Dear Experts...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by procut, May 12, 2007.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    Today I ran into a couple want to be hardscapers. They were atempting to build a raised bed out of retaining wall blocks. The wall was prbably about a foot tall. The only problem was they had no base or footing under it. All they did was dig down a few inches to remove the sod, leveled the loose dirt and started laying the blocks. I say after a couple winters, the wall will settle, become un-even, look terrible and other wise be junk. I asked them about this and they just shrugged their shoulders and said "I hope that doesn't happen."

    Based on my limited hardscape expirience, this methood is incorect and will only lead to problems - your opinions.
  2. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    I'm not in hardscaping, but have friends that are! My knowledge is that these guys you are talking about are idiots...plain and simple!:hammerhead: What kind of morons would build a retaining wall and don't install footings for heaving? I "just cut grass" and have a better concept than that.......atleast I think!
  3. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Depending on how big the block is, whether or not it's solid or hollow, and if the ground is somewhat stable, they may not have much of a problem. The biggest problem will be getting it level. If they went through all the trouble to get the block there, then they should bring in some base material and do it right.
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    That small can be "iffy".

    But YES, there should be a base to do it correctly. 1' or 30' both should have a base.

    Can they get away with it on the 1'? Sure but down the road it will need to be leveled out again. Being that small and the application that it is being used for in comparison to the soil and block used.......yeah they could possibly be just fine.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    One foot tall? Who cares? It will be ok.
  6. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    I agree with Midwest ... I'm not in hardscaping either, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that !!
  7. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I happened to be back at the same site today, and as far as I'm concerned, the wall is junk. Now that is complete, it is actually about 2' tall at its highest point. Its not even straight, it bows in toward one end. Plus it is filled with dirt, as it makes a raised planter. The is no fabric between the soil and wall, so it will wash through the front I'm sure. And get this, they must not have had any way of cutting/splitting the blocks so they left it incomplete where a half block was needed.

    I can't wait to see what this masterpeice looks like after a few years.

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