2

I'm starting to plan my build of a backyard grill station / pizza oven. I plan to build a concrete block wall about 4 feet high. I'll put either concrete or stone surface on top, as well as a 1600 lb brick pizza oven, so it will be supporting a fair amount of weight.

I'm a complete novice to masonry projects, so I'm learning as I go. I have two questions:

1) Part of the wall will be built on what is currently dirt in a planter area; the rest of the wall will extend onto existing pavers. Do I need to pour concrete in the planter as a foundation, level with the pavers? Or can I get away with compacting crushed gravel as a base in the planter?

2) The grade of the pavers angle slightly down, toward a drain. What's the best way to level out the base of the wall that will extend onto those pavers?

Hopefully I provided enough info to get a few suggestions.

Thanks! David

  • 4
    Any block wall should be built on a concrete re-enforced footer. – JACK Mar 29 at 17:05
  • 1
    Are you saying you are going to have walls and a concrete countertop spanning them and 1600 pound oven on the countertop ? That would not be sufficient. You NEED a quality foundation/slab. I researched this years ago as i used to be a pro baker and would love to have a wood-fired oven. I found the following site fornobravo.com/pompeii-oven/foundation-slab – Alaska Man Mar 29 at 20:14
  • 1
    I agree with @jack, any wall or support structure should have a footer with rebar in it. A slab can be used but still should have a footing with reinforcements. – Ed Beal Mar 29 at 21:46
  • Thanks Alaska Man - that is exactly what I'm after. – David Mar 30 at 16:40
1

1) Part of the wall will be built on what is currently dirt in a planter area; the rest of the wall will extend onto existing pavers. Do I need to pour concrete in the planter as a foundation, level with the pavers? Or can I get away with compacting crushed gravel as a base in the planter?

You'll need to do 'something' to deal with the overturning and sliding forces on the wall, not just from the soil pressure but also that significant 1,600# surcharge. A 4 feet tall is generally the start of the retaining wall design height and even below that height it's assumed that the wall has a standard footing. You will need to provide a concrete footing and tie it into your wall with rebar (steel reinforcing). A typical footing (for 4' of soil) is 16" wide and 8" deep w/ (2) #4 rebar continuous. You need to have the bottom of the footing below frost depth to avoid issues with frost heave, and for soil in front of the footing to prevent it from sliding along with the entire wall. Provide a footing drain at the back or weep holes at the base of the wall because any water building up creates a lot of additional force that isn't considered

2) The grade of the pavers angle slightly down, toward a drain. What's the best way to level out the base of the wall that will extend onto those pavers?

The footing should be below the pavers so you can have the pavers butt right up to the finished wall

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thanks, very helpful. – David Mar 30 at 16:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.