Suggestions on taking down existing wall?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by D Felix, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Ok, I need opinions, thoughts, etc, etc, etc, on taking down an existing wall.

    I'm not worried about the re-construction of the walls, what I'm worried about is the de-construction.

    Here's the scoop: The walls were installed when the house was built about 4 years ago or so. They obviously were not put in correctly- we find no evidence of geo-grid, and there is a noticeable lean in the wrong direction. The walls are vertical Keystone Compacs, the fact that they are vertical shouldn't be a problem if they had been installed right from the beginning.

    I've got pictures I am posting with this, the walls are approximately 100 feet long on each side, the east side (left side in this first pic) is currently 6 courses showing (at the house end), with (I assume) at least 2 more buried. The other side is showing 7 courses with 2 more buried.

    More comments to follow with more pictures.


    Dan

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  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    By the way, we did NOT build these walls, if any of you were wondering....

    This is the east side.

    We are currently planning on taking out the pavers, so those won't (shouldn't) be an issue with dismantling the walls.


    Dan

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  3. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I wish I could post better pictures, but in order to get them to post, I have to reduce the size and quality to what I'm posting....

    This is the west side.

    The curved areas in the center of the walls used to be steps. The GC who built the house had someone come in to "fix" the walls last winter, they also re-laid the pavers and installed more drainage. Buncha shmucks if you ask me. Their "fix" of the stairs does NOT tie into the existing walls at all, and I don't think they filled the block cores completely. We were there yesterday looking at the walls again, and kicked some gravel down into a void that was showing at the back of the wall. It sounded like it went all the way to the bottom.:(

    Oh, the first picture shows part of the stair "fix". Steps to NOWHERE!:rolleyes:


    Dan

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  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    This is the view of the west wall looking out of the walkout. It shows where the steps used to be a little better....

    The brilliant guys who did the work last winter also were smart enough to put a couple of pavers in upside down....


    Dan

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  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    This is the east wall, the shorter one (by one course).


    Dan

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  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    And the last picture.

    This is looking straight out of the walkout.

    Basically, we will need to remove the decorative gravel (it's worth saving, ~$120/ton), dig out the plants and put them in a holding area, then start deconstructing.

    We have an engineer coming to look at it sometime, but I want any and all thoughts on this. I've got an idea on how to do it, but someone may mention something that I've not thought of.

    The walls will most likely NOT go back in in the same location, and a different block will likely be used.

    Thanks a LOT in advance!!!!


    Dan

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  7. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Damn, looks like a bi job. I thought it sucked having to tear down all of the old railroad tie walls I've been dealing with. Good luck. If I were putting my warranty on it I would have to do it the hard way: completely remove it all and start with scratch. No other way I'd want my name associated with it. As far as bidding it went, I'd figure deconstruction time and maybe give them a little brwak on excavation since it's mostly done, other than that I'd go as normal, but that's just me...
    anyways, good luck.
     
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I'm not worried about bidding it. We'll come up with a rough estimate and probably do it on a T&M basis. There will be much more excavation involved, we'll probably have a CAT D5 on site for at least 2-3 days to re-grade the area past where the walls are now....

    Let me clarify a little bit here: I/we are not sure of the structural stability of the walls as they exist. I guess what we are afraid of is that as we take the wall apart, it will weaken it to the point of failing. I, for one, certainly don't want to be absorbing any impact of the wall falling.

    So, what I want are suggestions on taking the wall down in a safe, controlled manner. Equipment is not a concern, if we need it, we'll get it. It's that simple.

    Like I said before, we've got an idea on how to proceed, I'm just wondering if any of you might bring up concerns that we may have overlooked.

    The walls will be completely removed. They will NOT be going back in where they currently are, at least not in their entirety.

    Thanks!


    Dan
     
  9. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    Hey Dan a couple of week ago we had to take a wall down and put it back up or best solution was to take the first couple of rows off the top and begin a entirely new wall about 6 inches in front of the exisitng wall. then row by row take the wall down and putt it back up.


    Jeff
     
  10. bottlefed89

    bottlefed89 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Are you gonna be reusing the blocks??(just curious, doesn't matter) Couldn't you just get a mini-excavater on site and remove a layer or two at a time, and then remove 4-6' of dirt??
    Man, seems like they really got took a couple times around, I'll bet they'll be relieved when you guys get it right.
     

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