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Old 08-06-2017, 10:12 AM   #1
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Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


Hello All,

Newbie here, not only to the site but also to the USA. Now due to being new in the USA and have just purchased a home in Colorado. I have a few questions regarding my landscaping for my backyard.

My First question is going to be about a retaining wall ( raised garden bed ) I want to build on the side of my House. It is about 32' Long and will start at a height of 1' on one end and be about 3' high at the other end. As my land slopes down

I have limited space to my fence line so I am looking for a wall idea that has a small Width (Something around 4") Also looking at doing it DIY so nothing too complicated. As I am in Colorado I am Concerned about drainage and frost line, (This is something I haven't dealt with before as I am from Australia)

I have looked at the Following Ideas.
  • Cinder Block Wall
    Concern here is having to do a footing and make it below the frost line
  • Stacking Block Wall
    Would be the easiest but the width of the blocks at around 6-8" make it almost impossible to use as my fence line will be close to my retaining wall at one end
  • Wood Retaining Wall
    Small Width but concerned about how long this would last in Colorado and also about how deep it would need to be regarding frost line
  • Concrete Poured Wall
    Lots of work and forming, I think would be expensive and also turn out not as good as would like it to be

I would actually like something like the attached picture. Its concrete sleepers and metal posts, Its a design from Australia but I cant seem to find anything similar here in the USA, If there is it must be called something else and if some one has an idea of what I am on about please let me know.

Obviously not as high the photo though. I have also attached a very rough sketch of the side of my house along with some photos. I will be looking at doing this to both sides of the house the other side doesn't have any window wells and would be pretty much the same distance and height.

So I have the following questions.
  1. Can I do this with drainage ideas and have sufficient drainage away from my basement, I am suppose to have a 10 - 15% Sloping grade here according to my grading Certification
  2. In Regards to the weather and the Frost line etc, How Deep Should I be Going, Do I need a footing and what's the best option for the weather here in Northern Colorado, Id rather not have to excavate too deep or do a footing, however I don't want to put something in that only lasts a few years

I hope I am not confusing or anything and I appreciate any help that any one can give me here.

Cheers
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Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado-6661b6f87bba49a895e1c9ab0408b6f3.jpg   Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado-side-house-plan.jpg   Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado-img_7820.jpg   Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado-img_7823.jpg   Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado-img_7824.jpg  

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Old 08-06-2017, 12:36 PM   #2
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


The first picture looks like soldier pile with lagging, a retaining wall if you will, but the H pile is usually driven, although i have seen short ones embedded in concrete in a drilled hole, the driven piles are mostly used for shoring a building or roadway before excavating the opposite side, here's a link showing it's uses.

https://www.google.com/search?safe=a...&bih=739&dpr=2
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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The first picture looks like soldier pile with lagging, a retaining wall if you will, but the H pile is usually driven, although i have seen short ones embedded in concrete in a drilled hole, the driven piles are mostly used for shoring a building or roadway before excavating the opposite side, here's a link showing it's uses.

https://www.google.com/search?safe=a...&bih=739&dpr=2
So I was wondering, is this something that is available in a residential application?
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


Your first picture appears to be augered holes, with H piles embedded in concrete, here's a link to some simple retaining walls also.


Don't know if they would work for what your looking for, but don't hurt to look.


https://www.gabion1.com/gabion-retai...EaAkh_EALw_wcB
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


I was actually looking for something more like cement and not the gabion boxes. I can find the h beams easy enough. But what I can't find is the cement sleepers


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Old 08-06-2017, 09:14 PM   #6
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


Maybe I don't understand your reasoning for wanting to put in a retaining wall but looking at your pictures I certainly don't see a need for one. You certainly do not have excessive slope along that side of your home and I'd be worried that if you put in the retaining wall you're going to hold more water against your foundation.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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Maybe I don't understand your reasoning for wanting to put in a retaining wall but looking at your pictures I certainly don't see a need for one. You certainly do not have excessive slope along that side of your home and I'd be worried that if you put in the retaining wall you're going to hold more water against your foundation.


I really just want a nice raised garden bed. And not have too much slope. I like flat land. I was hoping I could do something and put adequate drainage in to get the water away from my house.

I am concerned about the build of water and snow against my foundation. This is the reason for asking the questions.

Is there a way to make this happen and remove the water / snow away from the house.


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Old 08-07-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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I was actually looking for something more like cement and not the gabion boxes. I can find the h beams easy enough. But what I can't find is the cement sleepers


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If you mean the lagging in between the piles they can be wood, in fact thats all i've ever seen although precast can be used.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:52 AM   #9
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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If you mean the lagging in between the piles they can be wood, in fact thats all i've ever seen although precast can be used.
So, My Question is, Say I go with wood, How Deep does it have to be?
Does it have to be under the frost line etc?
Will wood withstand Colorado's Winter?


My Main Question here, Will building this retaining wall and raised garden bed have an issue on my foundation?

Will I still be able to have adequate drainage away from the house if I install under gravel drainage and pipe work to a french drain etc?

Cheers

Jason
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


If you do soldier pile, they would have to be below your frost line, as to the other two questions i have no idea.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:20 PM   #11
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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If you do soldier pile, they would have to be below your frost line, as to the other two questions i have no idea.


Appreciate it. Now just to find out the answers to my other questions. I don't want to go ahead and do this if it's gonna look terrible in a few years. Or it actually put risk to my foundation


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Old 08-07-2017, 10:20 PM   #12
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


You don't want to build up the beds very high because you want the dirt level to be below your siding by at least 4" preferably 6".
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:46 AM   #13
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


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You don't want to build up the beds very high because you want the dirt level to be below your siding by at least 4" preferably 6".


I was going to build the beds so they were flush with the siding but not full them all the way up. Leave a 4-6 " gap from the top so there is no dirt at


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Old 08-13-2017, 02:32 PM   #14
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Re: Small Retaining Wall Ideas for Colorado


So I have another idea for my retaining wall. That doesn't involves too much concrete footings.

What about a frame built from 2x4 treated lumber. And then using stone veneer over the top. Would this be sturdy and stand up to Colorado weather.

I would place 4x4 posts in the corners and reinforce it back to the foundation


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