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10

It's quite hard to tell how big this wall is but you stated it's 3-4' tall. It looks like it was built simply as a vertical wall. There's nothing you can do about it. It was inevitably going to tip over. So yes, you do have to dig it out. If you want to replace it with timber, you need to add something called deadmen to it. A deadman is a timber that runs ...


5

I would cut off the timber in the ground using a Sawzall type tool (reciprocating saw) that has a long rough cut blade installed. You can get blades as long as 12 inches that can easily reach into tight spots and cut the wood. Soil will wear the teeth away fairly quickly and so be prepared to replace the blade. I've used this technique to cut roots free ...


4

They make them. Not concrete blocks per se but other precast concrete units. You'll need to find out if you're local suppliers carry them or you have a precast stone manufacturer near you. The family of products you're talking about, which includes not only the half round but other shapes, are called concrete coping stones. That should help you ask around ...


4

without a lip you'd want to use concrete adhesive on each row. check your local code regulations. Typically a wall of a certain height has to be run through an engineer first. In my area I believe the height was 3'. Anything higher I'd have to hire an engineer. In our case, we had a large amount of earth to retain, but decided it was best to use a tiered ...


4

Classic example of a simple retaining wall built vertically - they ALWAYS fall over (except in the case of a LOT of permanent structure behind the face of the wall, making it more like one face of a box you can't see three sides of.) You'll have to dig. When you replace it, replace it with a wall that slopes, at least slightly, into the hill (ie, if it's ...


4

You can hold up 2' of dirt with wood structures. That's essentially what wood planter boxes are. But will it look good? Probably not...at least, not over time. Wood is flexible, gets wet, gets sun damaged, and the posts supporting it will suffer the same fate. If you don't care about looks, then it's probably OK, but if you want it to look OK over time, I'd ...


3

Yes that is the way to do it without a cutoff blade, it is old school. But you must chisel in deep enough, completely around the block that is accessible, before you strike with hard blows to break it on the score line you made. I have done this with as little as an 1/8" deep score, although deeper is better for a more sure result. Go around the block in ...


3

The blocks you linked to are more for decorative purposes; one or two courses around flowerbeds or trees. What you're going to need for 3'-4' of retaining wall is something like this: This is engineered block from http://www.anchorwall.com (I'm not affiliated; it was the first thing that came up when I Googled "Retaining wall blocks"). As you can see, ...


3

My neighbor and I fixed his retaining wall along the steps to his basement years ago (when we were both in better shape and in our late 20s). We had it dug out by hand in a few hours, but it was mostly clay, and didn't require shoring up. If you've got a long length, or sandy soil that's going to keep filling in as you dig, it might not be a good option, ...


3

I've recently purchased used railroad ties from home depot for my own landscaping needs. They were the cheapest by volume that I could find about, $15 for an 8"x10"x8' (nominal), and if you want something that's going to match the worn look of an existing railroad tie retaining wall, well that's as good as it gets. Concrete blocks will be more expensive ...


3

If you have access to a sawz-all also called a Tiger saw or reciprocating saw you can cut the spikes. Pry the timbers one at a time to get a little separation. Using the longest metal cutting saw blades you can get in the 14 tooth per inch range saw thru the spike. The longer blade will allow you to cut the spike if it is on the far side of the timber. ...


3

Coarser sand is better. Concrete sand would work much better than mason sand. When I used to do pavers we would use crusher dust. That being said, it's a patio and not a driveway or a road, so I don't think I would be overly concerned if I had already put down mason's sand.


3

I built a retaining wall in a situation very similar to what you described. In my case the wall drops approximately 12" over 40 feet. It has 3 courses of 6" Keystone wall blocks. The first course is mostly buried and the wall is about 12" high over most of it's length. I also put about 4" - 5" inches of drain rock behind it with a landscape fabric barrier. ...


2

You do not give details on how large an area you got to back fill. You mentioned part of the wall under the driveway. Relatively speaking that is a small area. Too small to use a "vibrating plate compactor" ! Using that will unnaturally force your back fill downwards and then sideways - damaging your wall all over again! And it wont compact it properly ...


2

If i understand the question, you want to use these blocks to create a retaining wall for your patio? the patio will be enclosed by these walls? A 28" wall made from solid block is fairly heavy and might settle if not built on a footing or well compacted gravel base. You didn't mention what part of the country you are in. If you are in an area with ground ...


2

I just finished a similar project -- removing the top layer from about 40 running feet of retaining wall built with 6x8 timbers. I used a long crowbar (about 36") and a one pound sledge to drive the claw part of the crowbar under the top of the spike, then use the leverage of the crowbar to pull it out. It may only move a small amount at a time; add ...


2

I would use a chain saw myself, but if you dig out adequate clearance, even a hand saw will work. You'd have to also dig clearance for a chain saw, running the chain in dirt is a bad thing. Thoroughly clean the chain after doing this work. You may find the wood is rotted beyond where you plan to cut. It's important to remove all rotted wood or else it will ...


2

Can I convince you to not do this ? Honestly not trying to be an ass. Please, please - Get a quote from a company that builds retaining walls. The quote will cost very little or nothing. You will be shocked at the cost, and not in a good way. The quantity of material needed to build the wall, will amaze you. Please get a quote or two first. I promise ...


2

Building 23' of retaining walls is not a small task. This is a giant undertaking. So be forewarned. :) As stormy noted, 4' is typically the height you can go without having to trigger an engineering sign-off. However, some areas may also have a total height requirement as well. Personally, if I was buying a house with 6 levels of 4' retaining walls, I'd ...


1

You've got a 20% slope which is not a tough incline to work. You need to focus on walls that are less than 4 feet in height. Any higher will cost bucks to hire an engineer and get permitted. I'd go with shorter walls if possible. If you are good with math you should be able to do CUT=FILL. Buy soil/compost to top. In my experience to not figure cut=fill ...


1

To make a retaining wall the stone (or other immutable material) must be make a 45-degree angle into the hillside. The footing must be as broad as the plinth and must go as deep as the frost line. In New England where I live the frost line is 4 feet deep, so I have used that depth in the diagram. Any other form of wall will eventually collapse. If the wall ...


1

There are too many unknowns to answer this question. What type of soil is there so a reasonable active pressure, passive pressure, and sliding resistance can be determined? What surcharge is on the 7" slab? How far from the face of slope is the wall located? What is the frost depth? What type of masonry? Grout? Mortar? Reinforcing? This wall is high enough ...


1

My gut would be happier if the footing went back (right) further, but my gut isn't going to beat a licensed civil engineer, if one designed it. Retaining walls are trying to overturn (fall down to the left in this picture.) If there's no particular need for it to be vertical, a few degrees of slope into the hill (bottom a bit left, top a bit right) helps ...


1

If the wall isn't level gravity will be forever forcing it to fail. It sounds like you're planning to run the wall in the direction of the slope, so what is it retaining? There are landscaping blocks with finish on both sides, but most are made to be backfilled behind them. And the backfilling isn't optional, its an integral part of the wall system. It's ...


1

It's really hard to say without being there in person. The wall certainly looks unstable and ready to be taken down, but a lot of concrete walls can look terrible, but still be structurally sound. We owned a house with a concrete block wall reinforced with rebar that had perhaps a 10 degree lean outwards that looked like it'd fall any day, but it took a LOT ...


1

We had a raised garden built along our new fence joined on one side by a deck. It's raised by about 1/2 a meter. The way they did it was to use the fence as part of the retaining wall. However, they did add some reinforcing. In your case, the posts may be too wide apart and you may not like the idea of using the fence for this in case of rot. I suggest ...


1

Those aren't bricks. Those are CMUs (Concrete Masonry Units). They should have mortar in between the joints, but if not, it's likely filled with concrete. Is it cracked at all anywhere? If it's not cracked and it's been standing for 10 years, you're probably OK with it as is. You could go ahead and build a brick wall in front of it as ChrisF points out, ...


1

If it was built correctly (designed with seasonal wood movement in mind) it shouldn't need anything done to it. Depending on how you would like it to look you might want to use a sealer on it. As for how long it will last that all depends on what was used to build it. If it was pressure treated construction lumber then I'd estimate 30+ years although the ...


1

This kind of block is almost definitely not what you want. Without any interlocking of the bricks, the wall will eventually tilt as the earth behind it pushes on it.


1

The engineering on such a wall may prove difficult. We recently built a 6' retaining wall and a couple of 5' retaining walls. The 6' wall was 32 MPA concrete spray using our pool as the footing, the 5' walls are steel reinforced, core-filled besser blocks with footings 600mm deep and 1000m wide. In both cases, using steel and concrete, the engineering was ...



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