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Hello, I'm working on a retaining wall project and hope you guys can offer some valuable input. I have a sloped flower bed at the base of my driveway that ends with a 28-inch high ugly cinderblock and concrete retaining wall that is leaning. A friend suggested I reinforce it by building another wall around a foot in front and filling it with backfill to add support. This does seem easier than a complete teardown and rebuild (obviously easier isn't necessarily better) and I'm not worried about losing a foot of property.

The risk of course is would the new wall be able to support any continued lean of the old one? I asked my neighbor who lives across the street how long the wall has been there and he told me it was there when he moved in back in 1974 -- quite a long time ago!

I've built a retaining wall before and know it's a lot of work, so I'd like to find the path of least resistance without having to do the job twice. Thoughts?
 

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I would be concerned that the weight and force of the old would push over the new. Once they start to lean it only a matter of time.

The better news is when I tore one down I had people almost fighting over the free concrete blocks I offered so the haul away may not be bad.
 

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As a diy-er, I’ve built two retaining walls using the pink colored blocks (with the small lip on the bottom at the rear.

The first one was built in 1992 and consisted of: landscape fabric and gravel (crusher run) between the wall and hillside - of course, the fabric between the gravel & blocks.

That wall hasn’t moved whatsoever and easily allows only water to pass through (landscape fabric doing its job).

The most important step for building a block wall is making absolutely sure that first layer is perfectly level, sitting atop solid, packed earth (preferably a gravel layer).

I wouldn’t consider any other method at this point - when installed correctly, those blocks use the physics of gravity and friction to provide an effective, reliable, low maintenance solution.

Of course, I’m no mason or civil engineer but what I did has worked for ages.



As far as your situation: I would do a complete tear down and rebuild. At least then, there won’t be any question.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have a sloped flower bed at the base of my driveway that ends with a 28-inch high ugly cinderblock and concrete retaining wall that is leaning.
Sounds like now is a good time to get rid of that ugly cinderblock retaining wall you hate and replace it with one you like.

I don't think a one-foot-high addition in front of a 28" high wall will help a whole lot. Plus, it will make it even uglier.

Pictures help. Though you already know what you should do.
 
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