knowledge in hand, you have taken an important step toward making your vision a built reality.

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