Retaining Wall Level Foundation - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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 Display Modes
Old 03-07-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


Tips and Tricks for leveling base of retaining wall:

I am about to take on a retaining wall project using www.geostone.com gravity wall using their landscape stones. They have lots of good material and I am becoming well versed in the engineering that goes into the wall. I am inviting my dad to help me and only have him for a week. I have about 4 weeks worth of projects and want to make the most of my one week.

My Question: What are some tips you folks have for getting that first row level? Any jigs I can make or purchase before I start digging.

The wall is going to be almost 4 feet (permit height), so according to manufacture directions, I am going to have 1" base depth per foot of wall height. I am on Alabama soil (also know as hard clay), so I am comfortable with the minimum requirements, especially since my house is 50 years old and I'm sure the soil hasn't been touched. I would do some digging before hand, but my dad is bringing a backhoe to level my back yard and that will make quick work of my foundation trench and backfill area.

Thanks

Joe

Advertisement

sippinjoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 36
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


sippinjoes, make sure that you follow the proper excavation and base installation requirments for your wall. As for getting your first course / embedment block level, install a thin layer of stone dust or screens. This is refered to a choke course of material. It will allow you to set and level the first course easier. Make sure you level each block from front to back and side to side. Otherwise if your off, it will amplify as you go up with your wall.

Advertisement


Last edited by Kurtzilla; 03-07-2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: add on
Kurtzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


Thanks

Are you saying to use "choke material" and then add #78 base stone? Further research has me thinking I will use a plate tamper (not a hand tamper) on the foundation SOIL and then add my 4" - 5" base stone #78 and tamp again. For patios, level is often achieved by setting PVC or some sort of pipe into the base (removing after it is level). Unless the community has any other ideas, I will be setting a level line just in front of the area for the base stone at the desired height. Once I think I am on that line and well compacted, I will set a level line where the top of the first row of stone will be and level each block (f/b and s/s) at that line. Can't seem to find any time saving tips for setting that first course other than to remain patient and do it right the first time.

Last edited by sippinjoes; 03-08-2011 at 03:10 PM.
sippinjoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 03:19 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


Site of my future retaining wall. Wall will follow Monkey Grass and the steps will be replaced.

sippinjoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,828
Rewards Points: 2,144
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


The 4" base thickness is a little skimpy, but could be O.K. - I accustomed to seeing much higher walls and on the engineered walls, the base course does not follow the simple 1" to 1' ratio and is much less and 8" or 12" is adequate for a 40'+ high wall.

The system you have chose does not have a shear resistance designed into the block like the more popular units, so the filling of cores should be adequate for a low wall and not too much extra material for filling cores is required.

To answer your question about leveling the first course, a mini backhoe with a good operator can do it himeself with little of no shovel work. Set enough accurate elevations along the wall location for excavation and take plenty of shots to maintain good elevation controls. You should use a plate compactor and can add a small amount of fines to the compacted base to make setting the bed course easier and more accurate. For the first course, set separate elevations at appropriate locations and run string lines pulled tight. For your curves, you will need more. Laya the first course as you describe and check periodically to see it is not wandering up or down because a short level is not good over a long distance. Be patient as you do the first course and then the rest of the courses will be many times faster and easier. Backfill with a well draining material.

Dick
concretemasonry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 66
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Retaining Wall Level Foundation


I have dug out for my foundation (side note: mini excavators are a blast to use). As suspected I ran into boulders, or rather one huge one. It is relatively flat across a 6 foot area of the foundation. My concern is that I have nothing in front of the boulder. So the foundation is pretty much the crushed gravel, some of which will be on a boulder, just laying out rather than in typical 2' wide trench. So, the first run won't be below ground level as it needs to be. Anyone had this situation before and have a solution? Thanks.

Advertisement

sippinjoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dry stack , leveling site , retaining wall , stone foundation , wall foundation


Thread Tools
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
Retaining Wall - Stones and Support? revkev1952 Landscaping & Lawn Care 3 08-09-2010 03:02 PM
Retaining Wall and Muddy Yard rjschwar Landscaping & Lawn Care 10 02-24-2010 01:55 PM
Considerations when pouring concrete against a stucco wall? clint_nichols Building & Construction 9 09-24-2009 06:28 AM
securring an existing railroad tie retaining wall secondguesser Landscaping & Lawn Care 1 07-02-2009 09:52 PM
Replacing Railroad Tie Retaining Wall Msfixit Landscaping & Lawn Care 2 07-24-2008 09:03 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts