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Old 03-13-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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In The Process Of Building My Very First Small Retaining Wall


Hi Everyone,
I'm glad I found an active landscaping/lawn forum. The ones I've been posting on have been lacking activity.

Anyhow, to my problem. Before I started building this wall, I watched a lot of videos and did a lot of research online to what was needed. Now I'm starting to second guess myself. The wall is half built and these are the steps I followed:

1. Dug a trench about 1 foot in width by around 10" deep give or take. Keep in mind my block is 11" long - 8" width - 4" high. It's half triangular shaped, so you don't need a cap and you can rotate to get seamless straight lines or keep them the same way to get seamless curved lines.

2. Before I pored my paver base, I compacted the soil a little with my tamper. Then I pored my paver base about 5 inches s thick. I compacted it with my tamper in a couple inch segments.

3. I put down the blocks and leveled each one. This is as far I have got . I still have to backfill with gravel and glue each layer. I will also step the pavers back a little to offset the weight of the wall.

Anyhow, My house is posted below. The red line represents the wall I'm building. It's partially curved on the one end, straight in the front. You can see in white how many blocks high each layer is.

My questions:
1. Some say I should have purchased "heavy Duty blocks" instead of the 25lbs blocks I did. Will I be ok with these blocks? The wall isn't that high as you can see in the picture. At it's highest point, it is only 13 inches and that only runs for about 10 feet. From their on its only 8 inches and tapers off to 4 inches.

2. I purchased my paver base from Lowes. It's a mixture of medium/small gravel with some sand. Some say this was a mistake, I should have just put down gravel. After examining what I paid for the stuff, it would have been a lot cheaper buying gravel than this stuff. So it was a mistake on my behalf, but will it hurt the wall?

3. Do I need some kind of a drain pipe behind the wall since it's so small or is their any other way I can reinforce my wall to make sure it lasts a long time?

4. I live in Ohio and started this project this weekend. It's been in the 60's for the highs for a few weeks. Looking at the 10 day forcast today, next Saturday & Sunday are only going to be in the 40's with snow showers. Will this affect my wall or should I be ok?
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Last edited by ricksample; 03-13-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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In The Process Of Building My Very First Small Retaining Wall


You'll be fine with the small blocks- it is a low, decorative wall and not holding back much so there won't be much pressure behind the wall. A drain pipe behind the wall would help to keep water from collecting. Also, use plenty of gravel directly behind the wall for backfill (clean stone, not the kind you would compact). Also, if you are gluing in cold or wet weather, make sure to use glue that is rated for such conditions. I use SRW Products 'Retaining Wall and Paver Adhesive', which is suitable for wet and frozen surfaces.
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Old 03-14-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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In The Process Of Building My Very First Small Retaining Wall


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Originally Posted by GardenConcepts View Post
You'll be fine with the small blocks- it is a low, decorative wall and not holding back much so there won't be much pressure behind the wall. A drain pipe behind the wall would help to keep water from collecting. Also, use plenty of gravel directly behind the wall for backfill (clean stone, not the kind you would compact). Also, if you are gluing in cold or wet weather, make sure to use glue that is rated for such conditions. I use SRW Products 'Retaining Wall and Paver Adhesive', which is suitable for wet and frozen surfaces.
Awesome... that makes me feel a little better about it. Here is a pic I took this morning. I did all of This Friday. I didn't do anything Saturday or today because of all the rain. I did put it under tarp to keep the rain off it until the concrete adhesive dries. It says allow 7-8 days for it to harden completely. It steps up from 3 blocks high on the curve to a single block in the front.

Let me know what you guys think so far, I only have another 30 feet in front of the house to do, add some dirt to the curved section and finally add fresh mulch/plants. Everything is already back filled and glued in place.

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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In The Process Of Building My Very First Small Retaining Wall


looking good so far!
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