Small Retaining Wall Project

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by CMland, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Hey Guys,

    This is my first year doing hardscaping on my own. Have worked in landscaping/hardscaping for a while but most was landscape work. Working up a proposal for what will be my first wall project. ICPI certified. Seems like a nice job to start with. Have never designed or estimated this work before so I have a few questions.

    I am removing old wall and lighting on one side of driveway and installing new wall (29 linear ft) and lights, but homeowner wants to keep old steps and walkway.

    House already has a mix of stone and brick so worried an EP Henry Wall will not fit in, so any input on that would help.

    If excavated dirt is level and raise grade behind wall, and assuming new wall follows same line as old wall, should wall be height of the top step and then run an "L" carry it back to where the step meets the walkway?

    On other side, just removing wood edging and putting new edge, probably cobble stone.

    Thanks for any help. Trying to learn and do things right.
  2. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    trying to upload photos
  3. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    here's the pictures


    Image 2.jpg

    Image 1.jpg
  4. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    also, meant to write If exavated dirt is "USED TO" level and raise grade behind wall
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would just do coblestone on both sides and grade the lawn to meet it. I don't think it requires a proper "wall"
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  6. clipfert

    clipfert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I know it's low. Customer asked for a wall and it could be used here. Would everyone recommend against it? That's what forums are for, learning and teaching.
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    You have a situation. You want to learn and figure this is an easy project. The homeowner probably smells the new and figures it is as simple as removing the wood and replacing with block.

    The truth is that this could go horribly wrong and become a real problem. Done improperly the driveway edge will move and you'll have some ticked off clients. Cobble is expensive, but stepping the wall over several vertical feet will add up too. I agree a wall is not needed. Concrete a curb and be done. Let me ask you, are you planning on cutting the driveway out to lay your base in front of the wall or are you planning to place the wall back and fill in with patch. I'm fairly certain the owner is not expecting either and you can't just slap it up against the driveway.
  9. CMland

    CMland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I was going to cut driveway out to make room for base in front of wall. They want to redo driveway soon. Like I said I have worked on wall systems before so I explained to the homeowner what goes under and around the wall to make it last. They want a wall that will last and realize all this.

    I realize this is a very small wall. With that said, I am looking for help on how to make it fit into this setting.

    I have done a lot of driveway edge- pavers, brick, cobblestone and know how to install correctly. Although I am tagging this as "first job on my own" do not think I am planning on building anything the wrong way or shortcutting, and the homeowner is on the same page that whatever goes in will be built to last
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Such a slight grade.


    Based on the pictures you've provided - they don't need a retaining wall. The way I work my small business is I always look for other solutions before I sell them a wall. For a property like this I would only sell them a wall if no other solutions are viable.

    I know you really wanna do your first wall, but this property doesn't need one. I would try sell them on a simple grading job first, they really do not need a wall. All a wall will do is cause the car doors to bang against it.

    Take the lamp post out, and carve out the grade to taper to the asphalt. Have electrician come and plant a new lamp post when done.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

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