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teamcampreder 04-16-2012 09:00 AM

The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)
Hi All,

So after lots of consulting with all of you, the people at Versalok, and my local landscaping supply center, I finally broke ground on my retaining wall project. I figured I would keep everyone posted on here.

I am replacing about 40 x 2-6 ft (the grade rises) of rubble wall that surrounds my driveway. It is subsiding heavily and needs to be done. I am digging about six feet back all the way around, to make room for my geogrid and backfill. I am doing about 12 inches of trap rock directly behind the wall, with a 4 inch drain tile at the bottom which will terminate at the far end of the wall. I plan on doing the geogrid @ 2 and 4 feet.

Here are some pics of the site before, and day 1 of digging.

The obligatory before shot..

And a few of Day 1s Progression

End of Day 1

Any suggestions on what I should do with all that rock that I am pulling out?

Blondesense 04-16-2012 12:14 PM


Originally Posted by teamcampreder (Post 900044)
Any suggestions on what I should do with all that rock that I am pulling out?


Awesome job, BTW.

no1hustler 04-16-2012 01:32 PM

Geez, hand digging? You are nuts!

You can bring that rock down to me. I need something for edging my garden. ;)

Thunder Chicken 04-16-2012 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 900143)

Awesome job, BTW.

Ditto on the Craigslist suggestion. Somewhere someone is trying to get rocks for a wall. I moved 10 tons of rock out of my yard by connecting with a mason looking for stone for a wall. They did all the pick up.

Ironlight 04-16-2012 03:42 PM

I have gotten rid of a couple of cubic yards of plain dirt...not even topsoil...through Craig's List. Post a photo of that wall before you take it down, and your phone will probably be ringing off the hook. You won't even have to move the rocks...just have them pick the wall apart, lol

teamcampreder 04-16-2012 05:27 PM

Wow didn't even think about craigslist! Thanks!

Ravenworks 04-16-2012 06:16 PM


Originally Posted by teamcampreder (Post 900394)
Wow didn't even think about craigslist! Thanks!

Quarry rock like that is about $100 a ton

teamcampreder 04-22-2012 07:17 PM

So as it turns out my Uncle has a John Deere Series 4 Tractor... w/ a front loader and a backhoe!!! I actually knew this, but he lives about an hour away, and didn't know he had a way of getting it off his property. We got a lot done in the rain today. He did the majority of the work, but my stepdad and I moved the big stones while he moved the dirt. It went really well. Enjoy some pics :)
Daughter and Wife, being helpy helpers
Uncle Gary, just getting started.
Keeping it old fashioned. Actually this was the rock removal process.
Gary letting me take it for a spin. This thing is AWESOME. If I had more than .17 acres, I could justify it.
Backyard O' Dirt
This was about 2 hours later. He moved about 40' x 3' x 6' of dirt (mostly wet clay) in 2 HOURS. Godsend

teamcampreder 04-22-2012 07:19 PM

By the way, Craiglist for the rocks was a great suggestion. I posted on Wednesday, and all the stones that were pull-able were GONE by Thursday. Another days work saved right there from you guys. This place is the BEST.

First pic above is a great example of what the wall was reduced too after the stone pickers came.

Ravenworks 04-22-2012 08:13 PM

You may want to cover the face of your cut and your spoil piles with plastic before you have nothing but mud to work with,a roll can be had for under $50
The only reason I say this is because I don't think being DIY you will have it built in a course of a day or two.I would of had a couple bales of straw towards the end of your drive for run off too. Looks like you have a good start.

teamcampreder 04-23-2012 07:31 AM

I will definitely get on that today, thanks for the heads up ravenworks.

no1hustler 04-23-2012 07:38 AM

Great progress!

+1 for the bails to collect runoff.

CoconutPete 04-23-2012 08:31 AM

What's up fellow CT resident!

Looks like you did a lot of hand-digging. I have an idea about how you feel right now. I dug up a 12x12 space 10" down and filled w/ crusher run and I walked like a 90 yr old for days.

How is the project holding up with all the rain? My lot has a few "lakes" in the back - hopefully they'll be gone by the time I get home tonight.

teamcampreder 04-27-2012 05:16 PM

Blocks came today... Coconut pete, whats up, gotta love that CT clay soil.

teamcampreder 04-28-2012 12:20 PM

I have a relatively large crew coming tomorrow (5 people), and we are at the point where we need to dig out the trench for the leveling pad and base course. I thought it would be smart to mark off the area I want dug with some kind of spray or chalk. I have to run to home depot today to get a rubber mallet anyway, does anyone have any suggestions?

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