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Old 01-16-2015, 06:53 AM   #1
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Advise for retaining wall

My side and backyard look like a battle field from 2 German Shepherds digging for 5 years.We are wanting to get the yard back in shape and build a retaining wall down one side that will allow us to bring in dirt to level it up. I went to the city to ask about permits and was told as long as it is not over 4 ft. high none were needed. They also told me no wood or cross ties allowed for wall(?). I have included some pics of the area and am also wanting to go with a six foot privacy fence above the wall. The red line is the desired height of the wall and the black shows a fence to be removed. Sorry the the long novel, any advise greatly appreciated.
P.S. We are not wealthy and are thinking maybe a keystone type wall?
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:56 AM   #2
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A segmental block retaining wall seems like the best choice. There are many manufacturers of blocks that lock together, Keystone is one, Ideal makes them, Varsa-Lok also, just to name a few. Every manufacturer has different specifications, you need to read and understand the installation procedure for the specific type of block you select. When you buy the block you should get a complete install guide.

I put in a three foot retaining wall in the backyard of my house using Ideal block, they were local, they delivered the block, and they had the appearance I was looking for. Actual installation is pretty simple as long as you follow the directions. One thing to note is that at four feet, most of the block types require reinforcing fabric, you should get this when you get the block, and make sure you understand how to put it in, if you don't use it correctly your wall may bow or even fall down.

The other thing is the backfill type, once block companies specify the type of backfill you can use, Ideal wants sand and/or gravel, no clay, little silt. This is pretty typical, again you need to read the instructions for installation to make sure you get the backfill correct.
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:56 AM   #3
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The privacy fence on top of the keystone wall sounds problematic. I don't think it's designed for that. Call the manufacturer and see what their opinion is on that.

You might have to get some engineering involved to end up with a 6' fence on top of the wall and it will likely have to be a concrete wall.
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