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Old 04-10-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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Stone/Rock Wall for elevated area?


Hello all -

I have a question regarding a rock wall for my yard. My wife and I have had a real fixer-upper house on our hands, and we're just finally getting to the backyard.

Currently, we have painted railroad ties elevating a rock/tree/shrub area around various parts of the yard. It's elevated by maybe 18-22" in most areas (lower in some areas). Attached is a picture of what it looks like (one of the lower areas).

We want to replace this with a stone/rock wall of some sort. I've been researching a bit regarding different wall types, and seem to see people all over the place with regards to whether or not I should use mortar in this or just build a dry wall. Technically it's retaining, but obviously not very much height-wise. Should I go a mortar route, to make sure this thing doesn't move?

The soil is very hard and clay-like here (we're in Albuquerque), I've already removed two ties just to see how hard it would be ... and the soil seems to easily be holding its own. My idea is to remove all of these ties (which go down about 18"), and establish a footing (gravel) a bit wider by cutting into the existing (lower) yard. I would then build up the wall (possibly using mortar) and ultimately backfill the elevated area into the new wall.

Am I generally on the right path here? I've never done this before and realize it will end up being a fairly large task (I've got probably 80 linear feet of this we'd like to deal with in the end), but I think I'm up for the challenge if I can just get aimed in the right direction!

Thanks in advance for any help,

Brett
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Stone/Rock Wall for elevated area?-wall1_small.jpg  

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abq_b80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2011, 04:44 PM   #2
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Stone/Rock Wall for elevated area?


Hey, abq b80. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area. I like your idea
of a stone/rock wall. You are on the right track. The question is how big are the stones/rocks
and how many stones/rocks high is the wall going to be? If you are building it 2 stones
high and they “nest” well; you shouldn’t need to use mortar. If you go 3 or more high,
you will probably need mortar.
Another option is using cement retaining wall block. They are 4” high, 8” deep, and 12” wide.
They have a lip that would keep them from moving out from the bed. Because of your hard,
clay soil, you could go 2 or 3 high without any mortar.

I hope that helps. Good luck and take care.

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Old 04-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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Stone/Rock Wall for elevated area?


Hey, abq b80. Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area. I like your idea
of a stone/rock wall. You are on the right track. The question is how big are the stones/rocks and how many stones/rocks high is the wall going to be? If you are building it 2 stones high and they “nest” well; you shouldn’t need to use mortar. If you go 3 or more high, you will probably need mortar.

Another option is using cement retaining wall block. They are 4” high, 8” deep, and 12” wide. They have a lip that would keep them from moving out from the bed. Because of your hard, clay soil, you could go 2 or 3 high without any mortar.

I hope that helps. Good luck and take care.
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