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Old 06-28-2007, 12:57 AM   #1
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Retaining Wall Help


Hi all,

Here goes...

We have a small house on a small lot. One side of our lot is bordered by a dirt alley. There is about eight feet of space between the alley and the house, however, on this side of the house there is a built-out side structure (basically, almost the entire lot is covered by a carport/patio area except for a 20x60 backyard and 20x40 front yard, I hope this makes sense).

The actual alley is about three to four feet higher than our lot, which is held back by a concrete chunk retaining wall. About halfway down the lot (where the siding of the structure changes from wood paneling to fiberglass/plastic panels) the retaining wall has given away and is sliding into the wall of our side structure.

Upon our inspection when we bought the house, I was advised to replace the rotted wood, which was damaged, probably, due to the dirt/wood contact from the retaining wall failing. I have cut out the rotted wood and dug out part of the dirt that has been sliding into the wall.

I am trying to figure out the best way to fix this issue. I have a concrete slab all around the house, however the retaining wall is not actually on the slab, but just off of it. It's basically a wall of 2x4's with brown plastic panels.

I've thought of a few different ways to approach this: a) just leaving it how it is and just digging back the dirt that has slid into the wall and hope it doesn't do so before we move out, while replacing the rotted with with pressure treated wood; b) take out the entire wall and replacing it with steel support beams (the wall is currently supporting a simple roof of 2x4's with clear plastic paneling) and putting up some other kind of screening that won't come into contact with the ground or; c) constructing a simple three foot wall out of cinder blocks and mortar and then attaching 4x4's to the top of it to support the lightweight roof (this way if dirt slides into it, so what? Wood is not coming into contact with dirt.

Any thoughts on any of these ideas? I really have little clue on construction. We probably won't live here that long, but in the event that we do want to sell the place, I want to make sure it isn't an issue on the inspection.

Thanks and I'll be glad to help out in case further details are needed.

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Old 06-28-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
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Retaining Wall Help


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Originally Posted by jb3green View Post
Hi all,

Here goes...

We have a small house on a small lot. One side of our lot is bordered by a dirt alley. There is about eight feet of space between the alley and the house, however, on this side of the house there is a built-out side structure (basically, almost the entire lot is covered by a carport/patio area except for a 20x60 backyard and 20x40 front yard, I hope this makes sense).

The actual alley is about three to four feet higher than our lot, which is held back by a concrete chunk retaining wall. About halfway down the lot (where the siding of the structure changes from wood paneling to fiberglass/plastic panels) the retaining wall has given away and is sliding into the wall of our side structure.

Upon our inspection when we bought the house, I was advised to replace the rotted wood, which was damaged, probably, due to the dirt/wood contact from the retaining wall failing. I have cut out the rotted wood and dug out part of the dirt that has been sliding into the wall.

I am trying to figure out the best way to fix this issue. I have a concrete slab all around the house, however the retaining wall is not actually on the slab, but just off of it. It's basically a wall of 2x4's with brown plastic panels.

I've thought of a few different ways to approach this: a) just leaving it how it is and just digging back the dirt that has slid into the wall and hope it doesn't do so before we move out, while replacing the rotted with with pressure treated wood; b) take out the entire wall and replacing it with steel support beams (the wall is currently supporting a simple roof of 2x4's with clear plastic paneling) and putting up some other kind of screening that won't come into contact with the ground or; c) constructing a simple three foot wall out of cinder blocks and mortar and then attaching 4x4's to the top of it to support the lightweight roof (this way if dirt slides into it, so what? Wood is not coming into contact with dirt.

Any thoughts on any of these ideas? I really have little clue on construction. We probably won't live here that long, but in the event that we do want to sell the place, I want to make sure it isn't an issue on the inspection.

Thanks and I'll be glad to help out in case further details are needed.
Try and get some pictures posted if possible.

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Old 06-29-2007, 11:53 PM   #3
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Retaining Wall Help


This is a close-up of the bottom of the patio wall. As you can see the wall is set just off the concrete slab. I was responsible for cutting (er, tearing) out the brown plastic panel so I could dig out the dirt that had slid into the patio wall.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...wallside-5.jpg


The following is from a different angle. Note the line where the concrete slab ends and where the wall sits. The bottom 2x4's actually are sitting on small 2x4 blocks that are on the ground.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...wallside-2.jpg


This next picture is directly on the other side, the alley side, of the patio wall where I've been digging out. You can barely catch the hole on the left (due to the knotweed, which is a completely separate project) where I cut out the panel.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...wallside-1.jpg

This picture gives you an idea of the space between the retaining wall and the side structure/patio cover of our house.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...allsideofh.jpg

This last pic is the back patio. As you can see, the wall isn't really holding up much weight. There's a piece of rough cut there because the 2x4's that were supporting that end of the wall were rotted out, so I cut them off.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b1...wallside-4.jpg

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-30-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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Retaining Wall Help


I would do this as a minimum
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:10 PM   #5
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Retaining Wall Help


It'll be a little difficult with the lack of space to put a footing in, but this really helps.

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
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Retaining Wall Help


Well I had another thought which of course is not as good as my last idea but it would work and that is to build a new wall on the edge of the slab and nock out the old one then dig down as close to 2 feet as you can and put 6 inches of drain rock then 4 inch perforated pvc pipe and fill the rest in with gravel staying 6 inches from the ground level. Lay Landscape fabric down and then finish fill it up with gravel. The landscape fabric will help keep the dirt out of the hole below and plugging it up. Also make sure there is a gutter on that roof and direct the water away from this area.
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Old 07-01-2007, 12:22 PM   #7
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Yes, there is a gutter there and the roof has a good overhang so this doesn't get particularly wet. This might be more feasible with the space I have. This really helps. Thanks!

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