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In the Trenches

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Squizzy246B, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    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.

    Trench 007.jpg
  2. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Second pic is prepping up the corner. We have to add backing blocks from below the footing of the existing wall and raise the top of the wall by two courses, which is about 28". The sewer line is always in the way. The discolouration on my shirt is not cause I just took a shower:

    sweat 013.jpg
  3. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Here we are boxing out around the drainage manhole (which is a handy thing to have in your backyard:rolleyes: ). The original arrangement basically used the well liners as part of the retaining wall!

    Don't mind Paul our gifted stone mason...hes an OH&S walking nightmare.

    BoxOut 015.jpg
  4. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    This just shows the blocks coming up to try and make a silk purse out of a pile of rubble.

    Blocks 016.jpg
  5. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    This last one shows us getting to the top of the existing wall with the fence now removed. Behind the palm is a swimming pool way lower. We just have to add a couple of courses to this and put in some new fencing. Then we can turn the corner and dig up between the two houses. That will cut off two/from access so its a logistic nightmare. Hope some of you are getting a good chuckle out of this.

    walls 021.jpg
  6. orionkf

    orionkf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    Great pics, looks like lotsa fun!

    I was just wondering though...107 in the hole, and LONG sleeves??
  7. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Ever seen an Arab in shorts and a T-shirt?. Better to keep the sun off.:)
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    don't envy you on that one...

    good luck... sucker..LOL
  9. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Squizz - Are you playing a gameboy or what?:laugh: That must be one tough shovel to hold you up like that!


  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Squizz,, attach a tarp overhead to protect you from the beating sun..then hook you up a fan with a long extention cord and put it down there to curculate the air..you will love it and it wont be in the way if you do it right.You have no Idea what a difference this can make when it comes to comfort and productivity on jobs like this..Please take the time to give it a try and tell me how much you love me for the suggestion later bby!

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