Base Course Installtion

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by LawnsM, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. LawnsM

    LawnsM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Hey everyone!

    I've been doing some studying on hardscapes- retaining walls in particular. Something I just can't seem to figure out is the base course. How do you get a long base course level? That would seem like a daunting task, but, obviously, hardscape professionals do it all of the time. :weightlifter:

    Could anyone offer any insight that might clear things up for me? As always, it will be very much appreciated.
     
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Everyone has there own methods and it seems like every company has a different idea about what level is.

    What my guys do is set down pipes and screed the base. They compact it with the pipes still down. Why its getting compacted another guy takes a peice of grid and shifts a wheel barrel of quarry process to remove the larger rocks but still be left with more then just fines. Then they throw the shifted material down on the base and screed one more time. Then compact. Blocks go down one after another with almost perfect.

    Kinda werid but it works.
     
  3. J&B Ent.

    J&B Ent. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    You have to start first with a fairly level excavation, followed by carefull grading and compacting of your footing material. while you can use a string level, renting or buying a laser transit makes your first coarse a breeze. It's very important however to take all the time needed to get the first coarse right or you WILL be pulling your hair out throughout the rest of the job.
     
  4. LawnsM

    LawnsM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    This seems to be something everyone stresses! :) The base course still seems like a real pain though. I've watched a few demonstrations from different websites showing someone painstakinly shifting the course materials around by hand to get things level. Surely there is an easier way! :dizzy:

    Thanks guys for your input. I can see how these alternatives would make things much easier. Can anyone else tell me how they do it?
     
  5. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    I have never actually screeded the material in like Mrusk. He has done some quite long walls. I just set up a laser level and stirng lines and get as close to the marked elevation as I can. The I fine tune every block and beat to death with a dead blow until I have acheived the result I want. Piece of cake. My walls usually don't exceed 100' though. Mike33 does nothing but walls. Check him out.
     
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Here are some pics.. Oh yea modified is free in my area!!! I leave for 10 minutes and the knuckleheads think we are building a walkway and not a wall!!:hammerhead:

    base 016 [%P].JPG

    base 019 [%P].JPG

    base 021 [%P].JPG

    base 029 [%P].JPG
     
  7. LawnsM

    LawnsM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Wow! Thanks for the visual! That's a BIG wall! How long did it take you to lay the base course?
     
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Wall was 85 feet long. Once we had the base roughed in, i belive it took the two guys about 5 hours to screed the base and install the 1st row.

    wall2 006 [%P].JPG
     
  9. LawnsM

    LawnsM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Nice work! How much did you charge for that?
     
  10. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Sadly not enough,
     

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