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Old 12-27-2018, 09:19 AM   #1
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Retaining Wall


I'm trying to figure out what would be both cheaper and easier to build a long but very low retaining wall with, 4x4 treated posts or retaining wall block. Aside from my driveway and the side entrance to my house, my property is on a slope. I want to buy a shed to store things in but need at least a 10'x14' area to place it on. I'm going to expand my gravel driveway width wise so I have to tear out the existing railroad ties and I want to push it out about 4' but the highest point that the wall would be is only about 3' high and it's right where I would be placing the shed at. I have done retaining walls even higher than this so I know what to do there. I'm wondering how I would do a 4"x4" post wall if it would be cheaper than the block retaining wall method. If I went the wooden post method, couldn't I just use long spikes (rebar?) and get the first row nailed in deep then maybe every row going up add more spikes into the lumber until I get to the top? Not sure how this works with a shorter height wall. Any help here is appreciated.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Retaining Wall


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Originally Posted by clancaster23 View Post
I'm trying to figure out what would be both cheaper and easier to build a long but very low retaining wall with, 4x4 treated posts or retaining wall block. Aside from my driveway and the side entrance to my house, my property is on a slope. I want to buy a shed to store things in but need at least a 10'x14' area to place it on. I'm going to expand my gravel driveway width wise so I have to tear out the existing railroad ties and I want to push it out about 4' but the highest point that the wall would be is only about 3' high and it's right where I would be placing the shed at. I have done retaining walls even higher than this so I know what to do there. I'm wondering how I would do a 4"x4" post wall if it would be cheaper than the block retaining wall method. If I went the wooden post method, couldn't I just use long spikes (rebar?) and get the first row nailed in deep then maybe every row going up add more spikes into the lumber until I get to the top? Not sure how this works with a shorter height wall. Any help here is appreciated.
Where I live you can re invent that wheel any way you want up to 3 ft, you need an engineer to build one 37inches high.


One style
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:54 AM   #3
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Re: Retaining Wall


Yeah, I was also trying to avoid any kind of post digging/cement burying if possible. I just did a second measure and right where the highest point would be right where I want to put the shed is only a touch more than two feet. It will be at least 60' long if not a touch longer since I'll have to end it somehow on my other end. I think I may just go with block.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:01 AM   #4
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Re: Retaining Wall


Pre drill every hole, and then the spikes, or re-bar to hold the 4X4 s together.

Here I think that it's under 4 feet high, before you even need a permit, unless you are in a city.

They use a lot of red flagstone here for this purpose, just stack it and leave it, but occasionally due to water and freezing they fail, and need rebuilt every ten years or so.

To place a shed, without any terracing, I use C M U as the base, get the spots where the Concrete Mason Unit, is to sit level flat, then stack one or two high, depending on the elevation it is, until all CMU tops are equal level, then build the shed on these.

I have 5 sheds in my yard built that way, been there 30+ years, and still level, solid, sturdy.


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Old 12-27-2018, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: Retaining Wall


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Pre drill every hole, and then the spikes, or re-bar to hold the 4X4 s together.

ED

That's exactly how I was thinking of doing it. Still may just do retaining wall block though. Had to look up what CMU's were. We call them cinder blocks. Anyway, it's a pre-built shed so it will sit on the blocks. The reason I need to expand the driveway is because where the opening of the shed will be half on/half off the driveway and where I am putting the shed, it's only 8' wide and I need to get a 10' wide shed there so it would be just hanging over by two feet. Maybe not a huge deal but it would drive me nuts having it like that. That's why I need to just build me a wall so I can make the whole thing larger and it'll just make it all easier.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:22 AM   #6
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Re: Retaining Wall


Notice the timber, all you wood needs to treated ground contact tags on the lumber and the hundreds of knife cuts in the surface of the timbers. That's ground contact.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Retaining Wall


That's pretty much how I thought of doing it if I did it with wood. Since my highest point will only be about 2 1/2' high, I wouldn't think I would need the deadman they're talking about. Just have to figure out what a timbuh is...
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Retaining Wall


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That's pretty much how I thought of doing it if I did it with wood. Since my highest point will only be about 2 1/2' high, I wouldn't think I would need the deadman they're talking about. Just have to figure out what a timbuh is...
Drainage like he did is about the most important part. And the dead man, make that decision when you get there. if the hill is firm it would be fine but if it wants to slough down you may want a dead man to make sure it can take the pressure.
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:19 AM   #9
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Re: Retaining Wall


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That's exactly how I was thinking of doing it. Still may just do retaining wall block though. Had to look up what CMU's were. We call them cinder blocks.

Cinder Blocks have not been made for decades.

They are called different thing in different parts of the Country.

ED
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:28 AM   #10
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Re: Retaining Wall


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Originally Posted by clancaster23 View Post
That's pretty much how I thought of doing it if I did it with wood. Since my highest point will only be about 2 1/2' high, I wouldn't think I would need the deadman they're talking about. Just have to figure out what a timbuh is...
Timbuh can get expensive I would look at Allan block too.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:33 PM   #11
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Yes I am looking at block as well. I built a wall on the other side of my driveway a year ago and it still looks good. I just thought timber would be easier but I may still go with block since I know it'll work. Once you get the footer in it's pretty much back filling with gravel.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: Retaining Wall


Right now I'm thinking using wood will cost a lot less than what a block wall will if I'm using 4x4's. I still have to get exact numbers but I think it'll be a few hundred less going with wood. And since it won't be all that high, about two and a half feet at it's highest point, I think it should do just as good a job. I'll be having some gravel brought in tomorrow and I'll be doing a lot of measuring then going to the store to see what things cost and go from there. If I do use wood, I'll be setting the first row with the long rebar then I guess they make long screws that you use to fasten the rest of the wall on top each other. Going to be fun. Love starting new projects like this.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:03 AM   #13
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Re: Retaining Wall


Once you factor in the cost of the screws, and added hardware, you might find that it's very close to even as to which one costs more.

Go with what looks better to your SWMBO, that is all that matters.


ED
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:18 PM   #14
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Re: Retaining Wall


Do a gabion wall
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Retaining Wall-driveway-wall.jpg  
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:22 PM   #15
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No I don't think so. Ugly
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