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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by ehmalexan, May 26, 2010.
There's only Two types of concrete. Cracked, and Going to Crack
I disagree. While it's true that when you implement grid the right way, you increase the stability of the soil behind the wall, that doesn't mean a block wall is just a facade. It's been my experience that a SRW is almost always more solid than most other methods (dry stack rock wall, concrete wall, wood wall, et. al.) One of the reasons SRWs are stronger is basically for the reason that pavers are stronger than concrete. They are small, individual sections that all use the combined strength of the others to stay in tact.
Another reason the SRW is stronger than the others is the weight. It's heavier per sq. ft. than a wood wall or even some rock walls. And while it's true that rock walls use a heavier material too, the rocks aren't flat and it makes them much easier for one of the rocks to slide off of one of the other ones.
Next, the SRWs are held together by pins or a lip, and then usually tapered back at each level. So as long as your base course is build right, then each successive course is tied into the course below and battered back a little AND tucked in behind a little. You can't do that with a concrete wall.
All this makes it quite hard to push the wall out with hydrostatic pressure.
I still love SRWs. We've build dozens, probably hundreds, of walls. And I don't think we've ever had a call back on a SRW. Can't say the same for wood walls or rock walls. And although I haven't ever installed a solid concrete wall, I've replaced a whole lot of them due to cracking.
Not saying this process doesn't work. But I disagree that an SRW is just a facade. It's been my experience that they are stronger than all the others.
you can cast in place a concrete wall with a batter, no problem.
and a correctly built concrete wall will far out preform any SRW out there. you could liken a concrete wall with no rebar to a srw with no geo grid.. poor construction practices will always produce poor results.
when was the last time you saw a dam constructed of srw's i think the hoover dam is holding back a heck of a lot of hydrostatic pressure.
Not to be a d!ck but according to ncma and their geotechnical engineers the wall block itself is a facade. I am an ncma instructor.
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That is a terrible analogy why would anyone build a dam out of something segmented? It has holes all through it.
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My neighbors bought a franchise ( They are masons). In their back yard they built a stone patio, retaining wall, fire pit , water fall, and a stone beverage cooler. This was their first project , and everything looks great.
I know this thread is nearly 3 YEARS OLD, but I used the search function for this and instead of starting a new topic why not just wake this one up. There is a local company that does this stuff and man does it just look like it's fake, or dare I say bought from a big box store. Obviously the scope of it is more than that. Again if it makes someone a lot of money you're on to something. Anyone care to chime in? Many of you do fantastic work so I was curious what you hardscape contractors think?
It has it's place.
I am good friends with the company in my area who bought into StoneMakers and owns part of the territory in our area. He also has first right of refusal on the rest of the area too, should someone like me decide they want to try to buy the other half of the territory. I've seen their work and even recommended them a time or two.
You have to understand where this product fits in. It's just like stamped concrete. Stamped concrete allows you to have the general LOOK of a flagstone, bluestone, etc. patio - but at a fraction of the cost of what a real nice flagstone or bluestone patio would cost. Sure, everyone can tell it's not really flagstone or whatever. But it looks close enough and still looks much nicer than regular concrete. And sure, stamped concrete has issues. Lord knows I'm not a fan. But when you can get a stamped concrete patio at $12 / sq. ft. (vs. $45-$60 a sq. ft. for a nice flagstone patio by a stone mason) then you're willing to put up with the fact that it doesn't look quite as nice and perfect as real flagstone would.
It's the same with these walls. People (at least in my area) are sick to death of SRWs. At least your basic Home Depot style boring SRW blocks. But SRWs in general is a more stoic, generic look. Almost everyone, given the choice, would rather have a nice stone masonry wall. But those are like 4x the price of an SRW. So most people just go with the SRW, even though they don't totally love the look. This is where the Stonemakers product comes into play. You can get a nice stone-looking wall for much less than a real stone mason wall would cost. Might be a little more than an SRW. But it's still not nearly as expensive as a real stone mason wall. So it's a good, viable alternative for a lot of people. Just like the stamped concrete is a good viable alternative for people who would have rather had a real flagstone patio but don't really want to spend that much money for one.
It meets a need.
Does it look 100% authentic? No. But it looks better than most SRW walls. To a lot of people, with a less discerning eye, they may actually think it's real stone. Some of the jobs I've seen look fairly good. Fairly authentic. Others, not as much. But it meets that need for a stone look wall for much less price. That's why it plays well sometimes.
Good points. I guess for me it was more the walls shaped to be boulders. I understand stamped concrete patios and walkways shaped in whatever pattern a person may like (flagstone, paver, etc..). But those walls, or at least the ones the contractor posted in his portfolio, just don't fit in well "naturally". But I get it, fills a need and I'm sure can be quite profitable. Maybe after they get weathered a bit they look better?
Would you be able to take any pics of it? There is a local company that does it but I can only see the project on you tube videos.