Ret. Wall Error


LawnSite Silver Member
While signing up a new contract today for residential grounds care I was asked about a solution to a retaining wall error. The homeowner recently purchased the home and was interested in landscaping above the wall. I pointed out that the cap stones on the retaining wall were installed backwards/up-side-down/forwards. They are looking for a resolution without having to replace major portions of it. Wall is a versa-lok pin system.

Does anyone have any suggestions for removing the caps without breaking the existing blocks beneath.

Thanks for your help.


Lawnsite Addict
You mean they put the split face backwards, not toward the face of the wall:)
Take two wide chisles and drive them slowly between the cap and block, they should pop off, then you might need a hand grinder to clean up the block underneath you will need new caps.


LawnSite Member
Caps on a Versa Lok system are easily replaced. They might be difficult to start getting off, because of the adhesive that is used to hold them on, but once you get a end stated they should come right off. The best thing we have found for removing them is a crowbar under one end.
I'm not quit sure how you mean they are put on wrong? Some peaple prefer a flat face on the cap to set it a part from the rest of the wall while others like the textured side out to match the rest of wall. In some instances we will put the cap flush with the top layer of block while most times we will overhang it approx. 1" to get a reveal look. Hope this helps.


Lawnsite Addict
We have to grind the back edge at times on parks that use Versa-lok walls for edges, this way they have a bevel on both sides, so you could use a 4" grinder with a diamond wheel and just put the bevel on yourself.


LawnSite Bronze Member
This may not be the most fiscally responsible asnwer...

If I understand correctly, the caps are on sort-of correctly, just upside down (bevel-side down). Also, not every V-lok cap mfg makes them with bevels. Just an FYI. If this is the case, then structurally the wall shouldn't be in any peril.

It may be a safety issue, and that is the reason Paul grinds bevels into the back sides of the caps (I believe). If there's no pedestrian traffic, this may not be an issue.

So, if the view doesn't really bother the customer, and the above questions are answered, you may not need to do anything.

One other thing to consider - if you work on that wall and something else goes wrong with it in a year, even though you may not have done anything to cause that problem, they may look to you for reparation. Odds are probably slim, but I'm a glass-half-empty kind of guy, so this kind of stuff always comes to mind for me.

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