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Small Retaining Wall Project

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Here are some photos of a recent retaining wall project we just completed. This one kinda sucked because we did almost all the work in the mud and rain. You should have seen the site before and during the project. It was a mud bowl.

    We had a really nice design done for this yard. Paver patio between the two lower walls, stairs coming down from the deck, lots of nice plants and trees, rock steps, etc. But the customer could only afford the retaining wall work at this time. He's going to try doing the rest himself.

    Not the biggest or most impressive retaining wall project we've ever done. But I thought it turned out well. I like the look of Allan Block. Especially the Ashlar Blend, which we used on the seat wall.

    Here are the photos;


  2. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    Awsome work as always.
  3. Littletruck

    Littletruck LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 51

    I like it. :clapping:
  4. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,045

    I have seen your wonderful work many times before but honestly I think the walls look different to your previous jobs it has more to do with the type of block you used than workmanship, specially the curve where that big block brakes the flow of the curve.
    I also like it better when the coping overhangs a little bit.
    Not disrespect just giving my honest opinion here
  5. Paver Gangster

    Paver Gangster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I agree with those remarks, I think using a straight faced bevelled block on a curve is challenging to say the least. When its a two height modular product, well, not even the Good Lord himself can make a good looking radius out of that.

    Thats not stonedust that the homeowner is going to put their pavers on, is it? Or is it the top of the base?

    I don't like jobs that the homeowner is going to finish by themselves. Inevitably, when they bugger it up, it will be your fault, somehow. I prefer homeowners that will let me do the whole thing, all or nothing, or I walk.

    Easier said than done, I know, but in the end the project reflects my company.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841


    I understand what you are saying. That pattern doesn't always lend itself to curves real well. We do the best we can and still maintain the pattern - which is what the customer was after there.

    Paver Gangster,

    That's compacted 1/4" minus gravel. We left enough room for 1" of sand then the pavers will go on top of the sand. We installed a base course there using the Allan Block "lite"stones. Those are the long thin ones. Once the pavers are installed, they will cover up that entire base course and a little bit of the bottom of the wall.

    I hear you in wanting to get all the job or nothing. But I don't have quite THAT much business that I can just be turning jobs down. This was a $11,000 job for us in the dead of winter. I will take that job any day of the week - piecemeal or not. I wish I could afford to be choosy. But we take what we can get this time of year.
  7. Paver Gangster

    Paver Gangster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Like I said, easier said than done. Especially THIS year. :)

    Does Happy Homeowner know that a 12" deep layer of geotextile needs to be placed under the sand setting bed and lapped up against the cap blocks to prevent sand migration from under the pavers
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Uh....no...Not even I knew that. And I don't quite follow...

    We did use geogrid behind the retaining walls, as usual. But under the pavers? like a biaxial geogrid or something? I am not sure that's necessary. Please elaborate.
  9. PatiosInstalled

    PatiosInstalled LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    I think this wall has many flaws. picture 4 shows your joints in a straight line and the wall blocks are what appears 3/8 - 1/2" off from each other. your coping provides 0 shadow line. in picture 3 you have blocks and coping that seem to stick out or recess inwards and those 3" cuts of coping doesnÂ’t flow. you should divide that cut over a few caps so you stay with a consistent width. however you rock wall on your site looked great.
  10. csl

    csl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 235

    we are a huge installer of allan block up here, and thats as good as you can do. its a great product to work with, but like ALL products it does have its limitations. so everyone can judge all they want, but show me one job with manmade materials that has no imperfections. cant do it.

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