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notfromaroundhere 12-13-2008 08:07 PM

Replacing large retaining wall
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I have a nightmare that I'm hoping some of you might be able to advise me about. We moved out here to Dallas a year and a half ago and bought an economical house on one of the few hills in Dallas. The only drawback to the house was an extremely large (about 100 feet long and 3-7.5 feet tall) gabion retaining wall which at the time we just thought was ugly. From what I've gathered from a neighbor who knew some background info, it was put in by a previous homeowner who did it his way....

Much to our dismay, our ugly retaining wall started bulging several months ago.... Now we are faced with the ugly reality of replacing this monstrosity.... I have gotten two estimates for removing the existing wall and putting in a new wall using the standard wall blocks, and they range between $20K to $30K.

So now I'm looking for some advice.... What is going to be the most economical way of replacing this wall? I'm required by the city to get a structural engineer design in addition to a permit since the wall is over 3 feet tall. I'm intimidated about trying to do it myself....don't know what exactly to do or how to do it....

One person I talked to suggested that there must be a way to repair the existing gabion wall, but I haven't found anyone who knows exactly how to do that or how to do it.....

Any advice anyone might have will be much appreciated....

DUDE! 12-14-2008 08:33 AM Found this link, can't hurt to contact them and ask for ideas, from the last photo, the wall doesn't appear to be leaning much, although you can see in first pic that wall is leaning. Reading some on gabionwall system, good things said. Maybe you could do some more research, changing out the wall for another might not be the answer. As you said, someone has to know how to fix it.

Marvin Gardens 12-14-2008 12:54 PM

Call your insurance company and fill them in. This is what homeowners insurance if for.

Tscarborough 12-14-2008 04:31 PM

Gabions are correctly used for erosion control, not retaining walls. That needs to go and a real retaining wall put in. Figure about 25-35 bucks a face-foot for removal and replacement in Dallas.

notfromaroundhere 12-16-2008 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by Marvin Gardens (Post 197911)
Call your insurance company and fill them in. This is what homeowners insurance if for.

I had already spoken with an adjuster from my insurance company (who was out for a different matter) about the retaining wall, and she said that insurance doesn't cover slow developing problems like what I'm experiencing with this retaining wall..... I would love it if that was not true.....

concretemasonry 12-16-2008 07:50 PM

Segmental Retaining Walls (SRWs) are about the only thing to be used for your site since they are the most commonly used and economical. This is for residential, commercial and munipalities because they can easily be curved and adjusted to varying heights/grades.

A conventional rigid retaining wall (concrete or reinforced masonry) will be more costly and require large concrete footings. A SRW wall is NEVER put on rigid footings because it must be able to adjust slightly and not crack like a rigid wall. It does require "geogrid" to be place in the backfill for soil reinforcement and stability.

For the height (usually over 4') you are looking at, it must be engineered, but there are many established SRW programs an engineer can use and are fairly well standardized if there is some information on the soil types.

4just1don 12-17-2008 12:30 AM

do you own all the way to the sidewalk? Do you STILL need a engineers stamp AND a permit IF you use a 'series' of low walls???(not over the allowed height?) lower walls are so much MORE stable,cheaper,and easier to build,,,stack the blocks from the big box stores that interlock etc. IF indeed you can start closer to the walk,,,make that one first and dump dirt from top down,then work on next etc. OR if your feeling real ambitious and on the cheap,,use the stones out of this one and mortar them together for the new low ones,,,set back on about a 20 degree angle bottom to top

Looks like a massive job to say the least.

A repair 'might' be possible,,,obviously it was tied back somehow and that failedif you could dig down where the worst of bulge is (on top)to determine HOW they made this critter. then take out this section,,,redo better,,,relay stone and HOPE another doesnt do same.

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