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Old 06-11-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Building a small retaining wall...


The side of my yard is a bit of a slope and I am going to mulch it. To prevent the mulch from just sliding down the slope I am going to build a 1' high wall of 3 courses of these:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Pavestone...1#.UbdkD5ywc-A
filling in the backside with mulch. Though maybe soil would be better...

I know you are supposed to dig a trench and fill it with it with sand first, but I just laid the blocks down on the existing grass. It is reasonably stable, but a bit higher angle than normal because of the slope. I figure it should get more stable once the grass dies.

Does that seem adequate or do I have to go back and do it "right"?

Another option would be to drill holes in the blocks and drive a piece of rebar down into the ground. I drilled a trial 7/8" hole and it goes pretty easy, and I have the rebar that I would just as soon get rid of. 3 piece of rebar over 12'? Or is that overkill.

I need to buy a few more blocks but this is what I am doing.

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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Building a small retaining wall...


Yeah, that's what I would do... eliminate the natural path for rain run-off, and create a puddle to see if I can hold standing water up against my house.

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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Building a small retaining wall...


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Yeah, that's what I would do... eliminate the natural path for rain run-off, and create a puddle to see if I can hold standing water up against my house.
It is hard to believe that a 1' high wall with numerous spaces between the blocks will seriously hold up any water.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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Building a small retaining wall...


not to worry since those spaces will soon fill up w/yard junk,,, post back when that happens & apologize to willie
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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Building a small retaining wall...


Toller, it's really a lot more entertaining for us to discuss solid, logical construction techniques over on ContractorTalk. But we remember when we, too, had to learn from our mistakes. Thus, many of us are here hoping we can save you a few heartaches and also a few bucks by helping steer you around some of the disappointing things that happened to us or others.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #6
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Building a small retaining wall...


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Toller, it's really a lot more entertaining for us to discuss solid, logical construction techniques over on ContractorTalk. But we remember when we, too, had to learn from our mistakes. Thus, many of us are here hoping we can save you a few heartaches and also a few bucks by helping steer you around some of the disappointing things that happened to us or others.

Gotcha, but you haven't answered my questions.

The chances of a torrent of water being channeled into my house by a 4" (note the section next to the house is 4" high...) retaining wall full of spaces is about the same as the chances of the retaining wall attracting lightning.
Sure the holes will clog up with mulch, but they will still pass water much more easily then the basement wall. And even if some gets through, it will be picked up by the drains.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:16 AM   #7
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Building a small retaining wall...


might be a few that like to hear themselves talk but, for the most part, many enjoy the opportunity to pass onto younger diy'ers benefits of knowledge & experience,,, we also answer to an obligation to help the dumbbells who come after us,,, if your father'd done a better job, you wouldn't be in here asking dumb questions. but it is what it is - we all had fathers & we all came in here

IF your slope's so steep that mulch slides down, so much the faster the holes will clog,,, yes, wtr will still pass thru however your concern should then be the RATE of passage.

think of the wall's holes as your pot's coffee filter - what happens when you use a filter which doesn't allow the incoming hot wtr to pass thru to the pot - say the filter slows the rate of pass-thru ?

your filter basket overflows, that's what ! & you ( more likely your bride ) has an f'n mess to clean up just because YOU were too cheap to spend the extra $$$ & buy the proper filters

now go do it correctly, fergawdsake,,, experience is a great teacher & we all had hot stoves in our lives


now
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Building a small retaining wall...


Please keep in mind that right now, your land's slope lets the water run right off. Slow it down with a wall, and the water will puddle, not only on the surface, but also many inches (maybe even "feet") below the surface. And it will find your house wall somewhere down there. Don't encourage water to infiltrate your home.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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Building a small retaining wall...


my fault as i forgot to address this part of your rebuttal,,, ' And even if some gets through, it will be picked up by the drains. ' what drains - the drains inside your home ? most prudent & reasonable folk earnestly try to keep water OUT of their homes
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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Building a small retaining wall...


Do not take an existing foundation wall that doesn't have any water problems and cause new ones for it. That would just be stupid. People do stupid things all the time, even in the face of people trying to save them from their own mistakes.

You want to be SURE the water THAT IS GOING TO ACCUMULATE on that slope will be routed away from your house foundation walls. It's not that hard to do correctly. A bit of gravel, some corrugated tube, landscape cloth and a bit of planning. Otherwise, what, just roll the dice and hope water doesn't ruin the foundation wall and what's inside? Why play that game?

Then there's how the walls are supposed to be constructed. Go pick up a bag of topsoil at the store. Notice how heavy it is? Now picture how many would have to be used to fill up the space behind that wall. Think about how much all of that will weigh. All of that will be pushing against the back of the wall. If you take the time to install the wall properly you can avoid the hassle of the wall being pushed over, and having to do the work all over again.

Construction is all about a lot of simple steps that need to be done right. Get them right and the whole project comes together and STAYS together right. Skimp out on steps and you're pretty much guaranteeing the effort will fail. Why set yourself up for that?
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #11
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Building a small retaining wall...


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Please keep in mind that right now, your land's slope lets the water run right off. Slow it down with a wall, and the water will puddle, not only on the surface, but also many inches (maybe even "feet") below the surface. And it will find your house wall somewhere down there. Don't encourage water to infiltrate your home.

Maybe it wasn't a good picture. The wall is a walkout basement. Water that puddles a few inches below the surface will be below the house.

The house is several feet below the road level, but the water is picked up by drains which gravity feed to lower ground below.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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Building a small retaining wall...


just thinking outloud, willie, maybe WE'RE all wrong,,, we should be advising senor toller to consider buying mulch which is more abrasive & won't slide downhill neither as quickly nor as far my bad

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