Retaining wall design/installation advice

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by conepile, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I don't normally install retaining walls, but one of my clients keeps adding things on to what he wants me to do. What started out as a simple drainage project turned into bed construction and plant installation, and then expanded to the whole property. Anyway, he wants me to install a retaining wall.

    It looks like he wants to use Belgard Celtik wall, though his wife may choose something else. The total width is approximately 40', with the lowest part of the slope at the corner of the house. The total vertical rise from ground level to an imaginary level line from the corner of the house is 26".

    What I'm considering is installing two short walls, one behind the other, and plants in between, to make it appear less obtrusive. I estimate there will be at least three feet between the walls.

    My questions (keep in mind I have only installed five walls):
    · Are two short walls worthwhile? The customer is willing to pay, and will do whatever I recommend. His neighbor has a four-foot tall Keystone wall at the corner of his house, and I want to ensure my client's looks better.
    · What is a recommended method of excavating for the base installation? My previous work has been with Bobcats, because I could (these were construction zones). This is in an existing yard, and I need to dig, not cut away. I was thinking of a mini excavator, though hand digging with my three-man crew is another option (I prefer a speedy method, if it can be cost effective).
    · If I did install two short walls, are there any special considerations with the second wall? How deep should the base be? Are the drainage issues as critical? I planned to install a socked perforated drain tile at the base of each wall, with stone on top. Is this overkill?
  2. Bill Davis

    Bill Davis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 397

    do be careful about the use of an excavator in a exsisting yard. You might do more damage. Are you considering lining the wall with anything. If drainage is your primary concern than you dont want mud or water seeping in between the bricks. You might be able to install wee holes at the bottom with a french drain at the top of each of the walls. It really depends on what kind of soil you are dealing with and just how much water your wall be helping to drain. Hope this helps, Bill D.
  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    There are definite drainage instructions with those types of walls. You should be installing clean, washed gravel behind the wall to allow the water to drop to the 4" perf. drain line.
  4. jmleaver

    jmleaver LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 18

    this question branches slightly off the walls only, But.. A lady asked me for a quote on a 36' 6/7 foot hight wall with steps, leading into a 32 ft walkway into granite steps....It should be a nice deal. So my question is this is next too/ bulit into the driveway. Should i get a price from a local paving company and give her a total price including the paving.(Making a little money off of the black top)...Let me know what you guys think
  5. hardscapeRus

    hardscapeRus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I would first reccomend checking out other products before considering using Celtik walls. Highland Stone made by Anchor is a little more friendlier to use and offers your customers more variety in color and generally cost $2 - $3 a square foot less than celtik. Paverlock and Oaks Pavers also offer some nice wall systems with a nice color selection. Check with your Hardscape Distributors in your area for some assistance and brochures. Most suppliers will keep you stock up in brochures for you to deal directly with your customer.:blob4:

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