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retaining wall questions

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mjohnson1, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    one of my customers has asked me for an estimate for a small wall and i want to make sure i am going about things correctly before i finalize anything. its hard to describe, but they have an above-ground pool with a slope that is about 4 feet away from the pool and goes about a third of the way around. the slope is about four to five feet high at one end, and it gradually slopes down as it curves till it is level with the yard. it is shady and nothing will grow there, so it has become a muddy eyesore. my plan of action was to dig back into the slope so that the wall will be about three feet high at the highest end, and end up level with they yard at the other end. the wall is going to follow the curve of the slope, so it will be a partial circle shape if you can picture what im saying. he has a gutter drain pipe that he wants me to hide behind the wall. (a french drain, i think, right?) the pipe is the kind that has holes in it for drainage, so i was going to replace it with a solid pipe so it wont erode the back of the wall. my questions are:

    1. can i forgo the solid pipe and put drainage gravel around the slitted one, and if i do that, i would have to put fabric on the back of the wall, so soil won't wash through, correct? or should i do that no matter which pipe i use?

    2. i was going to bury the first course, is that necessary with a 3 foot wall? and should i put compacted sand or crusher run under the first course or just compact the soil?

    3. finally, they want those blocks from home depot, is there anything special i need to know about those? i notice that the way the blocks fit together, each course is a little bit further back than the one below it, so do i need to start the wall out a few inches and then backfill behind it?
    thanks for any help or insights, your a dumbass don't try this, etc.
  2. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    other than figuring out how to build your wall you are going to need to check into specific codes that your town or state my require for this type of wall.
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Wouldnt it made more sence to build the wall first then do the pool. Are you going to be able to get eqpt. and material behind the wall to work and backfill, etc. This is a ass backward project and it sounds like you dont know what you are doing, i would not take it on if i was you, no more than i would perform brain surgery. Not to dump on you but this is serious business you need to know the basics and have some kind of experiencs and training before you take on projects as such. Guys like you is why i pay high liability premiums.
  4. Total Landscape Solutions

    Total Landscape Solutions LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    No harm or malicious intent or anything but you have no clue what you are about to undertake. Save yourself the time, the customers headache (from a job poorly planned (and done)), and the let people who know what they are doing take the job.

    I love that you are ambitious to learn about walls, but do it on your own time, not at the customers expense. :nono:
  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I guess what we are trying to tell you this forum is not a vocational class. Most of us here are prof. contractors making our living at this work. Yes, we had to start some where but not in this manner. How do you think your customer would feel reading your thread that a guy they put there trust in doesent have a clue. It would be like me getting my home re-wired and the guy i was going to hire made a thread like this in a electrial forum, i would be very out raged. You can check my previous post over 500 just this year, i am always willing to help some one as others do here but we dont help people rip off our customers. Most of us mainly share ideas and do help one another but we know what we are doing and most questions asked we really could figure out on our own. I hope you take the time to get some training, first check with srw manuf. they will steer you in the right direction. Always remember put your self in the customers shoes the next time you bid something. With out them we dont get a pay check. Good luck to you.

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