13 votes
Accepted

What Kind of Wooden Beam is this

"Landscape Timber" or, sometimes, "used railroad tie" - but "landscape timber" is what you'll find at most typical lumber suppliers. They will typically last several years - if well pressure-treated,...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
6 votes

Setting fence post in gravel/backfill?

I watched my fence installers and there where some areas that had a lot of stone. They would take a pointed metal rod and jam it into the hole to loosen up the rock and then use the post hole digger ...
Platinum Goose's user avatar
6 votes

Setting fence post in gravel/backfill?

First and foremost, will setting two posts in concrete behind this wall create any structural risk to the wall? You will not be adding any loads to the retaining wall that are of much concern. The ...
Ack's user avatar
  • 5,729
6 votes
Accepted

Should drainage pipe behind a retaining wall only have holes on the top?

Counterintuitively, you usually want the holes in drainage pipe to point down, not up. This way, water from below can get forced up into the pipe from underneath, which then has a low-resistance path ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
5 votes

Setting fence post in gravel/backfill?

Once it's in place most gravel is not all that mobile, but it's also not hard to dig. I would not bother with a power auger, a clamshell posthole digger should get it done easily. I've just revisited ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
5 votes

How can I restore a CBU retaining wall with a vertical crack at the corner?

Not age so much as settling in the footing. You'd see the same thing in a new wall in similar circumstances. You have two options: Replace the entire wall section, say 15 feet out from the corner ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 138k
5 votes
Accepted

Are my hardwood sleepers shrinking?

What you are showing is bare wood apparently without any treatment or coating. In that case the wood will shrink and swell due to humidity and, since this appears to be outside, rain, snow, etc. Wood ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Can a small wood retaining wall be replaced by trees?

If your desire is to replace a retaining wall with a natural grade and trees, the best approach would be to remove the wall, level out the grade the way you want, and plant whatever you want on your ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 37.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Compacting gravel on wet ground

The rain helped compact the soil for you. In the current state your ground is good to go for gravel and compaction.
RMDman's user avatar
  • 29.1k
4 votes

What Kind of Wooden Beam is this

The answer is RAILROAD TIES. The timbers in your photo are Railroad Ties. The railroad will change the ties on a regular basis. They are impregnated with creosote and as a result they are very heavy. ...
Alaska Man's user avatar
  • 13.6k
4 votes

How do I build a fence with zero experience?

Does the fence need to be solid for privacy? If not, consider a chain-link fence. You set the poles, unroll the fencing along and attach it to the poles with wire clips, then if you want to avoid ...
JRaef's user avatar
  • 15k
4 votes

Concrete retaining wall with lean and crack, looking for input

This site prefers not to provide 'call a professional' answers and I might receive some less positive reception for this answer, but this is a case where I think that it is appropriate. My suggestion ...
Ack's user avatar
  • 5,729
4 votes
Accepted

What material to tie two cinder block walls together?

The normal way would be reinforcing bar around insides of the blocks, then add concrete. This is called a "bond beam". Blocks with open ends are used. If you use enough reinforcing it can ...
Jasen's user avatar
  • 20.8k
4 votes

How to prevent rebar from rusting in the ground?

Bore a 4" hole and pour it full of concrete, so the rebar has 2" concrete cover.
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
4 votes
Accepted

How do a fix this solid, leaning, solid concrete retaining wall

In my experience it's nearly impossible to push such a concrete wall back to its original position. The best approach is to break it up and remove it and then if you want a wall there, replace it with ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Building a free-standing wall on top of a retaining wall

I do not think you could rest a second unsupported wall on top of a retaining wall without long reinforcement members penetrating both the retaining wall and the wall on top. Otherwise the upper wall ...
Jim Stewart's user avatar
  • 21.9k
3 votes
Accepted

Maximum retaining wall height

This is about load bearing and claims. The pressure associated with 2 ft of dirt is probably well within the load bearing specification of the blocks in question. 3 feet may not cause any issue, but ...
Ben Welborn's user avatar
  • 6,212
3 votes

How best to repair a cavity in the base of a retaining wall

Wow...there’s a lot of issues: 1) height, 2) non-reinforced wall, 3) load bearing, 4) moisture 1) This is a tall wall at 10’ or so. That means if it is a true retaining wall, it has a lot of stress ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 23.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Composite Shims on Short Retaining Wall

These blocks are designed to be installed loose, and that tree's roots are going to win any disagreement they have with them. trying to make a permanent structure from these semi-permanent ...
Jasen's user avatar
  • 20.8k
3 votes
Accepted

How can I raise grade near my fence without making soil contact?

Anything directly against the fence will allow moisture to accumulate and hasten decay. If you want a fast, simple solution, lay any rigid board against the fence to the new grade level with spacer ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 138k
3 votes

How do I fix a wooden retaining wall?

Although it looks to be functional at this point eventually the bottom tier will rot away causing the retaining wall to fail. You have a legitimate concern. There is no simple answer to this because ...
HoneyDo's user avatar
  • 8,754
3 votes

Dealing with incline from back door to fence

I assume this is going to be a slab on grade house. I assume the plan is for rain drains which feed into a perimeter drain which goes out to the city storm drain. A 1m tall retaining wall is nothing. ...
Fresh Codemonger's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Should the high side of a concrete block retaining wall be sealed?

I think both the issues of (1) water penetrating the wall and causing problems from behind for your stucco and (2) hydrostatic pressure behind the wall physically damaging it perhaps to the point of ...
Armand's user avatar
  • 4,428
3 votes
Accepted

Temporary brace for a wooden retaining wall

No need to purchase special braces, just use some common lumber. When i set fence posts I use a 2"x 4" and wood stake. Lay your 2x4 on your wall at angle, the farther the end that will be at ...
Alaska Man's user avatar
  • 13.6k
3 votes
Accepted

Can I have 100% flat space behind Retaining wall?

Drainage slope is needed. If there's only 15 inches behind the wall, that's quite a bit more than the minimum. If there's 15 feet, it's just about the minimum.
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
3 votes

How should I attach sacrificial anodes to steel columns in concrete?

Concrete itself protects steel from corrosion, which is why there are specifications of 2-3" concrete cover for steel reinforcing, depending on environmental exposure (3" for coastal.) See ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 214k
3 votes

How can I build a retaining wall and secure these fence posts while conserving space?

Your proposed retaining wall will not just "enclose the exposed rocks and soil". It has to support the lateral loads from the soil behind it, and also from vehicles on the neighbor's ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 3,774
3 votes
Accepted

Number of posts needed?

Instead of a giant earthworks project, consider making raised beds instead. Raised bed gardening becomes more and more attractive with the passing years because there's less bending and stooping ...
MTA's user avatar
  • 11.3k
3 votes

How do I prevent pest access to a French drain pipe going through a retaining wall?

I'd suggest cutting the tubing off at the face of the block, and using something like this rodent guard to keep critters from getting in. I use a couple of these on my landscape drains, and so far (...
Milwrdfan's user avatar
  • 4,509
3 votes
Accepted

How can I cap or extend a drain pipe cut flush with a retaining wall?

Drain pipe like this isn't really intended to be completely watertight. It mostly provides a low-resistance path for drainage. As such, it's not critical that you get a perfect seal with your ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 138k

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