Back yard goes uphill

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by dreamboater, May 20, 2008.

  1. dreamboater

    dreamboater LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I need a little help. I dont own a business but am looking for some opinions. My back yard is quite challenging. The hill is barely mowable. From the back of my house it is level for about 10-15 feet, then it goes uphill about 15-20 feet. I would like to put a patio or deck in but am lost of how to do this. A normal size deck would look pretty funny as it would run straight to the hill. My other idea was carving a semi circle out of the hill, building a retaining wall, and then a patio. This would be the most expensive because I would have to deal with drainage as the water currently flows around down the hill through the area where the patio would be and down the other hill. My entire lot is uphill, the builder leveled out room for the house basically in the middle of the hill. Any ideas would be great. Thanks.
  2. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    pictures would help,and the basic site conditions.
  3. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    Juat so long as you have someone who knows the proper way to install a segmental retaining wall, drainage shouldn't be an issue. And yes, from what you're describing, a SRW will likely be a good investment.
  4. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Fredericksburg, VA here. PM me and i might be able to help.
  5. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Spend a little money now on a consultation with a professional, a landscape designer, landscape architect or a qualified landscaper. If you make it known what your intentions are, a professional will give you the advice and information you need for a reasonable fee. With that knowledge you will be able to make an informed decision and perhaps enlist the services of a professional installer. A situation like your can make a dramatic and usable landscape or a disaster that can destroy property or get someone hurt.

    harley, he won't be able to PM you, too new.

  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    If the deck is designed well, terminating into the slope can be an asset. It all depends on your budget and what you want for living space. I agree with Kirk, a proper design- instead of digging and laying block blindly- will save you a ton of money.
  7. Scenic Excellence

    Scenic Excellence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    You should have a professional come in for sure!

    what you should do is have the hill layered. split the hil in two basically make one retaining wall at the bottom then level back and another retaining wall for the rest of the hill. You should have someone come in for doing a job like this and also through the retaining walls you could have stairs going up to the other layers so you have more liveable space.
  8. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    These guys are all right. I wouldn't consider myself an expert but i do have experience building walls and know the kind of guys that can do a job like this.

    Off the top of my head, i would say a combination of deck and retaining walls to make usable space of the hill side. I've seen these hills locally in stafford co. and some of them are bad and can barely be mowed. The walls will have to made of an engineered precast concrete block. Allan Block, EP Henry, Versa-lock. Regardless, you need to have someone come and do a "consultation". Let them know you might do this project yourself. It will affect who comes out and what they tell you.
  9. northjerseymonster

    northjerseymonster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I would start with having a sales rep from one of the retaining wall companies come out to look. Any good sales rep will do this and it's free. The rep will look at the slope of the hill. The ratio of elevation change to distance. They can help you determine if a terraced apllication is possible or a single cut wall.

    Fro example if you needed to cut back into the grade where a single wall would need to be 4 feet and over from grade you would need geosynthetic reinforcement behind the wall extending back at least 70% the wall height. This would require an aditional 3 feet of excavated depth for 4 foot walls on average.

    The severity of the slope, soil conditions and water flow will determine what wall meterial and design details are possible. You could get off to a pretty good start talking with a manufacturers rep, and then if necessary a residential engineer to provide the structural plan.

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