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Old 10-27-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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garden wall and retaining wall

The guy who is doing a patio for me used garden blocks to do a patio border (two layers of blocks and one layer of cap) so there are gaps inside and it goes toward inside from outside of border. Is this right? Any replies are greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Last edited by rhlxin; 10-27-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:51 AM   #2
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you might want to post a picture or two. What size gaps are you concerned with? Is this a curved wall? Are the gaps there for drainage?
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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patio border

Do you need a border that high? Will it be difficult to walk over or is it just in the area where people won't be walking. Hard to visualize....
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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If I am visualizing correctly, the backside of the wall has gaps in the wall?

Most, if not all, retaining wall blocks are made so the back side is not as wide as the front side. This is so the blocks may be placed to form curves, if they were square you could only make straight walls. Typically, the retaining wall is filled in behind, so you don't see the gaps. If you are using it as a border or edge around a patio, you obviously will see the back side of the block - which is the unfinished, nondecorative side of a retaining wall block.

Best example picture I could find:
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:29 PM   #5
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They do make double faced blocks. You will have to cut them to minimize the gaps.

Last edited by 47_47; 10-28-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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patio and retaining wall

I post my question a couple of days ago and received some replies.

Thanks all for your help. I put some pictures here and I have more quetions:

1. Is it necessary that 6" excavation needed under the border and 14" needed under the stairs (I will have 4 to 5 steps)? My contractor did not do this and he just took out grass for the most of place.
2. How much gravel needed under the paver?
3. He used those blocks (see picture) to build a wall then put a cap on the top of it. My question is: did he use the right stuff for the wall? Should the blocks be backfilled with gravel and the same for the gaps (see photo)? I saw so many gaps unfilled between blocks, I am afraid that soil or gravel flowed in after rains and it would cause pavers to go down in the future.
4. Is there drain problem with this design?
5. I upgraded the paver from untumbled to tumbled with extra money but the contractor did not upgrade the wall. It gave me feeling like a well dressed lady with a pair of cheap shoes. Also, we only have 23'x33' patio, the cap sounds too big and it looks like a big head with a small body, I mean it looks unbalanced. So many uncertainty and so many unlikes, any suggestions and helps would be greatly appreciated.
6, Does the design have any problem? I just feel that the patio sounds too small to have that 4 steps. The plate out of the door is 3' and add at least 4' for steps, it is almose reach a half of patio. Will it look balanced?
7. Any improvements or corrections would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

I failed to upload my photos here and you need to copy this to your browse to see them if you can not see them by clicking on it. I am very sorry for this inconvenience and I will try to upload later. My patio guy will come tomorrow and I need your suggestions to talk to him. Thank you so much.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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Stop the project and speak to the contractor. All these details should have been listed in the job specifications. You sound like you just woke up and some guy was building a patio in your yard.
The base prep work is determined by your soil conditions and where you live.
Did you have other contractors give you detailed bids? What were their plans for the job?
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:32 PM   #8
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I agree with Ron
All of this should have been spelled out in the contract

How much base/gravel will be under the pavers?

What drainage has been or will be installed?

Did you pick out all of the wall block/pavers & approve it?

There are many different types of wall block

I don't think I'd be wasting pavers etc under stairs
Seems like they may stick out quite ways
Did they give you a layout of what the paqtio would look like & where the stairs would end?

With a raised 2x door like that I would have had a small deck that then leads down to the patio

2 threads on same subject merged

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