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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a customer who wants a stone retaining wall 43' in length. The problem is it's at the end of his driveway that drops off at a 30 degree slope. I know there's going to be a lot of work with a shovel, but my question is how to keep it from sinking into the ground. One idea that I have is to put down 2" of crushed lime stone, but am open for other ideas. Also need to know what most would charge for something like this? Some of the other factors are: 1) it will make (1) 90 degree bend to the left and (1) one 180 degree bend. 2) average is 4' in width 3) graduated wall- 1' in height at shallow point and 5' high at tallest point.

Any ideas?
 

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you will need to pour a concrete footer for the wall.

unless you know what you are doing, pass on this one.

GEO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sub it out sounds like the best idea. Can make a few $$$ without getting in over my head. What would most of you do? 5% finders fee or bid the job for slightly more than a contractor would charge?
 

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How are we supposed to learn anything if we just sub it out? I would like to learn how to do some of this stuff to but whenever someone asks a question like this everyones response is always sub it out. Maybe he should sub it out but It would be nice If people could give a rough idea how to do it. When I get to the point of doing this kind of work I will have an expierenced person helping but at least I wouldnt be going into the project blind.
 

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when you go into a project like this and you have to ask for information that is a bad sign. This is a high liability project that involves a retaining wall. If that retaining wall doesn't hold, you yourself could be in a big lawsuit if it does damage to someone or something
 

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When you say stone. What kind of stone?

Wall rock, boulders, concrete wall systems?

5' is kinda high for certain materials and determines methods.


may want to terrace it at the highest area. This will add another planting area and add more interest and eye appeal to the job, in my opinion anyway, and is easier to build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Originally posted by GLAN
When you say stone. What kind of stone?

Wall rock, boulders, concrete wall systems?

5' is kinda high for certain materials and determines methods.

may want to terrace it at the highest area. This will add another planting area and add more interest and eye appeal to the job, in my opinion anyway, and is easier to build.
Thanks again GLAN. Why is it whenever I have a question you have a good answer? Just exactly how long have you been in the industry?

Anyway, to answer your question he wanted the prefab. bricks with a locking lip on the back. Can usually find them at Lowe's. They don't require any mortar. The only thing holding them in place is the outward pressure from the soil. I believe they are the ones you refered to as "concrete wall systems".
 

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Tiedman- I know what you are saying, but it is nice to get a little info in projects like this and see different opinons on the best way to go about it. Not something I would try alone without expierence but seems like eveyone just says "oh sub it out you cant do it" Well someday I will beable to do it and would like to pass the knowledge onto someone else. Not trying to knock anyone but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
Matt-
 

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With any wall a good footing is necessary.


This can be achieved with either a concrete base or packed crushed gravel of several inches tamped at about 2" intervals. the height in my opinion is critical as to the base preperation. The higher it is the more weight on the base.

That is why I suggested a terraced wall where it is 5' high or there abouts as you indicated. Terracing reduces the outward pressure and is much less digging back.

Some have posted in other threads using a perforated pipe for drainage. Or you can just back fill with some gravel if not going to tall with the walls. Proper drainage will also reduce the outward pressure.

What we have done with some walls is leave weep (sp) gaps so the water drains out.
 

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Few points in this thread ... no you don't have to sub it out but you better make sure you know what your doing.... First of all I m not familiar with your block but some blocks can't be used for anything over 18-24" ...second of all 5 ft is to high without grid and it doesn't matter if it is tiered unless the second wall is at least 2 x the distance away (of the height of the bottom wall). All the forces will be against the toe of the wall.
 

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Promower:

I understand your frustration. If you want to learn how to build a wall work for a retaining wall company for a few years. Retaining walls are tricky beasts and expensive (not to mention extremely labor intensive) to repair.

The way I approach learning new skills without sub-ing it out is to find a "trial" job. Find someone you can say..."I've never done this before but if you'll sign this waiver I have in my hand I would love to try it for you at cost". I've learned many interesting skills using that approach. (sometimes without a waiver, but that's a risk...depends on what you have to lose)
 

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Some of the engineered wall blocks are pre designed for a 4' lift . Most of these have dowel inserts to pin them in place and not the normal lip design like the stuff you find at Home Depot or Lowes . I would also use geo grid at about 18" and again on course below the top course or cap block. For the footing you would want to use at least 6" of compacted base . Use a rented compactor to do this. I also like laying
the first course in pea gravel or sand about 2 " works well. This allows you to level the base course without bumps in your wall. You will also want to back fill and compact as you go up with the wall . If you are in an area that has lots of water run off you will have to find away to drain this or else the weight of the saturated soil will cause the wall to over turn . As others said retaining walls are very tricky . I have been involved with walls that stand 40' vertical and hold up with the proper tie back system.

You said you need to make a 180 bend . Wouldn't that mean you are laying the wall back across itself :D

One thing you didn't mention is the type of soil in the location. Is it high expansion material like clay or more of a sandy silt ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Bitterroot for responding, as well as all of the other great advice posted by others. I ended up contacting my best friends father-in-law who has 27 years experience in landscaping. He agreed to let me work with his crew on the project to help me learn the ins and outs. Not only is he paying me a 10% finders fee, but also offered to pay me $10/hr for my labor. Couldn't pass on that deal. Being paid to learn. I hope I can do more deals like this. Have any of you done anything along that line for other lco's trying to get into landscaping?
 

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Im glad your subbing it out and getting paid to learn ... there is a lot of info left out in this thread.... how much block to bury etc etc ...frankly there is also some bad advise ...pea gravel for a base? NO way!
 

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Kris,
The used the word " pea gravel " by mistake . I was thinking of course sand . I use a small bed of sand under the first course most of this is pushed out when the block is set ., but it keeps you from fighting the small pebbles in the compacted base from tilting the base course . The block is in compression at this point and the first course is always keyed into the sub grade.
 
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