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Need help with wall! Repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Omaha Lawnguy, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Omaha Lawnguy

    Omaha Lawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Here's the scoop. Went to look at a wall that customer says needs repair. the wall is about 80' long, about 7' tall in the center, 4' tall on one end where it meets the stairs (made from the same block) and disappears into the hill on the other end. Made with diamond beveled block. The wall is bowed out in the center (about a 30' section) and there are large spaces between the blocks. By looking through the blocks it's obvious that some crush-n-run was used and some gravel as well, but for the most part, all you see back there is dry frozen soil. I see no indication that there is any draintile exiting this wall anywhere. No drainage!!!:dizzy:

    So the question is..Do I just tear down the damaged section and rebuild it with drainage in that part, or explain to the homeowner that doing that is like putting a band-aid on a severed limb (not that there's anything wrong with band-aids) and that we need to tear down and rebuild the entire wall properly? What do you think? I forgot my camera, so I'll get some pics tomorrow and see if I can post 'em.

  2. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

    My thought....complete rebuild, because after you do anything your name will be on that wall. I'd ask the homeowner if they took any pics of their wall while under construction. If they have pics you could see what the first contractor did.
  3. Omaha Lawnguy

    Omaha Lawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    He just bought the home about a year ago and was hoping it would last a few more years but this years serious freeze thaw cycle here in Omaha must have done it in.
  4. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    if 30 foot is bowed then your taking at least 40 feet to make repairs.....

    besides the time involved to tie it back together... would you want to see another section bow next year....

    start fresh...talk them into something fancier and better built

  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Obviously the wall has no drainage field and did not give any room for freeze thaw cycles. #1 the wall should come down and be installed correctly. #2 you are going to need an architect or geotechnical engineer to get involved since the wall is over 4' tall. #3 If you don't know what your doing, hire someone that does or you'll be back to square one.
  6. Majesticman

    Majesticman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    If it looks like the v's in the blocks are not filled completely it is a stack an fill wall. Drainage or no drainage it has no lineal strength and another section will fail. If it does you could eat the whole deal. The v's have to be filled to work.

    Take it down. The homeowner should get an engineer involved and sue the builder. It will take out you competitor.
  7. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    If they insist on a repair, you can't guarantee anything. Do a complete rebuild or don't touch it. It might make them think twice if someone won't repair it since its seriously screwed up. When was the wall put in? The first guy should be sued for the cost of replacement.
  8. AceFinish

    AceFinish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Yah I would redo the whole thing because who it to say that a few years down the road another section of the wall will do the same thing and you will have to come back and repair that.
  9. Omaha Lawnguy

    Omaha Lawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the help so far, I've decided to do like you guys suggest and go with a rebuild.

    Okay, so I hope these picks show up.

    Anyways I'm gonna tell the guy to tear down and total rebuild at about $12,500 using his same block. I feel like this is too much for this project. I've calculated the total wall space to be about 450 sq ft. That works out to almost $28 per sq ft including the 25 tons of gravel and 8 tons of crush-n-run but without buying the block. I estimate that to replace the block would run the guy another $4,800.

    Most of the walls I do are much smaller than this does this seem about right? Also is there any problem with using the old block?

    Thanks again for the help guys.




  10. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    The block is still good. I bet the drain field is faulty. Also, is there any grid visible? You should see it between the layers.

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