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Help with Possible Retaining Wall...(Pics Included)

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by eskals, May 16, 2001.

  1. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    I was thinking of building a retaining wall in my parents back yard and have a few questions. I took some pictures of the area and uploaded them to webshots. Click here to see them: http://community.webshots.com/user/eskals

    We have what I guess you could call a large ditch in the back. That is about the best way to describe it, although it is more like a hill intersecting another hill. My plan was to build a wall on the steepest section because nothing really stays on the hill, and it looks terrible. It would be about 2 feet high by about 40 feet long.

    A couple of questions...

    Is this a feasible project? I figured that it would be a good way to gain some experience on my own property and my own time.

    Would I be better off putting the wall at the bottom of the hill, or slightly above the bottom?

    My parents like the look of Allan Block, europa collection. Is this a good block for this size wall? I was thinking of using the largest block in that collection to keep things simple.

    Anything else come to mind that I am not thinking of?

    Thanks much,

  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Ok, start at the bottom of the ditch, excavate about 12" below the ditch. You should have no problems with this wall. Allen Block is ok but I think other block might be better.
  3. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210


    Thanks for the advice. You say excavate 12" below ditch. How much base? Six inches? Should I put in some drainage pipe behind the wall? What block would you prefer?

    I'm all ears, so go ahead with your sugesstions. I'm just hoping to learn as much as I can.

  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    I prefer a solid wall unit, Allen Block wants you to tamp each layer of gravel fill(hollow spaces in wall units) , seems like a lot of extra work !
  5. neighborguy

    neighborguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I agree with paul, I would prefer to use a solid block such as Versa lok (if you want to use the larger block). I think you might also be able to get away with using a handywall type block (smaller with the lip on the back). If I remember they allow you to go up to 2' high and are easier on the back to install. Dig your trench to 12", six inches for compacted base and the rest for at least one buried course. Rather than run a drainage pipe behind it I would just be sure to use a course stone (no fines) as a drainage material behind the wall.
  6. eskals

    eskals LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    Good to know that it can be done!

    I appreciate the tips on the selection of block. Never having done this before, I thought that the gravel inside the block would add weight and therefore stability. I am sure it does to some extent, but I also can see how it would be more work.


  7. lawnboykb

    lawnboykb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    The mag Handyman just did a good article about that in it.

    Is that webshot site free?

    Your wall is to low, but not far from my house a guy got killed and 3or4 others hurt real bad when one of those walls fell over on them just the other day.

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