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Old 04-17-2017, 10:52 PM   #1
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Retaining wall options - specifically, brands

My yard has a 63" elevation change from my property line to the back of the house. I also receive the runoff from three properties behind me.

Fortunately, I do not have a water problem with my house, however, my back yard is often wet and due to the elevation pretty much useless.

There is a pronounced ridge that would be ideal for a retaining wall.

My goals with the wall are:
1. alter the slope of the upper section of the yard to slow down the speed of runoff.
2. create a place to capture water and direct it into 4" or 6" pipe to guide it around to the front of the house.
3. change the grade directly behind the house to create a flat space to pour a patio.

I am working with a concrete company - they poured my driveway a couple years ago - to pour the patio. I cannot afford to hire a landscape company to install a retaining wall.

My plan is to have the concrete team cut in the area for my wall, dig out the trench for stone and sand and compact it with their equipment. This just leaves me to install the block, drain pipes, stone, and move dirt back in to place.

Last week I spent a couple hours measuring elevation changes with a rotary laser and created a surface map of my yard.

I hope to follow the ridge by cutting into it and half way following the curve. I imagine the wall will peak at 36-40" in one section for about 8-10'.

What this post is really about is retaining wall block options. I've seen Versalock, but i cannot imagine they are the only game in town. What other companies or systems would be suitable for this task?

The patio is going to be between 20-24' wide and 14-16' deep. The back of the addition servicing the patio is 34' wide - for reference.

The images below:
- each line is 3" in elevation change.
- the house section is 24' wide to give a sense of scale.

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Old 04-18-2017, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Retaining wall options - specifically, brands

There are many manufacturers of segmental concrete block (the generic name for interlocking concrete block). Some are local, some national. In my area, Superior Concrete makes blocks, Allan Block is widely sold. If you go to a concrete supplier they will likely have several varieties available. The most important thing is to get the design manual from the block manufacturer, read it, and make sure you follow it. The manual should explain how to prepare the base, install the drainage, what type of backfill is needed, and should explain how to install soil reinforcing (if needed).
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: Retaining wall options - specifically, brands

The low cost and high weight of things like concrete pavers and retaining wall units means that they aren't typically shipped all over the country. You likely have one or two brands in your area that have much better availability just because they are produced within a reasonable distance.

Do a search for "segmented retaining wall companies" and you'll find quite a few. Anchor, Allen Block, Everlock, Belgard, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Retaining wall options - specifically, brands

A picture of the yard and the house would help. To build the wall you need to start at the bottom. Your options for the bottom (and the entire wall) are a function of the soils, terrain and loading.
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