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Old 06-18-2011, 10:17 PM   #1
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dry stack natural stone retaining wall


I am in the process build a 2.5' dry stack natural stone retaining wall. do I need to put drainage pipe behind the wall? Most of articles online say no need the drainage pipe because water can flow from the wall. I agree with this. How do you expert's opinion?
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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We would always bring up the dirt fill with the wall and place white rock behind the stone as we went up. A plastic barrier was also used behind the wall. This way the earth has an opportunity to expand and contract without torturing the stone wall and any dirty debris that comes along will filter downward. I also always wanted to cant a wall 5 degrees if it was higher than four feet.

No drainage pipe is necessary as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 06-19-2011, 07:20 AM   #3
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Plastic? At the risk of showing my ignorance here, I think filter fabric is the best course.

It will filter your fines out before they get into your gravel drainage plane but allow water out of the bank, reducing pressure.

I agree, no weeping pipe needed in drystack
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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p.s That's going to be one beautiful wall. Where did you get the stone from?

Don't forget to post your after pics.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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A plastic barrier was also used behind the wall. This way the earth has an opportunity to expand and contract without torturing the stone wall and any dirty debris that comes along will filter downward.
I guess you mean a fabric filter layer should be installed between the 3/4" crashed stone and the soil. The crashed stone should be put between the wall stone and the soil. Am I right?

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Old 06-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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p.s That's going to be one beautiful wall. Where did you get the stone from?

Don't forget to post your after pics.
The stone is from somewhere in New York state, I think. We bought from a local landscape supply store last winter. we like it.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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My wall have a short turn at both sides. Which way I should go at the turn?
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:15 AM   #8
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I would weave your corners.

Alternate long stones on each course

You are correct, your crushed gravel should go between the back of your wall stone and your filter fabric which should lay on your dirt.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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That is going to be a nice looking wall. I agree you do not need a drain pipe but given the money you have in stone are you sure you don't want to spend a few bucks more for one for added peace of mind during the next storm of the century? I really am not one for wasting building materials so am just throwing the thought out for you to think about. You have everything excavated so no real extra labor involved in adding the drain?
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
I guess you mean a fabric filter layer should be installed between the 3/4" crashed stone and the soil. The crashed stone should be put between the wall stone and the soil. Am I right?
I said plastic and that was a little misleading. The product we used is plastic but with millions of tiny slits in it for water and moisture to pass through it.
Quote:
I guess you mean a fabric filter layer should be installed between the 3/4" crashed stone and the soil. The crashed stone should be put between the wall stone and the soil. Am I right?
Correct.
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My wall have a short turn at both sides. Which way I should go at the turn?
The corners should interlock.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:56 PM   #11
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dry stack natural stone retaining wall


I always use 4" perforated pvc behind dry-stacked walls- any water sitting at the base of the wall will drain away. I also like to put 1-1.5" of batter on the wall for every 12" in height. I also cut back the grade behind the wall, beginning at the base of the wall at about a 25-30 degree angle to reduce pressure on the wall, backfill with lots of 3/4" clean stone and rubble. Geo-textile should always separate the gravel from the soil.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:13 PM   #12
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I always use 4" perforated pvc behind dry-stacked walls- any water sitting at the base of the wall will drain away. I also like to put 1-1.5" of batter on the wall for every 12" in height. I also cut back the grade behind the wall, beginning at the base of the wall at about a 25-30 degree angle to reduce pressure on the wall, backfill with lots of 3/4" clean stone and rubble. Geo-textile should always separate the gravel from the soil.
looks like there is another professional expert. that 4" perforated pvc should be installed at the very bottom (first course) of the wall or at the base of the wall?
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #13
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Thank you guys.

This is my design of the drystack stone retaining wall. please review it to see if anything wrong there. This retaining wall connects with a brick patio (my next project).

We planned to have stairs in the middle of the wall to let us access upper yard more easily. My wife wants the stair to be built with the same material as the wall. this will be a challenge to me.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #14
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Depending on how far north you are, your gravel base may be a little light. 6" is recommended here in PA.

As GardenConcepts said step your bank back to take pressure off the wall.

If your really feeling froggy throw in a French Drain under the patio to drain it.

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Old 06-19-2011, 10:58 PM   #15
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Sorry, but I'm not a believer in perf pipe for drystack. I'm all about the over-engineering but I'm not sure it would have any effect.

Typically you put perf pipe around footings and masonry structures to drain water that would eventually build up until it had enough pressure to push through your masonry wall and into your basement or into your masonry wall where it would freeze and crack.

With a drystack wall on a gravel footer, water is supposed to (and will) flow through the wall and under the wall and drain through the gravel footing. I guess if the wall was low down in a high water table area you could eventually pool enough water around the base of the footer to cause problems.

I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again so there's a better than average chance I'm wrong now. Open to opinions

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