Adding to an existing retaining wall?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by brichter14, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. brichter14

    brichter14 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,148

    This homeowner had a concrete pad built above their retaining wall and now they are worried it might shift down towards the wall. There is about 4' separating the two and the wall right now is about 5' high.

    Would adding two foot of height compromise the wall? I think I need to dig down and see how much geogrid they used. If its 4' I should be fine right? Should I just run away?
  2. hal

    hal LawnSite Silver Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 2,546

    Why would the pad shift? It doesn't look like adding a couple courses to the existing wall would hurt anything, but if the whole pad shifts not much can be done, even though it doesn't look like that will happen.
  3. Jimmythegreek

    Jimmythegreek LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 17

    Rule of thumb is you want the height of the wall yo be min distance from the tier wall. That's cutting it real close as that is a wall over 4ft which hopefully was engineered. Looking at the slope before the pad was built I'd have to assume there is alot of grid layered in to take the surcharge from above. They should have placed the wall first and then have done pavers to it. Adding to that wall means a color variation that's gonna look bad and adding a tier isn't possible you dont have room for grid with the slab there. I wouldnt put ur business on the line without having an engineer stamp off on adding to the wall if it moves they are gonna come after you the last guy to touch it. That far wall would have to go too and you would have to weave that whole corner back and blend. How old is the lower wall and who did it? What's it look like? It would also need railings for protection and I'm guessing they weren't there before? I would think somebody has a plan filed for the permitting. Around here anything over 4ft needs stamped drawings and a permit with inspections the town would have it on file. They may realistically be looking at taking it down and rebuilding it which is quite a nit more than building from scratch. When I see concrete slabs like that off a new door and new siding I see shallow pockets. Probably blew thru cash doing house and they need a patio so a cheap slab went in and now its uh-oh what do we do
    hort101 and JLSLLC like this.
  4. OP

    brichter14 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,148

    Yeah I dont know why they think the slab will move, all the downspouts drain properly so I dont think its an issue. I think they should just get a railing on the patio and ill landscape around it.

    Trying to tie in a taller wall with the wall coming off the house is gonna be crappy anyways.

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