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  #401  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:07 PM
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Haha- thanks guys for the nice comments

Protouch- Thanks, and I'm glad you enjoy this thread! Btw- nice response, I chuckled a bit there

Oakhills- Thanks for the suggestions. In all seriousness, since I know you do a bit more landscaping and hardscape work than I, what type of mortar should I use to fill the gaps in? I don't want it to chip and it needs to be able to "move" enough to fill in the uneven gaps. Any products that you work with that I might look at?

wanabe- Well the blocks that I used for the wall had discrepancies in their height (even though they were precast we had some blocks over an 1/8" different from others). A factory rep came out and told me that "it was normal" for precast blocks to have some differences in height and that I should have known to shim them every few courses. Granted, I don't do a lot of retaining walls, but I have never seen a precast wall shimmed. On a commercial job I work on in the past with my previous employer, we had to take down a precast retaining wall that was 40' L by 10' H as it was built over the property line. I never saw a single shim and I was involved in the whole process of taking it down.

Anyway, even though my first two courses were completely level (checked with a laser and a 4' level run between 3 blocks), since the blocks on top of those were uneven later on, the unevenness was magnified as the wall grew in height. So, after we laid the caps out, there were "waves" in the top of the wall. Heck, even some of the caps were 1/8" different in height! Either way, several lessons were learned.

Question for everyone: Is it normal to have to shim precast blocks in a retaining wall? Again, I don't do a lot of walls, so I'd appreciate any advice the experts on here can give.

Talus- Don't worry, I know everything was in fun Geez, I'm not that soft P.S.- Still waiting on those pics
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  #402  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:09 PM
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Scag48 Scag48 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talus View Post
I pretty sure Andrew knows I wasn't ripping on him. He has seen my yard and it's not going to be in Better Homes and Gardens anytime soon I had a messed up sitiuation with my fulltime job for a while so I have quite a few unfinished projects around. Plus he knows the only thing I pick on him for is his love for the orange and white. Even that is all in good fun. He has quite the operation going. For someone his age to have the business sense that he already has is impressive. I wish I did what he's doing when I was that age.

P.S. I also have to stay on good terms with him because in 16 years from now I'd like him to put my son to work
Oh no, I wasn't poking at you.
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  #403  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:19 PM
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ARP, I call BS to your rep - you shouldn't need shims to build a retaining wall. I have had a slight difference in heights a couple times when building a Mosaic wall(Versa-Lok) between the standard units and cobbles.

I would say a few things but mean them as constructive. The outlet for the drain, use a grate that they make for them. On the one side of the stairs, try not to use that small of piece of block. Sometimes it sucks but you may have to cut a couple more block. Did you start from the corner and work away? I would also say and you probably would do it different now, how that one wall ended. Apply the lessons from this wall and make the next wall better.
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  #404  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:21 PM
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I really like my job for many reasons. One of which is because I can go from working on the beach one day, to driving through the mountains the next.

These pics were from my ride up to northern NH, to look at and bid on a large mowing job. For those of you who don't know the area, these mountains are called the White Mountains. It was my first time going up there so I was pretty impressed with the views!

Enjoy!
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  #405  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:31 PM
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Stuve- Thanks for the suggestions We asked if they made a metal grate to cover the ends of the outlets as we too didn't like the look. Unfortunately, the local supply yard didn't even know what I was talking about and they are the biggest around here Do you remember the name of the grate product that you use? I'd like to try to find some and maybe modify them to fit over the ends of the outlets now.

Yes, I did start from the corners and work my way outwards. Those small blocks are the bane to my existence but that is how my family wanted them (). I like the idea of cutting the corner blocks and making those smaller blocks bigger to hide their "smallness."

Haha, I know, I know about the end of the wall. I was not there when the mason was onsite "fixing it" as I had to return to my land clearing work. However, I was told that the wall is now stepped and each step (half of a block) has a cap on it to make it look finished. I'm going down next week to oversee some paving issues and I'll take some photos then.

Again, thanks for the suggestions!
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  #406  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:49 PM
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I don't have a picture that shows it but I get NDS 6" square grates. They have a bunch of different colors so you can get kinda close colorwise. They aren't awesome looking but are easy to work with and until there is something better will do.
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  #407  
Old 08-08-2009, 12:22 AM
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Awesome- thanks stuve!
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  #408  
Old 08-08-2009, 01:20 AM
Craaaig Craaaig is offline
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As far as shimming goes, I've never had enough variation in block height where I've had to shim a wall consistently. I would look into using a different block in the future.
Also, enjoy your time in the mountains I love it up there and keep the pics coming.
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  #409  
Old 08-08-2009, 02:47 AM
Bleed Green Bleed Green is offline
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ARP sounds like you have a pretty big operation... How many people are working with you? Do you own the company?
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  #410  
Old 08-08-2009, 03:32 AM
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ARP those are hills not mountains! Jeez.
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