Need help with sitting wall settling

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Lee MD, May 25, 2012.

  1. Lee MD

    Lee MD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    My apologies for posting in the non-homeowner forum, but I'm desperate to get professional hardscape advice that seems to be missing from the homeowner forum. I have an "L-shaped" Techo Mini Creta sitting wall that seems to have settled on the corner. The company that installed the wall along with my patio 4 years ago is basically telling me to shim it or pay them to rebuild the wall. More details are in my original thread here

    Thanks in advance.
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    Hello Fellow Marylander!

    Respectfully, I don't have time to answer your question, click links, and read other threads :) Can you merely post a picture or two in this thread ? Where did the wall settle? Is it near the dwelling's foundation overdig zone, or no where near the dwelling's foundation?

    A few questions about your contractor selection process first. Many times home owners come on here wanting assistance and answers, after a bunch of posts back and forth we find that the home owner got theirself into this mess and is as much at fault as the sub-par contractor.

    1) Where did you find this contractor?

    2) How many contractors did you speak with before making the selection?

    3) What was the driving factor in hiring this contractor? (and please be honest. I'm / we're taking the time to help you, so please answer truthfully)

    4) At the time did you make sure the contractor is licensed in the State of MD to perform Home Improvement work, is he/she a MHIC contractor? For future projects here is a link to help you:

    Now lets talk about the contract / contractor:

    1) Does the contract that you signed state anything about warranty? Most hardscape guys warranty their work for 5 years. So if something like settlement happens - we have to correct it. If you have a 5 yr warranty, send them a certified letter stating they have 20 days to correct it, or you will hire a contractor to make their correction and you will seek reimbursement plus fees through litigation.

    2) Shimming the wall is not acceptable. It HAS to be taken down. The middle or top of the wall doesn't settle, settlement occurs in the ground. Aggregate needs added and compacted. And wall needs re-built, from the ground up.

    3) Does the contract say anything about not being liable for settlement within so many feet of the dwelling's foundation?

    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    Another thought - if the warranty is infact expired, then you should expect to pay to have the wall corrected.

    We have a client with slight settlement of pavers. It'll take 20 minuets to correct. Warranty expired the first week of March 2011. No, we're NOT fixing it for free. Fair is fair. But I'm willing to fix it for the cost of fuel to drive to the house and for the cost of my laborers time. Basically $100.00 total for everything.
  4. Lee MD

    Lee MD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for your response.

    Here are the pics of the wall:

    Outside View-no Shim
    Outside View-with Shim

    Top View-no shim
    Top View-with shim

    Inside View-no shim
    Inside View-with shim

    Uploaded with

    1) I found the contractor using a non-ad site called The contractor has been in business for awhile.

    2) I spoke with about 4 different contractors.

    3) I used a combination of price, paver selection and references when I selected the contractor. They were in the middle of the price ranges I was quoted.

    4) The contractor is definitely licensed.

    1) No, there was no warranty specified. When I discussed the contract, they said that they stand by their work and will take care of any issues. I actually had a friend who is looking for a hardscaper to call my contractor to ask about their warranty. The person he spoke with said that they don't have a warranty because they will take care of any installation issues for as long as the company is in business.

    2) That's what I thought as well. Shims are not the solution.

    3) Nothing in the contract mentions limited liability except for plantings.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    Nothing in writing about the warranty. Pretty Sneaky, huh?!

    Techo's block is as near perfect as can get. Techo's block does not need shims. Techo-bloc prides theirselves on this fact.

    The wall needs re-built. Most likely from the ground up. Now, there is glue in that wall. The glue bond is stronger than the block. So this means it is highly probable that additional caps and some block may need to be purchased.

    We veteran competent contractors go to strides to educate prospective clients about what to look for when hiring contractors and when building hardscapes. I never imagined a contractor would not have anything stated in their contract regarding warranty. Again - sneaky sneaky sneaky.

    I can't tell you how many times homeowners say "they been in business for a long time". Blah blah blah. That means nothing. Because they most likely spent at least 1/2 that time mowing lawns.

    This contractor from your area doesnt by chance have the word "diversified" in their name do they?
  6. Lee MD

    Lee MD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    This is what I was afraid of. What are the chances the new blocks will blend with the old ones?

    I wish I could find the emails that went back and forth about the work because I know I was concerned about not seeing a warranty in writing.

    I did take a look at the contractor's portfolio and discussed their work before meeting with them.

    No, but "landscape" and "design" are.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    Chances are slim that the block colors will match.

    I believe in good Karma and bad Karma.

    That guy will get what he deserves sooner or later.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Lee MD

    Lee MD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Should I hire a different contractor to fix the wall?
  9. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Another thought in terms of correcting the settlement.

    Considering this is a seat wall, you may be able to jack the wall with grout.

    you could check with a foundation repair company like JES. --
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,583

    If you're happy with both the work and your experience with this guy - then pay him to fix the work that he promised to stand behind.

    If you're not happy with the work and bothered that he has let you down ......then why give him anOther dollar????

    Posted via Mobile Device

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