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Hoe to replace existing retaining wall?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by PerfiCut L&L, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    We've built a number of patios, and walls, but have yet to replace an existing wall, so I'm looking for a little advise.

    Customer has approx 25'x40' brick patio which is buckling and shifting. One side has about a 3' high retaining wall using large landscape timbers which are rotted. He wants to replace them, but my concern is how to remove them without losing the back fill and that whole side of the patio. More than likely I imagine a good portion of the patio stones will end up having to be relaid. Im actually considering trying to convince the customer to upgrade that to pavers but one thing at a time.

    How do you pull a retaining wall without losing that portion of the pation?
  2. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    We frequently block out existing retaining walls. There is three ways to do it:

    1) Tear it all down and start over, gives the best result and is reasonably economical

    2) Leave the existing retaining in place, build you retainer outside it and then pull the timbers out, backfill and repair all the paving plus new edging cause its now bigger. Not a bad option if you have the room and it doesn't screw up steps etc. This works well when the existing retainer is stone but not for timber.

    3) Build your retaining wall in small stages, take down a couple of yards and build up, take down another couple and so on. It takes time, its difficult to get your footing consistent. Its a PITA for installing grid if required and it often ends up costing the same as 1).

    Its time to look at the "penny wise pound foolish" scenario and talk them into doing it properly...IMH experience anyway. Somebody might have a better idea.

    Your best angle may be the engineering requirement for the new wall; if its to be done properly it may demand Option 1).
  3. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    Thanks, and I think youve about covered th options I could think of, but wasnt sure.

    Leaving up the existing wall and building the new wall just outside is not feasable without replacing the entire patio stone too. Mainly because I'm not sure you can buy it anymore. Secondly, the timbers will eventually rot completely and cause a sink hole effect in due time.

    I'm thinking, if the customer does not want to replace current patio bricks with new pavers, then we're going to have to keep the patio the same size or smaller than whats there. So I figure, yank up 8 or 10 fee of the current patio, using small excavator if possible dig out the necessary current backfill (dirt), install wall, then fill with proper drainage and stone. Reinstall old patio stones. Probably the cheapest fix to whats there now.

    Should the customer opt to upgrade the patio stones then its a different story. I'd also like to see them have a set of recessed steps in the patio leading to the rest of the yard.
  4. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    Sorry if this is a duplicate, first image wouldnt let me link to my pics, now I cant get rid of it.

    Anyhow, below should get you to a few pics I took of the proposed project.

  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    I would just take up the existing patio (or just a portion), saving he brick. If it is buckling already it is due to a poor base anyhow. Do what you have to do with the wall, and relay the base "properly" and relay the brick. Everything should go back together easily since it's just a running bond and no curves or anything. If you wanted to make sure you have enough material, you could make it slightly smaller just to cya. :)
  6. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    sounds good.
  7. wahlturfcare

    wahlturfcare LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 549

    I did a redid a block wall that was only 5 feet away from the back of a house that the builder put in about 5 years ago. I has to tear alittle down at a time and shovel the dirt away. the reason it fell is the developer never put drain tile in behind it, and filled have of the wal(6'7 feet tall) with pea gravel and the rest on top with clay soil. I have pics some where of it if you need to see how I did it.
    I would definately steer away from the timbers though and go with block.

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