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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

We have a large, gently sloped gravel parking area. Now that the kids are toddling around, I plan to build a 2' retaining wall and backfill half the area to plant a lawn, and a 6' dog-ear cedar fence around so the kids can play semi-supervised.

The retaining wall will be 4x6 PT pine posts sunk in concrete with PT 2x12's on the inside. I have a friend advising me on perf pipe, cloth, drainage, etc so I'm good there. My big question: should I run long 4x6's into the ground and use them for both the wall AND the fence supports? Or should I build the retaining wall first, then run fence supports up from the wall itself? I suppose I could also build a fence inside the wall, and sink the posts individually in the ground, but I can't think of any advantage to that approach.

Hope that makes sense, thanks for reading.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Using the formula of 1/3 the height of a fence post buried, you would need an approximate 12' 4X6 to build this as one unit.

Is the cost of those in your budget?

Plus I would extra waterproof the entire retaining wall, and posts on the uphill side, just to protect them more.

Even PT wood will decay after a lot of years.


ED
 

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Master General ReEngineer
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The retaining wall will be 4x6 PT pine posts sunk in concrete with PT 2x12's on the inside.
Using the formula of 1/3 the height of a fence post buried, you would need an approximate 12' 4X6 to build this as one unit.

Is the cost of those in your budget?

Plus I would extra waterproof the entire retaining wall, and posts on the uphill side, just to protect them more.

Even PT wood will decay after a lot of years.


ED
Ayuh,...... That's alota leverage against a wall/ fence,......
Not only wind loads, but the weight of the retained dirt,....

Adding some sub-grade tie-backs into the fill area, will no doubt help,.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to you both for the helpful replies. The one-piece solution now seems unwieldy and expensive, so I can rule that out.

I should have stated that my goals are to do it inexpensively, make it simple but useful, and nice-looking. I thought making the wall from wood would lend itself to quickly and easily erecting the fence on top of it, but now I see its not that simple.

To that end, would a landscape block wall with a standard fence set back a foot or two be a better option? I haven't costed out the blocks yet, but I'm sure they can't be too much more than so many 4x6x12's....
 

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You will get 15-20 years of use with the PT timbers and going up higher to support rails for the cedar boards will only present a wind load problem if you get 50 mph or higher winds in the area. The loading can be greatly reduced by leaving a 1-2 inch gap between the boards or alternating their placement so every other board is attached to the opposite side of the horizontal rails.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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The block wall would be my choice.

Be warned it entails more than just stacking a few blocks.

You will need the proper footing and gravel drain bed, as well as the fabric, and tools.

Study a tutorial on how they should be built, and be prepared to dig, and grade the bed area to perfection, before starting your construction.

Allenblock, has a good tutorial, and great blocks to fit almost all designs.

Get a few strong backs as helpers, and make it a beautiful addition to your neighborhood.



ED
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to you all! The tutorial but especially the drawings on the allan block website are very helpful.



I am looking at some 6x16 blocks from Home Depot (there's no allan block dealer nearby) that seem to price out about the same as the PT pine (this just for the retaining wall portion). We'll get the wall set up, then fill the new yard in, and then worry about the fence later on. I'll come back and post pics if I get on it soon enough that the thread is still active.
 

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Did you check with SBI Building and Landscape Supply in Windsor?
They are listed in the Allan Block Dealer locator.
 
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