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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Retaining Wall

Has anyone ever built their own retaining wall? I had my parking space excavated so more vehicles are able to park in the driveway and I'm looking to put up a retaining wall. The dimensions are roughly 27' wide x 37' long with the highest point being about 6' - 7' high, roughly 400sq ft. I want to do it myself because all that is being done is stacking blocks on top of one another, in a nut shell other than allowing for drainage.
SO here are my questions.
1. What kind of aggregate or stone is good for a base layer?
2. What kind of aggregate or stone is good for back fill?
3. Is burying 2 courses enough before starting my 1st exposed layer?
4. Is it worth it just to pay a landscaper to do the work for me?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 01:04 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall

You will want compacted 2A for the base.

You probably want to use 2B or #57's for backfill.

You probably want at least 2' buried at the highest point of the wall. A lot of walls have stepped footers that vary with the exposed height. Manufacturers of block might also have specs relating to this.

You can probably do it yourself quite a bit cheaper on your own

You might also want to consider using some type of geogrid for reinforcement

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WFJ7CnY...%3DWFJ7CnYbppg



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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Retaining Wall

Geogrid is also something I plan on using with this project. I honestly think that myself and a couple of my buddies can do this project over a weekend for sure. I have the equipment, Bucket truck, backhoe for the shell. What I am afraid of is going to a shop that sells block and them telling me that it would be hard to do and that I should hire them to do the job for me.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 02:09 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by G2CDeer
Geogrid is also something I plan on using with this project. I honestly think that myself and a couple of my buddies can do this project over a weekend for sure. I have the equipment, Bucket truck, backhoe for the shell. What I am afraid of is going to a shop that sells block and them telling me that it would be hard to do and that I should hire them to do the job for me.
They honestly aren't hard to do at all. I'm sure you and a few buddies could bang it out pretty quick. It isn't any harder than simply stacking the blocks. I say go for it.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 03:23 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall

If the dirt behind the wall is 6-7 foot hi you had better get an engineered plan. So much to consider, type of soil, slope above the wall etc.There is no way that stacked block will hold back that much dirt if it decides to let loose. You would need tie backs and deadmen as well as geogrid placed stratigically thruout the wall to stabilize it. You also need a drainge system or the water can saturate the soil and not dry out and the weightg of wet soil is tremendously heavy. Most of the do it yourself blocks for walls are meant for 3-4 foot max hieght. I think the liability of doing what you suggest is foolish without an engineered plan. Doing the work yourself is fine but get a plan first

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wald Jager
If the dirt behind the wall is 6-7 foot hi you had better get an engineered plan. So much to consider, type of soil, slope above the wall etc.There is no way that stacked block will hold back that much dirt if it decides to let loose. You would need tie backs and deadmen as well as geogrid placed stratigically thruout the wall to stabilize it. You also need a drainge system or the water can saturate the soil and not dry out and the weightg of wet soil is tremendously heavy. Most of the do it yourself blocks for walls are meant for 3-4 foot max hieght. I think the liability of doing what you suggest is foolish without an engineered plan. Doing the work yourself is fine but get a plan first
Most if not all of the segmented block fo retaining walls requires nothing in the way dead men, or bracing. I have seen a lot of walls between 10 and 50 feet built using nothing other than a geogrid to reinforce them. The blocks are filled with stone and more or less snap together with a ledge. It probably wouldn't be a terrible idea to run some 6" perforated drain along the backside of the wall at the base.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Retaining Wall

For reference, here is what I'm working with.



Also, the neighboring house is 8' from the wall.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 05:35 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall


Whoa....man you need an engineer, probally a building permit waiver and a good attorney.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Retaining Wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripnmax
Whoa....man you need an engineer, probally a building permit waiver and a good attorney.
Ha, specs were laid out, my property line is 3' from the neighbors house and the neighbor didnt have a problem with the excavation. Thats the good part about having good neighbors, my neighbor didnt mind me doing excavation to my home (it was withing legal property lines), and even though I could have gone bigger with the digging, I left plenty of room for him to gain access to his shed for his tractor.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 09:12 PM
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Re: Retaining Wall

I have no doubt you and a group of buddies could bang this out in a few weekends.
An engineered plan is required. You will want to use geogrid a pinned wall system and a lot of patience.
Rent a plate compactor and an excavator. Building your base is crucial and at times miserable.
If you are anywhere near Washington PA we can help.
Another option is to have a professional put the base and first couple courses in.
Get a few of the construction guides from various manufactures and read them. You could get it 90% right.
That inside corner with a step back might make you perform math you probably forgot depending on what system.

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