To geo or not to geo that is the question.....

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Steiner, May 2, 2010.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Ok so it has been quiet on here lately so I thought I would post some questions and photo's to get everyone going again.

    Here is my current job details:

    Homeowner would like small retaining walls built to increase the aesthetics and functionality of the space. Homeowner tried with limited to no success to excavate and wall up the area a few seasons ago.

    My proposal included a standard versa-lok block system with pins and caps. One wall about 45" tall on the left and a shorter 21" wall on the right. I chose the versa-lok not because of the look but more of the sheer weight and functionality of the stone. I also proposed a small 174 sq ft paver patio out of belgard dublin cobble. I have layed a fair share of shorter garden walls and have also done very large walls with required multiple pulls of geogrid. I am just not sure about the small size of this wall and this particular application.

    I always use 1' of clean stone with perf pipe, and seperation fabric but:

    1. I am still in the planning phase of this job but was wondering with heavy clay soil should I use geogrid in this application?

    2. If I should use geogrid should I do it every other course?

    3. What is the industry standard for walls of this size? At what height do you start to consider the geogrid?

    Please advise.

    Attached Files:

  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    thanks for bringing some activity to the web's best forum :)

    Although, sir, such a question as you have asked more or less boils down to common sense.

    The magic number of when to kick in using grid of 4-foot is intended for a perfect world. I know many folk here think the 4-foot rule is an "industry standard". It's only an industry standard if all conditions are PERFECT. No water issues. No surcharge. And so forth. Keep in mind - if conditions were perfect......then a wall probably would not be needed.

    We once had a 38-inch tall wall fail. We had to tear it down and rebuild it utilizing grid. It cost me $2,000 to rebuild 7 to 9 years ago. Lesson learned.

    Different variables will dictate whether to grid or not to grid. Such as surcharge, soil type, drainage, and so forth. If there is a surcharge - then you probably otta grid it.

    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  3. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Thanks DVS I knew I would go with geogrid I guess I was looking for someone to try and talk me out of it. I can always count on your responses for wisdom and a wide scope of knowledge. You and zedo always seem to have the voice of reason here.

    It's funny how I get so worked up overbuilding everything I do and then have moments where I am trying to work within a customers budget as well. I guess it goes back and forth. I would hate to lose this one over a few hundred bucks of grid though.

    How come you guys haven't been posting any work/complete shots? It's really affecting my personal life, I think my girlfriend is getting sick of quality time! Hell at this rate I won't ever be on lawnsite. :)
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    And this is where you need to make sure the customer knows you are proposing to go above and beyond to ensure the job will last forever. It costs money to install grid because it eats time.

    Now, we do have some 42-inch, even 48-inch walls without grid. But there is no surcharge bearing down on them, and we made sure water was strategically diverted around the walls.

  5. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    You could get away with no grid since the area the wall is holding back only has the house behind it, eliminating most potential for major ground movement or the unknowns of building a wall into a hill. I would still put it for the sake of the little extra time and effort it takes, just to ensure stability and long life. Like DVS says, educate the customer and they might wrap their head around the fact that "you get what you pay for"

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