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Old 04-09-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
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Leveling yard for playset


My yard slopes 9" over 14ft so I am looking to level it for a swing set with tower. I didn't want to dig down the high side as I was afraid I'd hit underground irrigation so I humped in topsoil in & leveled a 12'x14' area using a compactor. I sloped the built up end down to the existing grade below it. My concern is that without any retaining wall/wood the tower will sink or the dirt when wet will give way from the weight on top of it. The compacted soil is pretty hard but it's all top soil no stone dust. Any suggestions? Would it stand? Should I build a wall on the one end? should I remove the dirt and start over Ugh? Would rather get it right now before I build the kit set that will sit on top of the ground i.e. unable to adjust to ground by cutting the set down.
Thanks for your input


Last edited by Pub352; 04-09-2012 at 02:06 PM. Reason: better description
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Leveling yard for playset


Concider using pressure treated 6 X 6's as a retaining wall. I cut out notchs so the one piece over laps the other and drill with a 1/2 drill, then pound in 1/2" X 24" long rebar to hold the corners tight.

6 X 6's are below ground rated.
Any real lumber yard will have them 16' long.

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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Leveling yard for playset


Thanks JoeC, That's what I was pondering, So would you do a u shape on the sloped end ? So cut into my dirt after the highest point (by stakes in photo) & place 6x6 PT & cover with say 2-3 inches of dirt as the perimeter? I'll try to up load a picture:
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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Leveling yard for playset


Topsoil usually means soil containing organic matter. While this is great for growing things, it is generally considered unsuitable for supporting things, even something as light as the swing set supports. My recommendation is to place compacted crushed stone or gravel under the swingset supports, the rest of the area can be topsoil or whatever fill you want, but the supports should rest on structural fill, of which crushed stone is the lowest cost, easiest to place. If the support is 1 ft x 1 ft, make the stone about 2 ft x 2ft and you should be fine. Excavated down to mineral soil before placing the crushed stone, if you put it in over topsoil the topsoil is going to compress, leading to an out of level swingset.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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Leveling yard for playset


I hear you Dan, so maybe blocks under the tower corners, down to the "hard soil", as the supports are not posts but the square frame of the tower. (sorry it wouldn't let me upload a picture)
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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Leveling yard for playset


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