Stone veneer over RR tie wall???

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by fshrdan, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. fshrdan

    fshrdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    We have a customer with a medium size retaining wall in pretty good shape. Their budget is on the slim side. They hate the look of RR ties and would like to see a stacked stone wall in its place. Removing the wall and installing a block wall with a stone veneer will eat up most of the budget and leave little money for the green goods.

    Question: Would it be bad practice to nail a metal lathe over the tie wall and then veneer rocks over that? Never done this before, but I think it'd save $10/sq ft and give the effect they want. Any special considerations like increased weep holes, etc?

    Thanks for any advice.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    uh, are you crazy??? do us all a favor. If you are not going to do it right, don't do it at all. If the customer can't afford to do it right, then they need not do it or find more funds. Don't be "That Guy"
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    It may work.........for maybe a week or until they see your tail lights dissapear into the distance. DON"T DO IT!!! And when this fine piece of crapsmanship fails, who do you think they are going to call to come warranty or fix it? And your reputation? RUN!!! Nothing hurts a career more, or for that matter your personal integrity, than doing something that is wrong on so many levels.
  4. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Ok Im gonna be that guy! Im not saying to do it or not to do it BUT If the rr tie wall was built well with dead men And its not leaning I dont see why it couldnt be done. House veeners are similar. The only real problem I see is moisture causing swelling in the ties and causeing movement. Maybe if you excavated behind the wall and added 3/4 and filter fabric with some plumbing through the wall to keep the water and moisture directly off the ties. Then did a lath and scratch coat over the front. Or excavated beind the wall, wraped both sides in tar paper, lath and scratched both sides then backfilled with 3/4 and added plumbing through the wall, and vennered the front side. Again this is me just thinking out loud to try to help make a problem into a solution. I would probably only go with a ledgestone style cultured so as not to add mortar joints that could possibly crack over time. Basically your customer would have to understand that there are no garantees after your done and get it in writing. The problem is once you go through all the trouble to keep the wall and preserve it the labor cost will probably be the same as if you tear it down and just go with cmu as a base. GOOD LUCK!
  5. fshrdan

    fshrdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    OK, seems like you guys don't like this idea. But rock is veneered over wood products all the time. I.e. chimneys, gable ends, etc. What makes this application so different?

    My main concern is correcting the batter of the original wall. I've thought about framing out the top to plumb up with the bottom and installing plywood over the entire wall, installing a metal lathe, scratch coating and then doing the stacked stone. I could then install a wide cap to cover the new wood material plus the existing top course of ties. Please specify why this is a bad idea. Why is this "wrong on so many levels". I'm not "crazy" either, that's why I'm researching this and asking others' opinions. But I would like valid reasons why this would not work.

    Also, the main limiting factor in removing the tie wall is proper RR tie disposal. All local landfills charge $50.00 per tie... no one wants them. This is a huge expense in itself. Can a heavy duty chipper grind these ties sufficiently? that may be one way to dispose of them more economically.
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    The only difference is that behind the "wood product" is usually a house... not earth. Veneer will pop after a while if concrete blocks aren't sealed correctly, and you want to install it over RR ties? Take the advice and don't do it. :dizzy:
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    It won't work the same reason why a masonry structure won't work without a footing below the frost line.
  8. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    The question really comes down to $. When I tear out those rr tie walls I usually just get dumpsters. I put as many as I can in the dumpster as neatly as I can and then pay the over weight fee, and of course hand the bill to the customer.

    A cultured veener is goin to run them about 25 - 30 a sq ft installed, ask them if they really want to spend the money on something that may or may not work.
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,650

    The is some plastic scirting that people use to cover decks or mobile homes or sheds etc, that comes in a rock finish that would eaisly nail vover the rr ties
  10. AceFinish

    AceFinish LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Yah dude I don't reccomend that. Think about yah they do it on houses but that material is made to have things attached to it. A house does not have earth aganist the wood it is aganist the concrete foundation that is made to withstand the pressure and the moisture of the earth. A few years done the road that wall will be junk.

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