This wall has problems.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Lawnut101, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Only if we have a permit or some other government interruption. Usually we have more at stake than the inspector so we try to do it right the first time.
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    The rule of thumb is: if the wall is 4' or higher it needs to be engineered. But see, that rule of thumb pertains ONLY to a perfect world scenario.

    HOWEVER! There is more to it than that. First of all, there are always reasons why walls are needed. If the site was perfect to begin with - then a wall would not be needed. Chances of it being a perfect world are slim. In other words - the 4' rule is not always the case.

    We built a wall back in 1999 that failed. To this date it's the only wall I have had fail. It was about 42-inches in height. It failed because I built the wall based on the "four foot" rule. "oh, it's under 4-feet I don't need to do this and I don't need to do that". Wrong.


  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    The problem with the Internet is that things can be taken to heart, more so when it's misleading information.

    What he's saying is he does not have engineering done unless he is required to have a permit.

    As usual, our PA member is disseminating poor information.

    Engineering also is done for liability reasons. If you build a wall to the engineers specs and it fails - the liability falls on the engineer. And yes, years ago we did have a wall that was speced by the clients engineer and the specs were bad specs.

    If you build a 7' wall along the edge of a driveway and the customer comes behind you and builds a garage, and you had NO engineering, and the garage is built and 8 yrs later the wall slides down the hill.......guess what, you're getting sued and you're probably going to be found liable. As soon as the customer starts researching deeper and deeper and find out that you neglected to have engineering done - you lost the case. You will be liable for removal of the wall, removal of the garage, rebuilding the wall, and rebuilding the garage.
  4. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    So what did you tell your customer that you built a wall for that had someone else put in the pavers with terrible drainage? I doubt anywhere in your wall specs it said anything about a paver patio and how it should be installed.
  5. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    It wont say anywhere in the specs about a future paver patio and how to build it...........but since you had your wall correctly built to an engineers specs it will protect you from any future liabilities. If you end up being sued you can whip out the handy set of plans and rub it in their faces.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Most engineering also has drawings of the proper drainage. Totally different comparison.

    The point is - people want a wall for a reason. walls are expensive. If they're spending money on a wall - they're doing it for a reason with a goal in mind.

    If a wall fails, keep in mind that they usually have backfill behind that wall that did not exist before it was built. So, if you have to rebuild it, you're faced with excavating all that fill, and finding somewhere to stock pile it until you're ready to backfill again. Not pretty. Could bankrupt a contractor.

    If a contractor (Drakeslaper) can't be professional enough to follow proper protocol - then they're no better than a Craigslist Special.

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  7. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Haha! Funniest read of the day!
  8. dtriv89

    dtriv89 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    If you haven't done a wall like this before, run away. You're going to get in way over your head, with a client who will probably not want to pay for what the jobs worth anyway
  9. RpCurry2801

    RpCurry2801 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    No GeoGrid? The Tiers were not recessed enough to retain the soil? Too steep of an excavation for a tiered wall? Poor Compaction? Insufficient basing? Hard to say without ripping it out myself

    Messages: 1,343

    I think I would bow out on that one. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable tackling that. Looks like you would loose that upper wall as soon as the lower wall was removed.
    Good luck with it.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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