Can You Build A Retaining Wall In Front Of An Old Retaining Wall? - Concrete, Stone & Masonry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 07-27-2014, 09:36 AM   #1
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


I have a 40-50 year old wall in my backyard made from loose stone. It is about 3.5' at the tallest by around 20'. The wall is unattractive due bulges but since the rock has basically become grown into the earth I don't think it will be able to fall in the traditional sense. Due to limited backyard access the quotes I've gotten have been around $14,000 to remove & replace. My limit is much less - was shooting for $5k, but can work with up to $10k if it will be professional / guaranteed / beautiful / dream wall. So basically it's not going to happen.

If I were to put in a versalok wall a foot in front of the old wall and fill in with gravel - I know I'd be losing yard space, but could that work? What could be a complication if the old wall continues to move? I would assume versalok could hold up to some pressure at least in the near term and that the gravel would somewhat stabilize the old wall. I could probably even move it out more than a foot, although I'd like to keep it as close as possible.

The alternative is to leave the wall and do nothing. This is not a house I plan to stay at in the long term. Thanks, BB

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Old 07-27-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


Need a picture.

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Old 07-28-2014, 05:56 AM   #3
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


based on what you posted, of course it would work,,, in most areas you're rqd to get permits & you may even need pro stamp'd drawings,,, don't forget proper drainage IF its applicable.

we use versa-lok & have had no trouble,,, even have 1 being drawn up now 225' x 25' we use # 57 stone, not gravel

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Old 07-28-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


I would never recommend doing that..you're asking for trouble, putting up what is basically a veneer in front of a stone wall.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


If you did that, A) it would probably cause the old wall to move even more and B) any movement of the old wall would transfer through to the new one.

Remove the old one and either re-stack the rock for a new wall or remove any you do not use for fill.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


I agree with stonecutter and TS, I don't believe it's a good idea to do what you are proposing. Whatever is pushing out your old stone wall will continue pushing forward and because there is very little to compress between the old wall and your new proposed wall it will push it forward also. It will be more work but I would just complete disassemble the old wall and reassemble it a little farther forward using some gravel for a backfill and insure proper drainage. It certainly will look better as well.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:07 PM   #7
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


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Originally Posted by bb33 View Post
The alternative is to leave the wall and do nothing. This is not a house I plan to stay at in the long term. Thanks, BB
That would be my vote.

Putting that much time and money into a project for something short term doesn't seem wise to me.

Spend the time and money into other things, like saving for the new house or projects in the interior of the house that may increase the return you may get on this house.

I actually looked into doing something similar, not as long, but terracing a hill with two courses. The information I found for my location said I didn't need a permit unless it was over 4ft.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:48 AM   #8
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


wow, did i get trashed,,, yet we do it & often - no troubles yet & some are over 15yrs since built

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Old 07-29-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


You veneer failing walls?
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


no, of course not but we have built walls in front of existing walls

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Old 07-29-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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Can you build a retaining wall in front of an old retaining wall?


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no, of course not but we have built walls in front of existing walls

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Ones that are failing? Stonewalls like what is described? Given your location I seriously doubt it. Anyway, it's bad practice.

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