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Discussion Starter #1
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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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=WFJ7CnYbppg&desktop_uri=/watch?v=WFJ7CnYbppg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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G2CDeer said:
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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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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Wald Jager said:
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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Discussion Starter #9
Ripnmax said:
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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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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G2CDeer said:
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.
It's a little bit more than just stacking blocks on top of each other. Some good advice being given to you, I would listen closely. Not saying you can't do it but I've done my share the right way and seen my share done the wrong way. Good luck.
 

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I guess I would call your township engineer, and see what if any permits/engineered plans you need........I didn't think about that, because here, well we wouldn't necessarily need anything.....
 

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jersey road barriers, put in place by a crane, they have "faced" ones---- in my case I tore down afallen down barn for the stone and used that.
 

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If you may put a structure there someday think about these:
Where does the water, electric, gas, and sewage tie in
Minimize the grade from road to garage entrance
I personally would hesitate to put two poured walls up now then in the future finish.
What part of state are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Deer archer said:
If you may put a structure there someday think about these:
Where does the water, electric, gas, and sewage tie in
Minimize the grade from road to garage entrance
I personally would hesitate to put two poured walls up now then in the future finish.
What part of state are you?
Near Altoona
 

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If I were you I would seriously consider a fence. Thats an accident waiting to happen.
 

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G2C, if you were closer I could help you out. Not sure of your plan but getting someone in that could setup the first few courses would be my suggestion.
 

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Property line three feet from the house?

Sheesh. No set backs back then was there. Despite the neighbor being ok with it now, in my township you would have violated the zoning ordinance about changing grades within 20 feet of a property line. In addition, there is a duty of subjacent support. Ie if his foundation cracks outward for lack of soil weight to hold it in, you could be looking at a big suit. Possibly even buying him a new house. Get him to sign a permission and release that binds
him, his heirs, successors and assigns.

Hopefully the retaining wall will hold everything.

my Township's road people did some work where a road passed within 5 or 6 feet of a barn and the barn foundation collapsed two years later. cost the township $40k
 
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