Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > Project Showcase


Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-18-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 42
Share |

Backyard Retaining Wall Build

I've got to confess much of the information I learned about retaining walls, I picked up here. I figure it's only fair to pay it back.

My wife and I bought our first house in November of 2012. We realized at the time that the grade of the house sloped slightly towards the house, and the inspector even noted it as a point of concern. I don't think we realized just how probalmatic it would be. The grade, coupled with 2 downspouts exiting at the back of the house, resulted in major crawlspace flooding. The back of the house was an addition done by the seller, who renovated the property entirely before we bought it. So the good news is that water under there hadn't done much damage . . . yet. But it became pretty clear we needed to address the situation ASAP.

Because the seller built the addition with the same finished floor elevation as the rest of the house, there wasn't much exposed block foundation left below the siding where we could add dirt correct the grade. So, we decided to add a retaining wall about 20' off the back of the house. This

Digging the hole:

Digging the trench for the base course:

Base course set and leveled. I vastly underestimated how frustrating and time consuming this process would be. I'd guess there is 5-6 hours in getting those first blocks set and leveled. Using a laser transit, I show about 1/2" variation over the 30' straight section, which seems like it's well within the acceptable range.

The blocks are Allan Block, standard units, in a grey/tan blend. About 128 full size blocks, 5 jumbo juniors for the curves, and 9 tons of gravel.

Progress to this point. Need to rent the 14" concrete saw to blow through the corner caps quickly. So far, I'm very happy with my 30,000 lb creation. Still much to do to finalize the drainage and water control, but heading in the right direction for sure!

red92s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
Devil Dog
handyman_20772's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Posts: 53

Backyard Retaining Wall Build

Looks good, post more pictures of your progress.
handyman_20772 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 42

Backyard Retaining Wall Build

This was the original layout. We ended up nixing the 2 course "peel off" and just running the right side 4 full side. I also ran the third course a bit farther to the left than I had planned for. So my calcs for blocks were a little off, and I had to buy a couple more to finish.

red92s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 42

Backyard Retaining Wall Build

I've begun backfilling and grading behind the wall. I'm trying to create a berm/swale behind the wall to intercept the surface water coming down the hill before reaching the wall. I've got some good slope in this area from the (from the fence towards where I'm standing in the first picture).

I'm wondering how best to collect this water (french drain, collection basins, etc) and convey it towards the driveway. You can see the 4" ridgid PVC collection system for the downpouts in the last picture. This takes roof water towards the front of the house and discharges across the driveway. I'm hoping to do something similar with whatever system goes behind the wall.

red92s is offline   Reply With Quote

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
Please help with retaining wall / patio issue that has arisen. coderguy Landscaping & Lawn Care 3 05-26-2012 04:45 PM
Retaining wall 5' x 44' fnobus Landscaping & Lawn Care 1 07-12-2011 09:13 AM
Retaining wall height cumak Landscaping & Lawn Care 2 05-10-2011 09:46 PM
what to do with the french drain behind a retaining wall MLMIB Building & Construction 4 04-08-2011 07:52 AM
Wall - LOAD BEARING: How to Move? user49172 Building & Construction 1 03-11-2009 04:48 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts

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