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Old 06-05-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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need help with retaining wall!!!

I am building a retaining wall using granite dry stack. the blocks are 4" thick 8" tall and 24" long. The top and bottom are polished, front and back are rock pitched(rough) the sides are sawn. I have cut 1/8" X 1/2" groves lengthwise in each stone to insert a 1/8" X 1" aluminum bar to hold the blocks together(to keep them from sliding off each other). I leaned the wall back ,but the back fill was going to tip it.
Will a dead man of the same material work for this application? Any suggestions would be helpful, too much time has been put in to this to give up now!!!


Last edited by ryanagt; 06-05-2009 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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How tall will the wall be?


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Old 06-06-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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I apologize for not being able to be more specific, but read somewhere,that a mesh is sometimes used between layers, extended back through the backfill. There is a formula for height of wall and how far back the mesh extends. Also give consideration if you should put in weep holes to allow water to pass through the back fill.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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General rule of thumb is that the base width of a soil retaining wall needs to be at least 40 percent of the height of wall, i.e. if the wall is 6 feet high, the base needs to be at least 2.4 feet. This rule of thumb only applies to walls that are pure gravity, i.e. no reinforcing mesh. It also only applies to walls up to 6 feet high, higher than that you need to perform an analysis for sliding, overturning, and foundation failure.

This rule of thumb also assumes that you have an adequately strong foundation, and that the wall is fully drained (i.e. the soil behind the wall must not be saturated). Since you have not indicated the height of wall, type of backfill, nature of the foundation soil, type of drainage intended for the wall, or the back angle of the wall, I can't say much else at this point.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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Sorry about the lack of info

The wall will be approx. 32" tall. the backfill will be all black dirt with 4" of mulch. Foundation soil is gravel and there is a a drainage pipe (plastic) behind the wall with a soil blanket underneath. the wall was set (not a precise angle) so the line on the level was halfway through the bubble. I have on hand 6 pieces for dead man, 3 on each middle layer. But have not tried it yet (raining all day) Hope this is enough info
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Sorry to say this, but if I read the dimensions correctly on the stone (4" deep, 8" high?), they're nat inteded for a free-standing wall, & subsequently wont last long , regardless of dead-men, versa-grid, all stone backfill, etc. It sounds like what you are using is a stone veneer, meant to be applied where there is block or wood framing back-up to tie it into. The stone used for free-standing work should be in the 8"-12" deep range, & 4"-6" height range. I hate to tell you, but I think the stone your using are too "tippy" for this application. Hopefully you mis-typed when you listed the dimensions.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:36 AM   #7
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Those stone dimensions - oriented that way - don't sound like a stable design. Can you post pics so we all can see? Did you get advice from someone to build the wall that way, and with that material?
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:33 AM   #8
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I am in the granite business and this stone I purchased from a quarry. They call it dry stack so I thought it would work. My first attempt went poorly, I thought I would give it another try. My dimensions listed are correct. I may have to go to regular landscape rock the first granite wall looked awesome but not functional. I will try with 6 dead men and get pics but it sounds like I may be redoing it in the near future. I put a lot of time and $ into it, I'm a glutton for punishment
Thank you all so much for the great advice and help. Here is where I got some of my info on the material


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