PDA

View Full Version : BIG RETAINING WALL- OPTIONS & PRICING


akrauss
04-22-2005, 05:09 PM
Upfront disclosure: The wall is mine and I am not in the "industry." I purchased this house several months ago in northern Westchester County, NY. We are embarking upon numerous renovations, but wish to attack the probably 15 year old R.R. Tie two tiered retaining wall surrounding the inground pool area. Here are a few pictures:


The wall runs on two sides of the pool, for at least 80 linear feet, with a maximum height of 8 feet or so, at the top of the second tier. We are going to be ripping down the old deck and relocating the main deck outside the pool area, although still wrapping back around to utilize the existing entry door to the house.

I am open to either engineered stone or cement w/ stain and stencil, although am nervous about the look of concrete if not done well. I also understand that in the Northeast especially, the concrete is prone to stress cracks, etc. I had a rep. from Northeast Mesa Block come out this morning who will give me a price for "design & build" as well as just design & materials.

Can any of you experts give me opinions on materials and cost and do any of you service my area (or can recommend someone who does) and would perhaps like to bid the job? Is concrete typically cheaper or more expensive, assuming I want to "jazz" the concrete up a bit?

Finally, Northeast Mesa will have their engineer prepare the plans (for a fee of course). If I dont use them, do many of the contractors typically have a structural engineer who can fill this need or must I retain one independently ?

Thanks.

BMFD92
04-24-2005, 03:50 PM
I live in Westchester County and if you want my number I can check it out for you. That job is to big for me but I know someone who can. Concrete is pretty cheap. You can have a cinder block structure and then mortar the flagstone or whatever onto the cinder block. You can also use the unilock wall bricks and just stack them up which is easy to do. I think the Mesa would work good. I can come look at it anytime and give you a better suggestion. If you are in need of lawn renovation or landscape renovation I can give you a price. I am down in Ossining but it's an easy drive to you. PM if you are interested in more info or if you need landscape or lawn maintenance. :waving:

P.S it is nice to see someone local on here.

PAPS Landscape Design
04-24-2005, 10:19 PM
Engineering is solely based on building code and permits by the town. We have do jobs where 8 ft walls didn't require engineering, and done some where a 3 ft wall was in need of and engineer. You will need to go to town and apply for permit and find out what the town guidelines are in terms of engineering.
If you want to discuss the wall, and are interested in a price for installation, call me at 973-831-4420. You are about 45 mi. from my house. We have traveled further for larger jobs, which yours looks to be.
Bryan P.

cgland
04-25-2005, 04:15 PM
"Engineering is solely based on building code and permits by the town. We have do jobs where 8 ft walls didn't require engineering, and done some where a 3 ft wall was in need of and engineer."

I'm not going to even touch this one!

Chris

mbella
04-25-2005, 06:35 PM
Akrauss, most seasoned hardscapers have worked with an engineer at some point. I don't know any that have one on staff, but they should have a working relationship with somebody. Your wall needs engineering period. Don't let any contractor tell you different.

PAPS Landscape Design
04-26-2005, 01:09 AM
"Engineering is solely based on building code and permits by the town. We have do jobs where 8 ft walls didn't require engineering, and done some where a 3 ft wall was in need of and engineer."

I'm not going to even touch this one!

Chris


What aren't you going to touch? Do you work in North Jersey? Around here engineering is up to towns and building dept. So pleae touch it and tell me how I am wrong. Please touch it.. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

YardPro
04-26-2005, 07:35 AM
all manufacturers have a maximum wall height without engineering. Most are less than 4'.
taller than that they voil all warranties if it is not engineered.


next are YOU planning to do this wall?????

If so let me give you some advise........ don't even think about it.....
that is a large progect and well beyond what an inexperienced homeowner without the proper tools/crew/experience should attempt..

akrauss
04-26-2005, 12:00 PM
Thanks everybody. BMFD92 - If you want to PM me with your contact info, I would be interested in speaking with you further. For some reason, its telling me I dont have permission to PM.

mbella
04-26-2005, 04:23 PM
Bryan, are you saying that if the local municipality didn't require engineering for Akrauss' wall, you'd do it without engineering?

cgland
04-26-2005, 06:17 PM
I guess I am forced to touch it! Any wall taller than the manufacturers maximum height (w/o geogrid) MUST be engineered! Weather it be by a firm or a manufacturers staff engineer it must be looked at by someone other than you! Just because your township or municipality does not require an engineer it does not mean that the wall itself doesn't need engineering! An engineer looks at soooo many things in figuring out the specifics of how to build the wall. Every wall IS NOT the same! Soil types, loads, hydrostatic pressures, backfill material, slope behind the wall, slope in front of the wall...etc all play a huge part in determining the type of wall system, backfill material, base thickness, amount of buried block, number of pulls of geogrid and the placement of each pull...etc. So, unless you are an engineer your wall NEEDS to be engineered!!!!!!!

Chris

akrauss
04-26-2005, 06:48 PM
While I have everyone's attention in debating over my wall in the generic sense, can someone please advise as to the pluses and minuses of redoing my wall in concrete vs. engineered stone from an economic, structural and ongoing maintenance perspective. As I stated previously, if concrete, I would only consider if I could "jazz" it up with stencil and stain. Thanks again and keep up the lively debate !

BMFD92
04-26-2005, 07:32 PM
it did not let me pm you because it says you dont accept private. I live in Ossining which is like a 10 minute drive. I got a call for a similiar situations you are in and I don't think it was you because this guy said he got my flyer and I didn't put any up in Amawalk. I am available to do any landscape install or renovation. I probably be able to do lawn maintenance but it is hard to drive up there every week. Most of my lawns are within a mile of me but If you get a neighbor who wants the lawn done to then I will be able to do it. My company name is Manor Landscape and Design. My email is Hockey14000@aol.com if you want to email me I can give you more info.

PAPS Landscape Design
04-27-2005, 07:57 PM
Well in NJ walls only need a private engineer stamp when they are over specific heights. Some towns are 4.0 ft, some are 3.0 ft. and some I have seen as high as 8 ft. Meaning if your wall is under those heights you DONT need a engineer. Many towns require a building permit.. but not engineering unless you exceed there height requirements.

cgland
04-27-2005, 10:40 PM
I'm not talking about your town! I'm stating an industry wide fact! Block manufacturers have their own requirements as to how high you can build a wall without engineering (most are 3') So whether or not your township requires it is a moot point. TThe people making the block say you do! After all I think they know the limitations of their product.

Chris

YardPro
04-29-2005, 09:06 PM
i agree..

it amazes me how little people know about the product they sell and install...


celtic wall for example is 42".....clearly stated in the technical info guide published by the manufacturer.

cgland
04-29-2005, 09:26 PM
Thanks yardpro! I can't believe the thought process of some people.

Chris