TomG's Photos

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by TomG, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    i would be curious what the engineer on that job thinks.

    i wonder if it was omitted from the construction drawings or the contractor omitted it.

    even if it is just a 3 foot area, that 3 foot is the most crucial when directly adjacent to a structure. where is all the water going from that impervious roof??? if there are gutters on the home i would suspect a large portion is being directed to that "little 3 foot flower bed"

    how many years has this wall been in place?
  2. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Thanks for the advice I’ll keep that in mind. I know I’m only 23 years old and I don’t know everything nor do I pretend to know everything and that is why have said I don’t mind criticism. But based on your last few posts I’d say you were trying to start a pissing match. Now I know I’m new to this forum but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t created to make sly comments and to bash other peoples work. If you’re going to make a comment about the work being shown at least back it up and give a suggestion on what can be done differently or maybe ask some questions so you actually know the full story behind the project, because I do think this forum was created to help people out. So unless you’re actually going to make intelligent comments/criticisms I would ask that you please not make comments on my thread.
  3. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    SVA, The wall has been up for 5 years. This wall was designed by an independent engineer and he did not include any drainage pipe. The plans were also stamped by the town engineer, so two different engineers approved of no drainage pipe. Also there are gutters on the whole house and none of the downspouts direct water to the 3ft flower bed. As you can see from the pictures of the back of the house it is quite large so there is plenty of space away from the wall for the gutters to outlet.

    I will say that drain pipe behind SRW’s is pretty much pointless. Is it a best practice to use it? Yes, without a doubt. Does NCMA recommend you to use it, yes. But have you ever gone to a wall that you have installed and checked if water is coming out of the drain pipe? If you have, I can guarantee that no water was coming out of it and never will IF the wall was properly installed. Meaning good compacted stone base, proper number of rows buried below ground, sufficient excavation of soil behind the wall replaced with clean drainage stone, proper compaction of stone and any soil that was put back/better soil that was brought in, proper geo-grid installation (if needed), a swale 3ft-4ft behind the top of the wall to help keep water away, etc…

    SRW’s are non monolithic, unlike say a poured concrete wall, so there are spaces between the blocks where water can exit from behind the wall. One thing that really cracks me up when I see it being installed is using 4” black perforated flex pipe as the drain pipe behind the wall. IT’S PERFERATED ALL THE WAY AROUND, if any water gets into the pipe it’s just going to go out the bottom of the pipe through the holes. Especially if it is completely surrounded with stone.

    Now if you have an engineered plan and it specs drain pipe, you better be damn sure were putting it in or else were screwed if the wall fails. Likewise, if the wall were discussing fails because of no drain pipe we have no liability because we followed the engineer’s plans (assuming we did everything else correctly). I can honestly say that we have never had a wall fail in the 15 years or so that we have been doing SRW’s. The walls at my parent’s house are 13 years old; it’s a double tier wall, each wall about 4ft high with steps going up the middle. It has no drainage pipe and has held up extremely well. (I have a picture of it but I can’t seem to locate it, I will do my best to find it tomorrow and post it.)

    Now I’m not saying that every wall we do does not have drain pipe. I think of drain pipe as more of a “feel good” part of the construction. You put it in so you can feel good about the job, or make the customer feel good. And there is nothing wrong with that. Personally I think the drain pipe looks horrible when you exit it through the front of the wall no matter how good of a job you do cutting a hole for it through the block. Also I am only speaking from experience in the New England area of the US, different soil type’s effect walls in different ways. Anyways sorry for the short novel, it’s just my opinion and I am curious as to what people think.
  4. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    SVA, everything after the first paragraph was not directly pointed at you. I probably should have made it a separate post.
  5. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Messages: 1,890

    I almost agree with tom. very few walls in this area have drain pipe behind them. almst none of the natural stone walls have it and most srw walls don't have it. We have done many many walls with no drains and no failures at all. soil type does have a lot to do with it. but NCMA has a standard that is national regardless of sandy soil or heavy clay. I want to see how many people run drain pipe out of raised patios I almost never see that. Cut him some slack they have made a good name for themselves in the area thats not from being a fly by night hack.
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Hydrostatic pressure relief is why we put PERFORATED drainpipes behind srw and concrete walls. Without it you may get away with it but in a wall that is close to 10' in height it will be subject to "blow out". Its the nature of water and cold. The stone can and will act as a drainage point for only so long and the blocks can only release so much water, actually very little, so there is no back up if the area above the wall ever floods. The water will exit the pipe in such a case, yup likely no one will ever see water exit that pipe. Maybe in your case you have all the slopes figured out and what not but for $50 dollars it just isn't worth not putting it in. I know I would feel good about it if it were my wall. I've been doing walls myself and with my men for 25yrs and I will be the first to say that alot of our walls were not built with drain pipes, this was a time when there were no engineered jobs or specs, we just did what we thought was best. But with all the training going on today, and icpi (for what its worth) techo blok seminars etc, there really is no excuse but to follow proper install methods. So am I bashing you, not really, I'm just pissed to see someone who does all this work, most of it good, some of it needs improvement but hey what do I know, and to ignore and spread the word that using drains is a waste of time and not required, its just wrong. Whats next, geo textile a waste of time too.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Tom, buddy, what you need to understand here is you have posted pictures of just about every job ever done by this company. Most folk post some pics of one or two jobs. But you have posted like the company's whole portfolio :)

    Zedo is top notch.

    Along with a few others.

    So am I. I think of myself of the Simon Cowell of critiquing other's work. There are guys here that I am friends with. Chat on the phone regularly, etc. And I won't hesitate to pick apart their work. Nor will I hesitate to compliment them.

    During the course of this thread some flaws have been pointed out to you. And you have had some sort of rationalization for damn near every flaw pointed out to you. Whether it's been "the builder's insistance", "the angle of the photograghy" (thats a popular one we see frequently), or what have you!

    We have heard all the lines. Either from other members on these forums. Or from our own employees. I had an employee that used to try to justify everything. I never bought it.

    If you were to do a search under my user name and read the threads regarding r-walls - you'll see that I take r-wall construction VERY seriously. And in many of my posts I explain in detail why certain aspects are so critical.

    With that said, there is nothing anyone can ever say that will ever convince me that drain tubing is not needed behind a wall. Or that gris is not needed on a wall. I don't care if you work a mile away from me, or if you work in Europe. I don't care if 6 other companies in one's area all do walls like this and all is dandy. People drive without seatbelts and haven't had any accidents. That doesnt mean it's ok to drive without a seatbelt on.

    Walls must be built right or they should not be built at all.

    I've been in business for over 21 years. Started the company when I was in highschool. I've been through it all, literally. From time to time I have client's give me business advice. And everytime I start to get aggitated. BUT....I tell myself "listen to what they have to say, you might learn something valuable". And many times I do learn something valuable!

    Another example of listening: I have a client that is about 5 miles from my house. Older man. An engineer. Looks like a mad scientist, literally. His political views are opposite of mine. He starts talking politics and I think to myself "oh god, here we go". But.....when I listen to him, even though he has different views.....he makes sense.

    So Tom, my point to you is listen to people like Zedo, other's and myself. You're still young. We went through this with another member here a few years ago. He's now a little older. A little more experienced. And is much more low key.

    There are folks here that when I see their user name on a thread - I glide over that thread and don't bother reading what they wrote. They could fall from the face of the earth and I would never miss them.

    Then there are folks here that when I see their name in a thread, I may not be interested in the topic of the thread, but I'll read what they wrote because I know they have alotta experience and wisdom under their belt.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  8. kreft

    kreft LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,645

    I guess i know why DVS never post any pictures of his work.

    Great thread Tom!

  9. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    Oohh a shot across the bow of the HMS DVS. Too bad he has posted pics before :( fail.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    ummm....."never"??? You sure about that?

    What planet do you live on?

    I've posted hundreds of pictures of our work ON THIS SITE :)

    But I don't recall seeing any pictures from you :)


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