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Info needed - Connecticut specific

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jkason, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    Hey all,

    Joined a while ago - now my wife wants me to redo the back yard after seeing work on this site.

    I AM capable of doing the work myself, am fairly intelligent enough to figure things out, and smart enought to know when to get someone else to do something for me.

    That said, I need to build retaining walls in the yard to keep the hill from sliding out from under my house.

    No walls will be over 8' tall. I need to do at least 3 walls (terraced). Local odrinances (Derby, CT) say to follow the guidelines for the State of CT.
    However, I can't find the damn statute. Anybody in CT have a clue as to when to get an engineer involved? (height of wall?)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    Forgot to mention - I'm a homeowner, not a contractor.

    I have looked at the State of CT website, and found their "soil conservation" stuff.

    I only want to do this thing once (correctly), as it will be expensive to repair if I don't do it right in the first place.

    We moved in 5 years ago, and I'm getting tired of watching the topsoil slide ever further towards my neighbor's yard. We plan on living here at least another 20 years, and it would be nice to have a backyard I can actually use.
  3. pj550v12

    pj550v12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    Hmm, Town Hall might even be able to give you some info I would think, its a place to start.
  4. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Posts: 2,160

    you might have to go to the zoning office....
  5. pj550v12

    pj550v12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    Which is located at the town hall . . . post ***** lol jk
  6. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 548

    Guess I'm not as smart as I thought.
    Duh. Town Hall. No Brainer.

    Thanks, guys!
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Engineers plans arent too much compared to what you are about to spend. Basically it will depend on your town and block choice, but really any wall over 3.5 feet should be engineered.
  8. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    We have found that local building departments are the ones with authority over the wall construction.

    We sell block regularly to contractors and homeowners and would not really get involved in a project like yours without an engineer's print. As shovel racer mentioned - 3.5' is a good rule of thumb for a height limit without planning. It is what our manufacturer recommends right here in CT. 4' in some cases can be done without an engineer, but over that height causes problems and the drainage and reinforcement (usually geogrid) needs to be specified. Once you have a set of plans, you can show the building department. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't inspect, or know which department to involve for the wall construction, but I would think the general building inspector would have knowledge of the requirements and in the very least advise you of what limits in height, setback, and drainage would be acceptable. The last thing you want to do is have a cease and desist put on you when the wall is going up, then the rain comes....

    I can help you if you want to call or stop by during the week. We are only a few minutes from Derby down Route 34.

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