Some jobs you never can tell until you dig things up. To be honest the 4 Ficus trees should have been a dead giveaway. Anyway, Mr and Mrs new home owner want a pool and a backyard that doesn't drop to 3 feet to the fence. Fence is on top of old limestone retaining wall built by "smash and grab" developer. The city and the Water Board should never have allowed any of the probs this site has but me being the idiot I am, said I'd do it...in the middle of a heat wave. We are working from the high side and none of the neighbours want anything to do with the job even though its in their best interests. All three neighbours have pools so we have safety issues when fences are down. The existing wall cannot be surcharged by our modifications. The existing wall, as we found out after excavating, is a "mudguard" which means its all nice looking on the outside and its full of ***t underneath. The wall had some recon on the face but the backing was all busted up natural stone, poorly installed. The ficus roots got in everywhere. The drainage manhole was too low and had to be raised. On the downside of the original wall there is an 8 foot drop to the swimming pool. To put the new pool in for Mr & Mrs new owner we have to install concrete pylons along the back of the wall. All this in temps over 100 for most of the time. Up the top of the trench was OK but downstairs it was over 107 deg F when i checked oneday. First pic shows the trench we dug, of course there is not enough room for all the spoil so that has to be run to the front, making a big mess.