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I am building this retaining wall that ends with steps. The steps will be on one side against the foundation of the house.

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My question is should I use expansion joints between the step units (SRW concrete units) and the foundation or it'd be over-engineering?

The 2 options I found are:

If yes to the above question, which option is better?
Any other suggestion would be very much appreciated.

  • 1
    Yes to the expansion joint, either you do one now, or the weather will choose a time and place. I do not know what product is best, I let nature put the expansion joint for me, and have not filled it in yet. – Some Guy Mar 19 '15 at 11:43
  • I guess it is going to be the weather now :-) as I already went ahead and did not use the expansion joint. It looked odd, half inch of oddity. Thanks for taking time though. – Iulian Ilies Mar 24 '15 at 21:36
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    for what it is worth, mine took more than 10 years before I had to get serious and redo it completely. :) – Some Guy Mar 24 '15 at 22:43
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    It's not clear what the layout is to me. If the run is as short as it appears, I wouldn't bother. Concrete has a very low coefficient of expansion, and it would be extremely unlikely to cause problems over a length of a few feet. – isherwood Dec 2 '15 at 1:59
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Both of your expansion joints are OK to use. And yes its not over engineering, Better to deal with it now then pay for it in the longrun.

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depends on where you are. in cold climates like here in Ontario, expansion joints are gospel. when the temperature gets down to -40 c, an assembly like that without an EJ can blow a hole right through a poured wall. if its cold like it is here, pull it apart and put the EJ in before it freezes up for the winter.

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