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patcs2 09-19-2013 12:15 PM

Raised patio/ retaining wall question
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Hi, I'm new, but it looks like there's good advice to be had here from members.

I'm working on the early stages (excavation) of what will be a paver patio in our back yard. The attached picture shows I've dug out an area 22' x 16' on ground that slopes away from the house.

A description, then a couple questions... all advice appreciated:

The area slopes both away from the house and from left to right in the picture. The low point of the patio area (before digging it out) is marked by the stake with the orange rebar cap on it. The corner diagonally opposite that is the high point. We plan to put a fairly good sized hot tub on the patio when finished. It'll be about 7' x 8' feet and weigh 4700 lbs when filled with water. The strings laid on the ground toward the left side of the patio area is where we plan to put it. My big concern is making sure the short retaining wall I'll need to put in on the downslope sides of the patio doesn't give out. The subsoil is just the kind of dense Georgia clay it looks like.

Is it nuts to be thinking of doing a pressure-treated timber retaining wall within which I'll compact 6 or 7 lifts of crusher run stone before laying the pavers in masonry sand? I do plan to use geotex fabric between the sub-soil and base and I will be digging a 12" wide footer trench inside the dug out area. I know that even with the best drainage, 4x6 or 6x6 timbers will eventually give out. The alternative I'm considering is building the wall with the large allen + roth "Insignia" line blocks that use the interlocking plastic pins.

I can include more pictures or sketch out what I'm thinking if that helps describe it better.


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