Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Landscaping & Lawn Care

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-19-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Share |
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Hi everyone! This is the first of what I am sure will be many posts. We just bought and old house and would love to tear out the retaining wall in the back yard. The problem is, we have no idea how to go about this. The stats:

Retaining wall is 28" high x 56 feet long, running the width of the back yard.
Retaining wall is cinder block, filled with rebar and concrete.
Access to back yard is only 4' wide.

We would like to remove the retaining wall and much of the dirt behind it, and build a new wall (same height) further back on our property -- gaining valuable yard space in a tiny back yard.

Any ideas on how we can break that retaining wall out of there?

Thanks!!

tdrumm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 145
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Could you post some pics?

I've had the privilege of redoing 2 retaining walls so far in life.

The ones I've done were fairly simple construction and pretty much took some sledge and jack hammering to remove it.

Curious: do you see any drain holes on the back side?(the non retaining side)

Fantastic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,739
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


If it is reinforced, you will encounter vertical reinforcement and some concrete footings. A lot of sweat and sledge hammers will work. Some kind of jackhammer will make it faster and if it poorly built, it could even be easier.

If the the footings are deep enough you may be able fill over the area.

The biggest problem will be getting everything (old block, steel, concrete, etc) out of the area and moving in the new materials. You may be able to find someone with a mini powered piece of equipment to do both in 2 stages (removal and rebuilding).

For just a low 28" high wall, a reinforced wall would be a big problem and costly. Look into segmental retaining walls block (SRWs) that do not need a concrete footing and can be installed your own pace. There a 4 major sites on the internet that have excellent site with ideas, photos, details and installation. - They are commonly used internationally in walls up to 40' high with no concrete footings or mortar.

Dick
concretemasonry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario Canada, Toronto to be exact.
Posts: 1,373
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Well first you have to evaluate the condition of your current retaining wall. Check to see how stable the wall is and if there might be a danger of the wall collapsing on you when you begin to remove the wall sections. Also examine the stability of the earth behind the retaining wall as well. If you are not sure with the removal or stability call a professional for help if it appears that the wall or the earth behind the wall may collapse when you attempt demolition.
If you are confident enough that it wonít collapse then you can start removing any loose sections of the retaining wall and pry the remaining sections of retaining wall loose by using the flat edge of a crow bar between the mortar joints. You will also need a sledgehammer or if you prefer rent a jackhammer to break up the wall.
epson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2011, 10:49 PM   #5
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,739
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


The wall is only 28" high.

You have to be pretty short or laying on you back to fear collapse on top of you. - Unless ther is a huge slope above to a neighboring moutain.

If be if it might have a 4' deep footing (measured from the low side) and you were in the bottom of the removal area (which is unlikely if equipment was used).

Dick
concretemasonry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario Canada, Toronto to be exact.
Posts: 1,373
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Must have missed the height partÖ
epson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 01:01 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


The wall is only 28 inches high, so we aren't worried about collapse, we just need it out. We've gone at it with a sledge and it won't budge. Again, it is filled with concrete and rebar. I should mention that I weigh 108 lbs and my husband is a nuclear engineer (not known for their brawn).

Is there a piece of equipment that we can rent that will make this possible? We'll want something that can handle the wall as well as the footing, as well as digging out the dirt behind the wall so it can be pushed back.

Not so much interested in how to replace it right now, much more concerned with getting it out. Any ideas?

Thanks!
tdrumm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 07:16 AM   #8
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,498
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


A little skid steer (Bobcat) with a jack hammer attachment could make short work of that.

Or a mini excavator (back hoe)--

The mini-ex could dig the new footings,if needed.

Either are available at a good rental company----go for a ride,look at the rental place--they are fun.
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 11:38 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario Canada, Toronto to be exact.
Posts: 1,373
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Yeah I was also thinking about using the bobcat and back hoe and didnít ask the question if you had room to use them. It would really make your work a lot easier and defiantly faster. Donít forget to rent a bin to put your waste in.
epson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 11:53 AM   #10
Master General ReEngineer
 
Bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chaumont River, Ny.
Posts: 3,682
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Quote:
Access to back yard is only 4' wide.
Ayuh,... With only a 4' wide access,...
You're pretty limited...
A jackhammer to bust it up, 'n wheelbarrows to remove it from site...
Bondo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,... With only a 4' wide access,...
You're pretty limited...
A jackhammer to bust it up, 'n wheelbarrows to remove it from site...
Again, the problem with that is I am the one that will be doing this and I weigh 108 lbs. I do know they have small skid steers (36" wide), but I don't know really what a skid steer is. I'm really completely green at this. In our last house, I installed a wall, french drain and all, but I've never had to do any demo. I called for an estimate, and basically, they want anywhere from $1800 to $2200 to take this sucker out. Then another $5k to put it back in.

There is plenty of room to maneuver in the back yard, just not a lot of space to get anything back there.

In a perfect world, I would also like to bust up the existing patio, planters and sidewalks and replace everything myself with pavers.

I just wonder, with it being just me working on this most of the time, will the machine rental fees eat up what I save by doing it myself?
tdrumm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 01:32 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ontario Canada, Toronto to be exact.
Posts: 1,373
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Well if you are the only one who is going to be doing this job and depending on how long you take to do the demolition the rental fees might eat up what you intend to save on this project. In this case I would suggest for you looking into bowering/ purchasing the tools required to do the job like a crow bar, sledgehammer, rotary hammer drill, grinder to cut re-bar, wheel barrel to haul your debris and a dumpster.
Then roll up your sleeves have gloves and safety glasses and go at it at your own pace until you have it all done.
What can I tell yeah, itís gonna take you awhile to do it all yourself if you canít get any machines back there to help with the processÖ
epson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 02:32 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 145
Default

Retaining Wall Demolition --HOW?


Another idea: Do you know anyone who could help you with running the a skid steer? If they have the time to help a good days work on breaking up the wall and clearing debris would put you well ahead of the "by hand demolition". A combination of both might be what's needed to save you time, money and more importantly, your back

Fantastic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
concrete, demo, demolition, retaining, wall


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Basement Concrete Wall Framing Against Stairs Epicsoccer Remodeling 7 01-13-2013 03:11 PM
Retaining Wall and Muddy Yard rjschwar Landscaping & Lawn Care 10 02-24-2010 12:55 PM
Removing spine wall beko Building & Construction 12 02-02-2010 01:15 AM
Considerations when pouring concrete against a stucco wall? clint_nichols Building & Construction 9 09-24-2009 05:28 AM
Going to build a retaining wall. Want to run my idea by you guys and gals keyser soze Landscaping & Lawn Care 5 03-17-2008 05:33 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.