Need help with rebuilding sagging wall?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Emerscape, May 1, 2005.

  1. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    One of my clients recently asked me to take a look at a retaining wall on her property that has began to sag. I do not have much experience in building or rebuilding walls (even though its one of those pavestone or keystone walls) but would like to do the job for her because she is a great client. Ive posted some picutres below. As you can see It happens in the same area on the upper and lower wall in the pictures and the wall begins to sage about 5 feet or so from the house. Can someone give me some pointers on how to go about fixing it and also an idea of how i should charge her for it.

    My thoughts that I should remove the block from the target area(after removing the material behind it, starting from the top by going way outside of the damaged area and working my way down so not to disturb the entire wall. Get down to the base and re-build the base, compact and level and then build the wall back up.

    any help would be greatly appreciated

    Picture 018.jpg

    Picture 019.jpg

    Picture 020.jpg
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Maybe it's me. but I can't see the sag on the lower wall....anyways. You are absolutely correct. I would disassemble the wall from 3 feet to the left of the sag all the way to the house and excavate the area again (apparently there is something going on down there to make it drop like that) Once you reach a suitable subsoil I would wrap the excavation w/ geotextile separation fabric and rebuild the base. Once your base is in start placing the wall back together (Make sure you install drainage stone behind the wall) Also, check for the existance of drainage tile. If it's not there you could be faced with even more of a problem. HTH.

  3. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    Looks like that particular area is caving in. Funny how the driveway doesn't show signs of cracking.

    Anyway, after you get te mid section out, you might find a sinkhole there. make sure you compact the h..ll out of the base. Maybe there was a tree there before the wall was built and the stump is sinking causing a void for water??

    Whatever the case, you got the right approach.
  4. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    Awesome.. thanks for the fast feedback. So heres my plan of action:
    1) excavate behind the bottom wall about 3- 4 feet deep and about 3 feet on each side.
    2) as the excavation is being completed im going to start removing block and work our way down.
    3. Once reaching the base, reinforce the base with 3/4" minus and compact heavily.
    4) Rebuild t he wall, using geotextile fabrix every 2 or 3 feet. BAckfilling the wall with either peastone or bigger ( we usually use bigger stone the exact name escapes me at the moment) (i took a look and whover built it used peastone)
    5) Glue the caps on and continue to the top wall and repeat the process.

    Does this sound right? Also is it ok to start with the bottom first and then the top or should i do it the other way around? Thirdly, what is drainage tile ? Also can anyone give me an idea for what i should charge.. Im planning on using three men to complete the job...
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    always work bottom up...

    drainage tile is merely pipe that will drain away water..
  6. Electra_Glide

    Electra_Glide LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75


    I would bid it straight time and materials, especially since you don't really know what you're going to find until you get the existing wall out of there. Like somebody already mentioned, if there's no drain tile, then you have a whole different situation.

    Tell her it's going to cost "X" dollars per man per hour, and you'll work like hell to get it done as quickly as possible. For me, I bill labor at about $30-$40/hour.

    Joe Kantz
  7. Laurentian

    Laurentian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I agree it sounds like you have the right approch.. Estimating a project would be very tough becasue you do not know what is down there. Since this is an existing customer I would tell her time and materials. If you have to get a price add a day more then your best guess. We charge 40 to 45 an hour for this type of work. Good luck
  8. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    if there is no drainage tile what should i do? excavate everything and re fill with proper materials
  9. Electra_Glide

    Electra_Glide LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Yes...anything else is asking for problems down the road.

    Joe Kantz

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