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    Category: Retaining Wall

    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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    Retaining Wall Product Line -

    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

    Strong winds push ice over Niagara River retaining wall … - April 3, 2019 by admin

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    Strong winds push ice over Niagara River retaining wall ...

    Retaining Wall Planning – Allan Block Wall Systems - February 17, 2019 by admin

    What affects retaining wall design? Consider the possibilities.

    Video: Planning your retaining wall

    Having a detailed site plan that is drawn to scale will help foresee design and construction challenges and provide an accurate reference for estimating your project. This will become your working or approved plans for the project.

    Your city hall will have a copy of your lot survey on file. The survey will not only identify property lines, but will provide an accurate scaled template of your site to help with planning.

    Buried utility lines are not only dangerous, they may prevent you from locating your landscape project where you want. Call the local utility companies and have these lines marked.

    Building permits may be required if the retaining wall is above a certain height. Check to see what your local city code requires. An approved engineered wall design or an Allan Block pre-engineered solution may be needed in order to get a building permit. Contact your local AB Dealer for more details.

    It's always nice (and smart too) to let your neighbors know about your project before you begin.

    Clay soils put more pressure on a wall than sandy soils because they hold moisture. Identify the soils at your site.

    To identify the soils, a good test is to pick up a small handful of the soil in the palm of your hand and squeeze it to form a ball. Take a sample from at least 12 in.(300 mm) below the surface.

    Clay Soils

    Clay soil will stick together to form a ball. Clay soils retain moisture which will add pressure behind the walls. Typically most soils will be classified as clay and can be used in your project. However, they may require additional reinforcement.

    Sandy Soils

    Sandy soil, will not stick together because they are granular with no silty fine particles. These soils allow for good drainage and are ideal for building walls.

    Organic Soils

    Organic soils will stick together but will not hold once the pressure is released. They should only be used to finish off the top 8 in. (200 mm) of a wall. NEVER use organic soils to build the wall.

    Learn more on working with soils on your project site.

    Existing trees and other vegetation can be designed into the wall layout as needed. New plantings can be added to enhance the total landscape. Any plantings directly behind the wall need to be done carefully as not to disturb any reinforcement that may have been added when the wall was built.

    You must build on solid ground. If your site has soft, wet soils, or if the area was previously excavated, the foundations soil may need to be replaced with good base materials and firmly compacted.

    Determining retaining wall height

    A detailed understanding of the site elevations and grade changes are needed to determine wall heights. Starting at the lowest point, mark your grade changes in 1 ft. (0.3 m) increments on the plan. Sketch in the drainage patterns.

    Cut Site

    Fill Site

    If building on a hill or a slope, the placement of your wall will determine how much soil will need to be removed or brought onto the site

    A cut site is where you cut into the hillside and remove the soil. You will need to decide ahead of time what will be done with the excess soil.

    A fill site is where you will need extra soils to fill in behind the entire wall. You will need to plan ahead to have good backfill materials brought onto the site.

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    Retaining Wall Planning - Allan Block Wall Systems

    Retaining Walls Perth | Retaining Wall Blocks | Modular … - February 8, 2019 by admin

    Retaining walls offer better land use capabilities, improved safety, enhanced usability, and can be tied into a property or homes existing aesthetic. Whether you are building a retaining wall in your homes front yard, in your back garden, or designing one for a business, the right materials are crucial. At Modular Masonry, we are proud to offer a very wide selection of retaining wall blocks to help you get the ideal fit, function, and appearance.

    Our selection of retaining wall blocks includes a wide range of options. Our blocks are perfect for walls of any height with appropriate backfilling, but can also be used for garden beds and in numerous other construction projects. Limestone retaining blocks are among the most popular our blocks are made from reconstituted limestone block options also include concrete Besser or breeze blocks, as well.

    Below, you will find a full discussion of our selection of retaining wall blocks, with each option sorted by dimensions, material, and block type. Full pricing details can be found to the right, as can information about pickup or delivery, important disclaimers, and downloadable information including coursing charts and block specifications to help with your project.

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    Retaining Walls Perth | Retaining Wall Blocks | Modular ...

    Retaining Wall Design – Allan Block Wall Systems - February 8, 2019 by admin

    What Type of Retaining Wall Do I Need?

    Video: Designing your retaining wall

    The first step is to determine whether you need a gravity wall or reinforced wall.

    Gravity Wall

    Reinforced Wall

    Gravity walls rely on their own weight and setback to hold up the soil behind them. Learn more about gravity wall construction.

    **Please note that the gravity wall chart provided has specific heights for specific site and soil conditions. If you are not sure of your site conditions we recommend being conservative with your retaining wall heights or use geogrid in your retaining wall. See our Soil Reinforcement Chart.

    Reinforced walls use layers of geogrid to combine the soil and block together to form a reinforced soil mass.

    Under certain conditions, the block weight and setback alone do not provide enough structural support. This is where geogrid comes in - Allan Blocks Reinforcement Grid provides a simple solution by creating a solid structure with more resistance to soil pressure and surcharges for retaining walls under 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. Learn more about reinforced retaining wall construction.

    Conditions above and behind the retaining wall will determine how tall the retaining wall can be before reinforcement is needed.

    Slope above retaining wall

    Slope below retaining wall

    A slope above a retaining wall will add more pressure and weight, while slopes below the retaining wall may make the wall unstable due to sliding or erosion. Avoid slopes greater than 3 to 1 without first consulting a local engineer.

    How to Mark and Measure Your Slope



    Any added weight above a retaining wall is called a surcharge. Patios, swimming pools and driveways are common residential surcharges. Your wall may need additional support if a surcharge is present.

    The amount your wall leans into the hill is called setback. AB blocks come in approximate setbacks of 6 and 12. The 12 (Ref) setback will provide better leverage and require less reinforcement.

    Check out the Soil Reinforcement Chart to find out how much geogrid reinforcement your project will need.

    Note: For commercial applications contact a local engineer.

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    Retaining Wall Design - Allan Block Wall Systems

    Retaining Wall | Types of Retaining Walls | Design … - November 21, 2018 by admin

    Retaining wall is structures that is constructed and designed to resist the lateral pressure of the soil. Apart from soil, the lateral pressure is caused by the pressure of liquid, earth filling, sand, or other granular material filled behind the wall after its constructed. These walls are key components of transportation structures and is commonly employed in theconstructionof hill roads, masonry dams, abutments and wings walls of bridges etc. The type of material used for the construction of the wall depends on the site conditions, type of material to be retained and also the height of the wall to be constructed. Generally there are 4 types of retaining walls.

    The primary function of the retaining wall is to hold the earth back without any stability issues like overturning, sliding or structural failure. Water table, earth fill and surcharge are crucial in retaining wall design. Problems may occur when the pressure of the earth is too much and it may tip over. Basically retaining walls are classified into four types, explained below:

    A type of retaining wall which depends on its own weight alone to stand up is called a gravity retaining wall. This retaining wall is massive. When designing this type of retaining wall, sliding, bearing and overturning forces should be considered and tested. This is most obvious in dams, or simple dykes.

    Sliding of retaining wall

    Overturning of Retaining wall

    Global stability of Retaining wall

    Gravity retaining wall

    In this type of retaining wall, piles are driven so deep into the earth that the top force which usually tries to push the wall over, is held back. It uses counter force to negate the top force and keep it from tipping over. This wall is used in temporary or permanent works as the piled walls provide high stiffness retaining elements which afford large excavation depths with almost no disturbance to surrounding structures or properties.

    Pile retaining wall

    These walls are constructed of reinforced concrete. This wall consists of a thin stem and base slab. The base of this retaining wall is divided into two parts namely the heel and the toe. The heel is a part of the base under the backfill. This wall uses much less concrete than retaining walls but it needs careful construction and design. Its usually economic till 25ft in height. And these walls can either be precast in a factory or formed on the site.

    Cantilever retaining wall

    For high retaining walls, deep cable rods or wires are driven deep sideways into the earth, then the ends are filled with concrete to provide an anchor. These are also known as tiebacks. They work when a thinner retaining wall is needed or space is limited to install other types of retaining walls. They are very effective for loose soils over solid rocks. Anchored retaining walls are usually employed in lots of highways construction departments where they use them to keep rocks from falling on the roads by accidents.

    Anchored retaining wall

    To ensure the stability of a retaining wall, the following conditions or requirements must be met:

    Basic retaining walls

    Major loads that act on retaining walls are as follows.

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    Retaining Wall | Types of Retaining Walls | Design ...

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