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    Category: Retaining Wall

    Cost to Build a Retaining Wall in 2019 – Inch Calculator - October 9, 2019 by admin

    Retaining walls often serve a very important role of preventing soil erosion and maintaining the grade of a landscape. They often hold the land back, preventing it from sliding. Retaining walls can be as beautiful as they are functional and can be the focal point of a landscape. Many different materials can be used to blend with any design and the cost of a retaining wall can vary.

    A new retaining wall usually costs $3,000 $8,500. There are several factors that affect the price of a wall, mainly labor and materials needed for the project.

    Labor is a significant cost for any construction project, and that cost will vary depending on the size, scale, and complexity of the landscaping project. Labor to construct a retaining wall often ranges between $50 $60 per hour, but the amount of labor needed will need to be estimated.

    Consider requesting a professional retaining wall estimate to get an accurate labor cost. You may be able to complete the project yourself as well, minimizing labor costs.

    Retaining wall material can range in price from $10 $40 per square foot, with some material options including cinder block, wood, interlocking concrete block, natural stone, or poured concrete.

    Cinder block is a cost effective material for a retaining wall, and usually runs between $10 $15 per square foot. Cinder block is often not the most desirable choice for a retaining wall since it is not structurally designed for lateral support and to hold the land back, but may be used for short retaining walls. Cinder block can be plastered or painted to improve the cosmetic appearance. Check out our concrete block calculator to estimate how many cinder blocks you will need for your wall.

    Wood timbers are a great material for retaining walls since they are beautiful and strong. Wood timbers often cost $15 $25 per square foot. Wood walls often last many years, however they do tend to rot and degrade over time and will eventually need to be replaced.

    Interlocking concrete blocks are beautiful and designed and structured specifically for use in retaining walls. Block walls usually cost $20 $30 per square foot, which can vary depending on the type of block used. Concrete block walls can last a lifetime when installed correctly and add beauty to almost any landscape. Estimate how many blocks you need for your retaining wall.

    Natural stone retaining walls are very attractive, and stones can range in size from a few inches to a several feet. Natural stone usually costs $25 $40 per square foot but usually cost a bit more than concrete blocks to install. Learn more about installing natural stone retaining walls.

    Poured concrete has become more popular for use in retaining walls as color and patterns have become more commonly used, making them look much better than a plain concrete wall. Poured concrete is often the most expensive choice for a wall at about $30 $40 per square foot, but is also extremely durable. When installed correctly a poured concrete wall will last a very long time with virtually no maintenance.

    People often overlook some additional materials needed to install any retaining wall. A proper wall installation often starts with a solid base, sometimes gravel, sand, or concrete. Walls also need a way to drain excess water from behind the wall, which requires gravel, backing, and drain materials. After the wall is constructed fill material will be needed for behind the wall, but often this is available on site. Consider the cost of these extra materials when estimating the cost of your wall project.

    Other factors can affect the cost of a retaining wall. Once common factor is the amount of excavation needed for the project and the material that needs to be excavated. Removing rock and boulders will be more labor intensive then removing dirt for example. The height of a wall can also affect the cost.

    Higher walls need to have a stronger base, more drainage, more excavation, and often require more planning and engineering. Adding steps to a wall can also add to the cost, so consider that when estimating your project. Every property is different so always consider getting professional estimates for a more accurate cost assessment of your retaining wall.

    All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.

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    Cost to Build a Retaining Wall in 2019 - Inch Calculator

    How to Build a Concrete Retaining Wall | The Family Handyman - October 9, 2019 by admin

    Get your weekend workout and an attractive, hard-working wall with this DIY-friendly project

    A concrete block retaining wall is the perfect solution to control erosion, to eliminate a hard-to-mow slope, to add a planting bed, or to level an ideal patio area. These systems are easy to install, durable, reasonably priced and available in a variety of colors and textures. This article shows you how to install one in a weekend.

    The wall we built was a weekend-long project and an exhausting one at that. It took a day to rip out the old, collapsing retaining wall, to dig farther into the hill to provide room for the backfill gravel and to help unload materials. It took another day to install the base, blocks and backfill.

    Before launching into this concrete retaining wall project, contact your local building code official. Depending on the height and location of your wall, there may be structural, drainage and setback (the distance from the wall to property line) considerations. A permit may be required.

    Unless you own a heavy-duty truck (and back!), have your blocks, compactable base gravel, sand and backfill gravel delivered. Blocks may cost slightly more at specialty landscaping stores than at home centers, but landscaping stores are often better equipped to deliver the small batches of base, sand and gravel that you'll need for installing the concrete retaining wall blocks. rolling yard.

    Learn about choosing retaining wall material here.

    The Versa-Lok brand retaining wall system we installed uses nylon pins to align and secure horizontal rows of 80-lb. blocks. Other block systems use lips, gravity and filled cores to connect rows and increase strength. Your system may differ, but most of the preparation and installation steps remain the same.

    We used a transit level to establish a flat base. But unless you own or rent one and know how to use it properly, just use a 4-ft. level taped to a long, straight 2x4, especially for short walls. The tamper, brick tong and block chisel are available at rental yards.

    How to Build a Concrete Retaining Wall | The Family Handyman

    90 retaining wall design ideas for creative landscaping - October 9, 2019 by admin

    Modern landscaping features beautiful retaining wall design ideas. These structures are often designed when the terrain is sloped and soil has to be restrained. With the help of retaining walls, landscape architects make sure that soil is bound between the levels of a hillside and create spectacular and picturesque views.

    Hardly anyone could give an answer to the question what is more important in the modern retaining wall design ideas the form or the function. Based on the prime purpose of these walls, we could say it is function, but this does not mean that form must be neglected. These walls are carefully engineered and have become a practical element in the landscape. Experts classify garden walls in different categories.

    The first category includes walls that have a decorative function and are used as an architectural and artistic element. They can be built on a flat site or sites with a small slope as an element of landscape design.

    Retaining walls which are used to hold the soil on the slopes of the terrain is the second category. They are widely used for terracing natural slopes in order to increase the useful area for the placement of elements of gardening and landscaping. Functionality is a prime concern over design and appearance.

    Retaining walls with mixed functions are used as strengthening, but should have an attractive appearance. Such a structure must have high strength to withstand the pressure from the ground and to please the eye with an aesthetic design.

    If your site has a complex terrain with a large difference in altitude, the layout of the garden will require the installation of horizontal surfaces for planting. The most non-rational approach in this situation is the leveling of the plot surface with the help of purchasing and importing new soil. Using decorative retaining walls, you can, without extra investment, make an original garden design and visually divide it into functional areas. Such a wall will be an ornament of the garden and it can be combined with the architectural style of the house, a fence, a spectacular rock garden or a waterfall. Decorative retaining walls do not need a concrete foundation. They are created on a crushed stone cushion with thickness of 20 30 cm.

    In terms of structure retaining walls types are:

    Gravity walls

    Cantilever walls

    Counterfort walls

    Tieback walls

    Drilled pier walls

    Soldier pile walls

    Retaining walls can be classified by different characteristics height, depth, stability, by the method of erection, freestanding or connected with adjoining structures. Of course, another major characteristic is the material used for the erection of the wall. We shall look at some of the most popular materials and their pros and cons.

    Retaining wall design ideas can be simple or complex boulder walls, stone walls, wood, concrete, etc. can be used as materials. The choice of these materials will depend on the amount of work to be done for the wall construction.

    Bricks are a common material for the construction of retaining walls. However, bricks should be used only when the wall will not bear heavy loads or as an element of design. Brick walls are not a suitable choice for water reservoirs or places with high humidity as bricks are not resistant to moisture damage and high humidity destroy the masonry. The height of the structure should not exceed one and a half meters. Particular attention should be paid to the thickness of the brick wall. Nowadays bricks are not widely used as construction material for retaining walls because of the high cost and low durability.

    Natural stone is one of the most popular materials for constructing retaining walls. Natural stone is very effective, sturdy and durable but is also an expensive material. There are several types of stones which are used for the construction limestone, sandstone, granite, slate, boulder, river pebbles. The choice offered by nature is very rich, but it is better to look for natural stone which is typical for the area. When building natural stone retaining walls you can use a dry masonry or cement. Dry masonry means that instead of using cement, the slots are filled with soil into which plants are planted. Boulder retaining walls are one of the varieties which has a great visual appeal in addition to the functionality and durability.

    Concrete is perhaps the most popular and reliable material for the construction of retaining walls. With proper calculation and reinforcement, the monolithic design will withstand any loads. It allows the construction of more complex shapes like semicircles but the main disadvantage of concrete retaining walls is the need of facing. Concrete constructions require decoration with a decorative stone, brick, tile or other materials as the walls do not look very presentable. When using concrete, homeowners can opt for pre-cast concrete blocks, which are especially designed for retaining wall construction. Another option is to choose concrete planters which also come in different colors and add decorative value to the supporting structure.

    Cinder blocks are another cost effective material which is widely used as a material for retaining walls. They are made of cement and various types of aggregates and the low cost and good durability and lightweight make them a popular option among homeowners.

    Wood is another material which can be used for building a retaining wall. This is an attractive option for many homeowners who work on a budget or prefer a DIY project. It is necessary to dig a shallow trench, compact the soil and fill it with gravel but any man will cope with such work especially if he has one or two assistants. What is important to know about wooden retaining walls is that the material needs adequate processing and the logs or planks should be treated and impregnated with special water-repellent compounds, which will prevent their decay and improve their durability and resistance to elements.

    Wooden retaining walls after are durable enough and decorative. They can be made from a bar or logs that have been cut into the desired size, laid horizontally or dug vertically into the ground, as well as from bamboo, fence or simply solid, sometimes even uncorrupted or sawn tree trunks. The upper ends are with antiseptic, and buried in the ground is best treated with hot engine oil, creosote, tar or bitumen. After this, the wooden retaining structures will reliably serve for many years.

    Nowadays, retaining walls made of gabions are especially popular. Gabions are modules with a rectangular shape and various sizes. Filled with river or quarry stones the baskets (containers) are aligned with a grid network. The construction of a gabion retaining wall is very easy and if the wall is small you will not need foundation. Gabions are efficient and environmentally friendly and in terms of appearance homeowners can fill the baskets with anything they choose from cobblestone, pebbles and boulders to any other material.

    Whether small or large, wooden or concrete, such walls can be seen in many places. Modern landscape architects create stunning designs, using high quality materials and different styles so quite often a retaining wall becomes the focal point of the landscape design. There are wonderful examples of creative gardeningwhich blend engineering with natural elements and offer innovative solutions and visions.

    When the home is located in areas with difficult terrain it is essential to strengthen the slopes. Retaining walls are the obvious choice for such sloping plots and allow you to eliminate the problem with soil erosion. In addition they are a powerful element in landscape design which allows landscape architects to make the best of different level heights in the garden. Gorgeous flower beds that are located on higher ground levels look particularly beautiful. Look at some inspiring landscape designs featuring beautiful walls.

    Beautiful landscape with concrete retaining walls

    Modern landscape multilevel design

    Landscape in industrial style

    Traditional landscape design idea

    Landscape design using natural stone

    Magnificent landscaping with stone blocks

    Stylish and elegant landscape design

    Chic landscape idea with wooden deck and benches

    Spectacular vertical garden wall

    Rustic style landscape design

    The rest is here:
    90 retaining wall design ideas for creative landscaping

    2019 Retaining Wall Cost | Concrete, Stone, Wood & Block Prices - October 9, 2019 by admin

    Retaining Wall Cost

    An average brick retaining wall that is 30 feet long and 4 feet high, without any built-in steps or extra reinforcements, is typically around $4,220. The average homeowner will pay $35 per square foot and spend between $2,450 and $6,650 to build a retaining wall.

    A retaining wall holds back soil in order to prevent any changes to its structure. Without the wall, the soil could erode or slide. A retaining wall can also:

    The average homeowner will pay $35/sq. ft. to build a retaining wall.

    When it comes to building your retaining wall and choosing your preferred building materials, you have multiple options. The taller the wall, the more money youll have to invest in its foundation. Usually a wall above 4 will require engineering. Costs below are for wall material alone. On average you can multiply the material cost by 5 to get the installed price.

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    Pros - Cinder block is lighter than concrete and made of stone or sand aggregate and coal cinders. Its very strong; durable; low maintenance; quick to install; impervious to rot, insects and fire; and its versatility allows for it to be used to build curved structures.

    Cons - Cinder block is laid in trenches and not secured into the ground. For safety and stability reasons, they should not be used to erect a wall structure higher than 4 feet tall. Because of the bare-bones appearance of cinder block, the wall will still need some form of visual enhancementwith a stucco or veneer finish on the exposed surfaces.

    Modular Or interlocking concrete blocks - $6$9/sq. ft. Retaining Wall Caps - $440$640 pallet or $54 to $69/face ft.

    Pros - Modular concrete blocks like Versa-Lok are designed to connect together in a way not dissimilar to toy bricks. They are available in a wider range of sizes, color choices, and finishes, with a natural stone look, and they can be built into curves. Their locking mechanisms sometimes employ the use of pins, giving the resulting wall more structural integrity and the ability to go higher.

    Cons Coatings on block walls can crack in freeze-thaw cycles. Without footings, youre limited to a wall under 4 tall.

    Pros - Does not need a finish added in every installation. Color can be added to the mix before pouring into molds. Concrete stamping can make the walls look like natural stone for a lower upfront cost than a retaining wall made from natural stone. Structurally sound for high walls.

    Cons They can crack in freeze-thaw cycles, and its difficult to align them perfectly when building unless you use the right form, which can take a long time to build.

    Pros - A natural look in garden settings. Can be stained to match the yards tree colors. Wood is a material that is in ready supply and probably the most affordable retaining wall material. Can be built up to 4 tall or 56 with treated railroad ties and/or reinforcing steel rods. Pressure-treated Douglas fir is the best wood for avoiding rot. Quite easy to install.

    Cons - Will require maintenance to get the longest life out of it, since it is prone to damage from water and pests like termites. The soil pressure behind it and rot will eventually cause it to fail, but you can slow the process down by placing waterproof sheeting between the soil and the wood fence. With adequate drainage and effective wood treatment, along with the right ongoing pest control treatments, the life of your wood retainer wall can only reach past 20 years, in most cases.

    Pros - Stone veneeror faux stone, as it is also knowncan be applied to a range of wall structures for a more attractive finish. Typically available in thicknesses around of an inch, real stone is cut from larger slabs. Manufactured stone products are made in molds with added color dyes and surface finishes to complete the look of natural stone. Surface resistant to rot and pests. These can be added to a strong core.

    Cons Design should be done by a professional or it can look out of place. Might not do well in freeze-thaw conditions without deep footings.

    Pros - Expected to last 100 years or longer. Often only requires minimal onsite adjustments to stack properly. Brings a natural look to your wall, and you can reinforce a drywall look by only mortaring the back half of the stone blocks. Raise planting beds behind the wall for faster root drainage.

    Cons - Homeowner may elect to drywallstagger the boulder sizes to take a departure from a more planned lookalthough finding/hiring someone to do this could be a challenge and it will be costlier. Transportation and onsite placement can be costly due to their weight. Drainage and water flow control strategy required.

    Pros A unique look of a rock- or glass-filled cage. Does not require any type of professional installation. A great way to recycle unwanted wall materials like chunks of old concrete.

    Cons Sedimentation. Not great in small spaces because of the need for a wide base. Wire casket might rust. The price of $20$352 is for the gabion basket, and support posts are also required.

    Pros - Gives a warm, inviting, and structured garden feel. Constructed from readily available clay and shale, brick is very durable and drains well. It either makes up the whole wall enclosing an inner space of grout or concrete (cavity wall), or its built around a solid core or CMU block (block core wall) with whole, half, or thin brick.

    Cons - The range of available colors is limited. Due to its weight and soil conditions in the installation location, extra precautions may be required in the construction of the foundation.

    Pros - A popular choice for many designers. An alloy with copper and chromium in the steel, this composition leads to the development of a rusted mix of red, brown, and orange after a few years of exposure. No need for any future painting or maintenance. Can hold back earth without any great thickness of steel. Performs well in a completely vertical installation.

    Cons - Not recommended for walls more than 4 or 5 feet tall.

    Pros - Involves ramming earth into a form to give it structure and boosting it with internal rebar, wood, or even bamboo. Damp materials including silt, gravel, sand, and clay are poured into wood forms and are then tamped down in layers until wall is complete. Carving or mold impressions are often done once formed. Another method is to build rammed earth blocks into a wall.

    Cons - Labor is the significant cost factor for rammed earth because of the time it takes to produce the finished product onsite. Premanufactured rammed earth blocks are less expensive because the work has already been done, and they just need to be stacked onsite.

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    Particular types of walls require a particular type of installation, with some needing an engineers help.

    The most popular option, railroad ties (these look like fence posts) dont require the use of a lot of tools or additional materials. An easy and affordable installation. They are treated to prevent breakdown, but the chemicals used can seep into surrounding soil so they are not recommended for food gardens. Many homeowners are capable of completing the project as a DIY project.

    Requires a bigger range of tools and experience to install. Interlocking blocks help to create a straight and stable wall. It is not prone to rot or decay and wont require much maintenance.

    Criblock is a type of gravity retaining wall that constructs cells from materials like plastic frames, precast concrete, or timber. It lacks steel reinforcement. The cell structure is designed to facilitate drainage through wall openings so as to ease hydrostatic pressure behind the wall. The drainage outlets can be conveniently placed over built-in flower or vegetable beds.

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    For this work, your contractors hourly rate will vary depending on the level of difficulty involved in the work. Prices below are for independent workers rather than contracting firm prices, which can be double.

    You can usually get a better price bid on projects during the winter months when contractors are not as busy. Also, wall material sellers give larger discounts in the late fall/winter season.

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    A very simple way of estimating your wall installation cost is to multiply the cost of your wall material by 5, although this brings you only to a starting point in price. Essentially, your wall will consist of two main measurements to make your estimationthe width and the height of the wall.

    A good rule of thumb is to add around 10 % to the number for the height of the wall. That is to accommodate installing at least 10 % of the wall below the surface to add more stability to the structure.

    If the top row is to be completed using a different block, then you just need the number of columns since there is only one row.

    To add a buffer for error, bad blocks, and any damage from accidents on site, it might be prudent to add another 10 % to the total number being ordered. If not used, they can be left onsite for any repairs or returned to the vendor.

    Wall width x at least 6 (for the depth into the ground) x wall depth = gravel needed.

    Some installers prefer to mix sand and gravel, and the average cost is $4$6 per 0.5 cubic foot bag. Sand is around $4.50 for 50lbs

    Depending on the typical climate for your location, your retaining wall should have around 12 of gravel right behind the entire width and height of your wall to facilitate proper drainage. Multiply the width and height of your retaining wall by 12 to give the total cubic feet of backfill gravel that will need to be ordered. $4$6 per 0.5 cubic foot bag

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    There are a wide variety of factors that will influence the cost of replacing an existing retaining wall including the following:

    Each possible type of work is followed by average price:

    Before any retaining wall is replaced, it may be necessary to hire a Geotech engineer to come and take soil samples, and even drill cores to get down to the bedrock for samples. Extra cost may be incurred if any power, water, or gas lines were installed in the earth being held back by the current wall.

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    Repairing a retaining wall can cost as much as replacing the wall would, depending on the reason for the repair. Replacing a few bricks could cost in the region of $200, but if your wall has poor construction or has shifted, then repairing it can cost a lot more.

    DIY or low-quality construction

    Wall fails

    Load exceeds design

    Full or partial destruction

    Inadequate drainage

    Wall bulging

    Inadequate footing implemented

    Failure or signs of future failure

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    Of each type of retaining wall, there will be a range of installation costs because some are simple while others require engineering and the use of more expensive materials.

    This type of retaining wall is much thicker and leverages its extreme weight. Its also designed to take advantage of geometry to perform its task. Concrete gravity walls can be used for installations requiring a wall of up to 9 feet tall, and should be between 50 % 60 % the thickness of the wall height.

    For extra strength, reinforced masonry and reinforced concrete walls are spread on foundations and are held firm because of their weight and the internal reinforcement bars.

    Built using soil reinforcements or geotextiles that are laid in layers within a precise granular fill. Under certain conditions, these are used instead of reinforced concrete as a cost measure, or because the conditions on site necessitate their use, or as an improvement to an existing installation.

    Anchored earth, gabion, tailed gabion

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    Retaining walls can protect a building foundation and stop it from shifting or falling when there is a steep incline in your yard space. They can also improve irrigation to landscaping on higher slopes. They can add attractive design features to your landscaping, adding some punctuation around flowerbeds and allowing for certain areas to be featured.

    Before you build a retaining wall, youll more than likely need to hire an engineer, due to the complexities that can arise from the local soil properties, pressure, and gravity. A smaller wall in a garden can be straightforward enough for your contractor, but taller walls of the same design offer less support, and any one of a range of different designs or materials may be more suitable. Over time gravity combined with enough rainfall and an inadequate drainage system could contribute to the failure of the wall and the collapse of the soil behind it.

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    Even building a small wall thats under 2 feet tall without the right equipment is time consuming. You have to dig a horizontal trench, and its also difficult to get it level. Without having an analysis done on the soil and understanding drainage and the impact on the future wall from any nearby structures, you could easily be constructing the wrong type of retaining wall. Because of potential complications from building the wrong foundation, to all the science and engineering that goes into the construction of an effective and safe retaining wall, it is something best left to professionals, especially if you plan on building a high wall.

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    There is a wide range of different possible solutions for a retaining wall, but below are the fundamental elements to build a 3-foot-tall retaining wall using blocks and tops and a gravel base, on top of which you will lay the blocks.

    Estimate how many blocks and cubic feet of gravel base to order for the foundation. Think about what to do with the dirt that will be removed, and if it will be used to compact the earth behind the wall. Make sure you have, or can get access to, a range of tools including a rake, shovel, spade, pick ax, bubble levels, hand tamper, rubber mallet, hammer and mason chisel, glue, stakes, and some twine.

    Dig the trench for the foundation and also dig out the soil from where the retaining wall is going to be installed. For this example:

    On the rear of where the wall is going, cut 6 back from where the rear of the bricks will be to allow a barrier of inch rough rock drain gravel to facilitate drainage. Also, the floor of the base trench should have a slope on it to prevent water pooling and saturating the ground under the base.

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    Because of the severity of both legal and financial issues you could face in the event of a retaining wall failure, finding an experienced professional for your retaining wall is very important. Apart from the inconvenience, you may also find yourself with damage to your home or a neighbors home. Use the criteria below to look up specialists here on HomeGuide to create your shortlist of contractors to request bids from, and make your final selection from there. Add contractors to your list who have as many of the following characteristics as possible when creating your shortlist:

    Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted Retaining Wall Builders:

    Get free estimates

    Excerpt from:
    2019 Retaining Wall Cost | Concrete, Stone, Wood & Block Prices

    How to Build a Stone Retaining Wall – - October 9, 2019 by admin

    Retaining walls are used to create a transition from one level of ground to another. By cutting into a slope and allowing for level ground both above and below the wall, retaining walls increase the amount of flat, usable ground in a yard. Building a retaining wall is suitable for DIYers as long as the wall is a maximum of 3 feet tall (in most areas). Anything taller should be handled by professionals.

    The easiest way to build a stone retaining wall is to use the dry-stack method that requires no mortar between stones and does not need a concrete footing, like mortared walls do. Dry-stack walls also drain well, allowing water to pass through the wall itself. This helps reduce hydrostatic pressure imposed by wet soil behind the wall, which is the most common cause of retaining wall failure. Backfilling the wall with rock promotes drainage through the wall and prevents soil from pushing through the cracks in the wall's stones.

    Check with your city's building authority for applicable building code rules and zoning laws governing retaining walls. Most areas require an engineer's stamp for walls over 3 feet, but some draw the line at 30 inches. Also, your city may require a permit and inspections for retaining walls of any height, even if you do the work yourself. Be sure to check before you build.

    Before breaking ground on your project, call 8-1-1, the national "Call Before You Dig" hotline, to have all underground utility lines marked on your property. This is a free service that can take a few days, so call well in advance of starting your project.

    Total Time: 2 days per 10 linear feet of wall (at 3 feet high)

    Material Cost: Between $8 and $12 per square foot of wall face



    Organize the Stones

    Organize the wall stones roughly by size and shape, making different piles as needed. You will use the largest, flattest stones for the base of the wall, and reserve the widest, smoothest, and best-looking stones for the capstones at the top of the wall. Keep in mind that odd sizes and shapes can be mixed in with more regular stones to maintain overall consistency, and you can knock off peaks and other formations with a brick chisel and maul, as needed, to make them fit during construction.

    Set Up a Level Line

    Use wood stakes and a mason's line to mark the location of the front face of the base of the wall. The string also represents the front of the trench for the wall base. The width (front to back) of the trench should be at least one-half the total wall height. For example, if the wall is 30 inches tall, the trench should be at least 15 inches wide. Place a line level on the string, then pull the string taut from one end, and level the line before tying it off to the stake.

    Excavate the Area

    Excavate the area, starting from the string and moving back toward the slope. Dig down 12 inches into the ground to create a flat, level trench for the gravel base and first course of block, which will be below grade. Dig into the slope as needed to create a 6- to 12-inch-wide space between the backside of the wall and the slope, for drainage rock. Measure down from the level line to make sure the excavation is level as you go.

    Add Landscape Fabric

    Cover the excavated area with strips of landscape fabric (not plastic) laid perpendicular to the front of the wall and extending a few feet onto the upper-level ground. Overlap adjacent strips of fabric by 6 inches. Cut the strips to length with a utility knife.

    Build the Wall Base

    Fill the trench with 5 inches of compactible gravel. Rake the gravel so it is flat and level, then tamp it thoroughly with a hand tamp or a rented power tamper. Add a 1-inch layer of coarse sand over the gravel. Smooth the sand with a short 2x4 board so it is flat and level.

    Lay the First Course

    Set large, flat stones along the front edge of the trench to build the first course. Add or remove sand beneath each stone, as needed, so the tops of the stones are flush with one another. Use a 4-foot carpenter's level set across multiple stones to make sure the stones are level as you work.

    Lay the Second Course

    Place the next course of stones on top of the first, offsetting (or "staggering") the joints between stones with those in the first course, similar to the 1-over-2 pattern of bricklaying. This adds strength to the wall. Also, set the front faces of the stones about 1/2 inch back (toward the slope) from the front of the first course. This creates a slight stair-step pattern, called batter, that helps the wall resist forces imposed by the slope. As you place each stone, check that there is as little wobble as possible. You can use small, flat rocks as shims to prevent wobbling.

    Begin Back-Filling the Wall

    Fill the space between the wall and the slope with drainage gravel. Rake the gravel flat and level, and tamp it thoroughly with the hand tamp. Back-fill only up to the highest course on the wall.

    Install More Courses

    Lay the third and subsequent courses of stone, using the same techniques, adding 1/2 inch of batter for each course and staggering the joints with the course below. Starting with the third course, install "deadman" stoneslong stones that reach back into the slope to help tie the wall into the earth. Place a deadman every 4 feet or so, and dig into the slope, as needed, so the stone sit level front to back. A wall that is 30 inches or less needs only one course with deadmen, but plan on two courses for a taller wall. Back-fill the wall with gravel as you go.

    Complete the Top of the Wall

    Fold the landscape fabric over the drainage gravel as you near the top of the wall. You can do this before the last one or two standard courses or before the capstones (the top-most course), depending on how much soil you'd like at the top of the wall (for growing grass). Lay the final course of stones and/or the capstones to complete the top of the wall. If desired, you can glue the capstones to the course below to help keep them in place, using masonry adhesive.

    Back-Fill With Soil

    Trim the landscape fabric so it is just below the top of the wall. Cover the landscape fabric and back-fill behind the top of the wall with soil, as desired. To grow grass in this area, the soil layer should be at least 6 inches thick.

    You can build a stone wall with natural fieldstone that you have on your property, provided the stones are flat enough for stacking. If you have to buy stone, choose a flat stone, such as flagstone, or a cut stone like ashlar. Flat or cut stones are much easier to work with than fieldstone and will make a sturdier wall.

    To create a more natural or aged look, plan to add plants in various places in the wall. Rougher stone will automatically have gaps large enough for packing in soil and planting. If you use cut stone, plan for plantable gaps when building the wall. They don't need to be large and should not compromise the wall's integrity. Cascading plants, such as creeping thyme, perennial yellow alyssum,and annual white alyssum, look very attractive spilling down the sides of stone retaining walls. Herbs also work well growing on or near rock walls.

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    DIY Garden Retaining Walls, How to Build a Retaining Wall - October 9, 2019 by admin

    posted on February 23, 2018

    How to Build a Retaining Wall DIY garden retaining walls will help make your garden more beautiful and functional. Use concrete interlocking blocks, cinder blocks or poured concrete for the long-lasting DIY rock retaining walls in your garden.

    Adding DIY retaining walls can make any landscape stand out. It can also add value to your home.

    Create your own DIY garden retaining walls that are both decorative and functional. Choose from reinforced or poured concrete, concrete interlocking blocks or cinder blocks to make your retaining walls last. These DIY retaining walls are also excellent choices for building low garden walls to create outdoor rooms or raised planter beds.

    This latest technology involves the use of interlocking blocks without the need for mortar. Segmental block systems are less cumbersome to install than most retaining wall materials, making them ideal for your DIY retaining wall projects.

    Highly recommended for short walls no more than 3 feet tall, the idea is to fill the cavity behind the wall with earth to create pressure that will push these blocks forward and hold the joints firmly with the underlying blocks.

    Higher walls, however, require greater preparation to withstand tilting and slanting effects. Utilizing reinforcement grids, anchors or steel can strengthen the structure when designing taller retaining walls. Consult or hire a licensed engineer to determine the proper design and installation requirements.

    Using poured concrete for your DIY rock retaining walls for your garden can be tedious and challenging; however, it is sturdier than concrete blocks. For the mold, use an exterior grade plywood sheathing measuring at least 3/4-inch thick. Use studs to support the mold and add spacers to maintain proper spacing. Use wires to tie structures for added security against pressure build up.

    Two horizontal walls are enough to create a concrete form, provided the structures are at least 30 inches from the center of the area. Larger walls should have separate pours for the footer and the wall, while lower walls will do just fine with simultaneous pouring. For proper drainage, put coarse gravel behind the wall and create weep holes using rows of 2-inch plastic pipes or 3-inch drain tile inserted into the wall.

    Pour the mixed concrete to form your horizontal wall, from the end to the center. Position the concrete using a ramp and control the flow by using a splashboard. Remove your spacers as you work along. Form the concrete around the reinforcements after pouring each layer.

    Pour each layer as quickly as possible to avoid leaks in between joints. Give ample time to let the concrete hold before inserting anchor bolts and wooden caps. Cure the concrete at least a week before removing the forms. For the finale, pack gravel into space behind the wall and fill the top foot with topsoil.

    Of the three, using cinder blocks made of concrete is the cheapest way to create your own DIY retaining walls. Also known as, hollow blocks made of concrete molds, cinder blocks are ideal for creating garden walls of varying heights. Place the first row of cinder blocks inside a 12-inch leveled trench filled with gravel.

    Apply mortar evenly on the top edges before you apply the next rows of cinder blocks. If you want to create a retaining wall that is tall, use reinforcements such as steels and cement mixture to make the walls sturdier.

    Insert the steel reinforcement and pour cement in the hollow part or cavity of the blocks. Apply stucco, tiles or sheets of simulated rocks to cover the cinder blocks and add visual appeal. Leave them bare for a more rustic appeal.

    Finish off your DIY garden retaining walls by adding caps on top. Adding caps on top will make low walls function as added seating. Thats a How to build a retaining wall.

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    DIY Garden Retaining Walls, How to Build a Retaining Wall

    How to Build a Sturdy Retaining Wall That Will Last a Lifetime - October 7, 2019 by admin

    Our experts prefer crushed stone for the base rather than naturally occurring gravel dug from a pit. Crushed stone is a little more expensive. However, it provides better drainage, and because of the sharper angles on the stone, it requires less compacting, and once its compacted, it stays that way.

    Joe and Jake have found that crushed stone sized between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch is best suited to handle the heaving forces created by the harsh freeze/thaw cycles here in Minnesota. Avoid rounded stones like pea gravel or river rock; they dont form strong interlocking bonds like angular stone.

    Leave the stone no more than 1/2 inch higher than you want the final height to be, and then make a couple passes with a hand tamper or plate compactor. Youll notice the stone is almost 100 percent compacted as soon as its laid in the trench. The same type of stone will be used for backfilling, which also eliminates the need for hauling in multiple materials.

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    How to Build a Sturdy Retaining Wall That Will Last a Lifetime

    How To Build a Retaining Wall (Step-by-Step) - September 17, 2019 by admin

    Like the flagstone patio? Here's how I built it -

    In this video I show you exactly how to build a retaining wall with landscape blocks.You'll learn how to design your retaining wall, the tools you need, how to build it step by step, and even some retaining wall design ideas.

    First, I'll walk you through how to design your retaining wall, and the critical components you need to include so your retaining wall doesn't fail. Things like proper drainage, a solid base material, and making sure you dig deep enough so the retaining wall doesn't fall over.

    Most people skip critical steps, like digging deep enough for a 6" packed gravel base - which is critical for the structural integrity of your wall. Or, even worse, they don't install a gravel base at all.

    You'll also learn the importance of using 3/4" gravel behind your retaining wall blocks so excess moisture doesn't build up behind the wall and potentially cause it to fall over.

    Then, I'll demonstrate how wide to dig the trench before building your wall, and what to consider when planning that out. In this video I built a curved wall with a cool step feature.

    Then, we'll go right into building it, starting with the first row of blocks., which you'll need to make sure are perfectly level. I'll share some tips (use sand) for making this much easier so you can save time.

    This home improvement project will have a dramatic impact on your landscape, and it doesn't cost that much. In fact, this 50' long wall, that is 3' tall, only cost me about $1,000 in materials total. That's pretty amazing considering the transformation it made to my backyard.

    I think you'll like this video, because it includes a time-lapse of building the wall as well - so you can get an idea of exactly how much work goes into installing a retaining wall - which is a lot!

    And by the way...

    If you enjoy DIY projects, and you'd like to learn how to turn your DIY skills into a profitable handyman business...visit my website at:

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    How To Build a Retaining Wall (Step-by-Step)

    Retaining Wall Product Line – - May 29, 2019 by admin

    The Allan Block Collections of retaining wall products give you a choice of styles to meet your site and design requirements. All the collections can build the basic gravity wall system for smaller wall projects. Using geogrid to reinforce the retaining wall allows taller projects to be built.

    Contact your local distributor today to determine what blocks are available in your area and in what colors. Each of our licensed manufacturer's produce their own selection of colors which is dependent on the aggregates available in the area.

    The AB Collection gives a smooth fluid finish to any outdoor living space. Enjoy the beauty and durability of this collections classic cut stone look that adds distinguished style to any landscape.

    The AB Europa Collection captures the hand-laid stone effect that brings distinction to any project. The unique texture creates a stunning look and gives old world charm to any landscape.

    AB Fieldstone comes as close as you can get to matching the raw beauty of natural stone with differing textures and colors. This 2 piece system has a facing unit that can offer many different looks and styles, with the anchoring unit made of recycled materials. Making this the an innovation in concrete retaining walls.

    The AB Aztec Collection offers a smooth, molded face look and style inspired by old Incan walls to emulate a centuries old feel. AB Aztec is the same dependable system just offering a new look that can be integrated in with the AB and AB Europa Collections.

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    How to Build a Retaining Wall Stronger | The Family Handyman - April 26, 2019 by admin

    How soil pushes (and how to build a retaining wall that pushes back)

    When you contemplatehow to build aretaining wall, you may imagine how firm and solid itll appear from the front, or how great the new garden will look above it. But unless you give serious thought to what goes on behind and below the wall, the retaining wall design may not look good for long. A poor retaining wall design wall can lean, separate, even toppleand its out there in plain sight where all your neighbors can point and snicker. You dont want that!

    Lots of people think a retaining wall needs to hold back all 6 gazillion tons of soil in the yard behind it. It doesnt. It only needs to retain a wedge of soil, or elongated wedge of soil, similar to that shown in Fig. A. In simple terms (our apologies to all you soil engineers out there): Undisturbed soilsoil that has lain untouched and naturally compacted for thousands of yearshas a maximum slope beyond which it wont hang together on its own. This slope is called the failure plane. If left alone, the soil behind the failure plane will stay put on its own. But the soil in front of the failure planethe natural soil or the fill youre going to addwants to slide down the failure plane.

    Gravity, along with the slope, directs most of the weight and pressure of the fill toward the lower part of the retaining wall. Since soil weighs a beefy 100-plus lbs. per cu. ft., you need some pretty heavy materiallarge retaining wall blocks, boulders, timbers or poured concreteto counteract the pressure. Just as important, it needs to be installed the right way. Here are three key principles in building any solid retaining wall:

    A retaining wall needs to retain all the material that fills the space between itself and the failure planethe steepest angle at which existing soil can hold itself together before caving in.

    Water can weaken retaining walls by washing out the base material that supports the wall (Fig. E). But far more frequently, it causes problems by building up behind the wall, saturating the soil and applying incredible pressure. Thats when walls start leaning, bulging and toppling. Well built walls are constructed and graded to prevent water from getting behind the wall and to provide a speedy exit route for water that inevitably weasels its way in.

    Take a look at the well-drained wall in Fig. D. The sod and topsoil are almost even with the top block, so surface water flows over the top rather than puddling behind. Just below that is 8 to 12 in. of packed impervious soil to help prevent water from seeping behind the wall. The gravel below that soil gives water that does enter a fast route to the drain tile. And the perforated drain tile collects the water and directs it away from the base of the wall, escorting it out through its open ends. Theres nothing to prevent water from seeping out between the faces of the blocks, either; that helps with the drainage too. The wall even has porous filter fabric to prevent soil from clogging up the gravel. What youre looking at is a well-drained wall that will last a long time.

    Now look at the poorly drained wall in Fig. E. Theres a dip in the lawn that collects water near the top of the wall. Theres no impervious soil, so the water heads south, slowly waterlogging and increasing the weight of the soil packed behind the wall. The homeowner put plastic against the back of the wall to prevent soil from oozing out between the cracksbut its also holding water in. Yikes! Theres no drain tile at the bottomthe trapped water can soak, soften and erode the base material. Not only that, an excavated trench that extends below the base lets water soak into the base material and weaken it. Youve got a retaining wall that has to hold back tons and tons of water and saturated soiland when that water freezes and expands in the winter, matters get even worse.

    A strong retaining wall design features well-compacted base material, compacted material in front of the wall to prevent kick-out, and stepped-back materials.

    A wall that has an uneven base, no compacted material in front of it and no step-back to the materials will eventually fail.

    Even if you have only a small wedge of soil to retain like that shown in Fig. A, compaction is important. If your failure plane is farther back so your wall needs to retain more fill, weight and pressure, then compaction and a reinforcing grid become critical. These two things help increase internal friction and direct the pressure of the fill you add downward (Fig. F), rather than at an angle pushing against the wall. Good compaction doesnt mean dumping a couple of feet of fill behind the wall, then jumping up and down on it in your work boots.

    Nope, good compaction means adding 3 or 4 in. of material, compacting it with a heavy, noisy vibrating plate tamper from your friendly neighborhood rental yard, then repeating these steps over and over. Your landscape supplier or block manufacturer (if youre using modular blocks) can tell you whether you need to install reinforcing grid, and at what intervals. The taller the wall, the more likely youll need reinforcing grid.

    When building a retaining wall, never backfill with, or compact, topsoil; it will break down and settle, creating a water-welcoming trench behind your wall. Use sandy or gravelly materials, which compact much better. And always make certain you dont become overzealous and compact your wall outward.

    From top to bottom, a well-built wall either prevents water from getting behind the wall or ushers it away quickly when it does.

    Water trapped behind a wall pushes against it and increases the weight of the soil, which also pushes against it.

    By themselves, landscape timbers and a railroad tie retaining wall lack the weight to hold back soil. To make these walls strong, you need to add deadmen, anchors that lock the wall into the soil behind them (Fig. G). The same pressure thats pushing against the wall pushes down on the deadmen to keep them (and therefore the wall) in place. The principles of stepping back, installing good drainage and compacting also apply to timber walls.

    Walls of any material that are taller than 4 ft. play by the same rulesits just that the wedge of soil is too big and heavy to be held in place by the weight of the materials alone. Some communities now require building permits and construction details for walls exceeding 4 ft. in height. We think thats a good idea too. Many modular block manufacturers can supply printed sheets of structural information.

    For tall slopes, a series of tiered walls is a good substitute for a single tall wall. But an upper tier can apply pressure to a lower tier unless its spaced the proper distanceyou know, behind the failure plane. The rule of thumb is to set back the upper wall twice the height of the lower wall.

    Compacting backfill in 3- to 4-in. layers and installing a reinforcement grid directs pressure downward, rather than against the wall.

    A deadman helps anchor a timber wall in place when building a retaining wall. The same pressure thats pushing against the wall is pushing and holding the deadmanand therefore the wallin place.

    Have the necessary tools for this DIY how to build a retaining wall project lined up before you startyoull save time and frustration.

    Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time for this how to build a retaining wall project. Heres a list.

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    How to Build a Retaining Wall Stronger | The Family Handyman

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