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  #1  
Old 04-22-2005, 05:09 PM
akrauss akrauss is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: amawalk, new york
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Question BIG RETAINING WALL- OPTIONS & PRICING

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.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2005, 03:50 PM
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BMFD92 BMFD92 is offline
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Location: Ossining NY
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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.

P.S it is nice to see someone local on here.
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Last edited by BMFD92; 04-24-2005 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:00 PM
akrauss akrauss is offline
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Location: amawalk, new york
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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.
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:23 PM
mbella mbella is offline
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Location: Gilbertsville, PA
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Bryan, are you saying that if the local municipality didn't require engineering for Akrauss' wall, you'd do it without engineering?
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:17 PM
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cgland cgland is offline
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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
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:48 PM
akrauss akrauss is offline
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Location: amawalk, new york
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More Info Please

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 !
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:19 PM
PAPS Landscape Design PAPS Landscape Design is offline
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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.
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Old 04-25-2005, 04:15 PM
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cgland cgland is offline
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"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
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Old 04-25-2005, 06:35 PM
mbella mbella is offline
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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.
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:09 AM
PAPS Landscape Design PAPS Landscape Design is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgland
"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.
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