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Old 03-06-2008, 12:48 AM
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2 foot retaining wall

Need to do a 2 foot tall retaining wall by approximately 20' long. Pavers not an option in keeping with the rest of the way the property looks. Is a straight stone wall mortered in but looking like a dry stack an option? That's the look the client wants, just not sure what proper installation would be to keep the soil in and the wall up.

Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:19 AM
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Your location would be needed for us since different areas of the country will require different methods of installing the base.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:50 AM
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We live in good ole' rocky CT. I'm sure there is no soil here, just small rocks!
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:10 PM
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That is a common retaining wall type for us here in coastal RI. Depends on where in CT you are but you will need to put it on a footing to below frost (probably 2.5-3 feet). Clean stone for drainage behind it with either weep holes in the wall or piping to direct drainage to one end.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:35 PM
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Tricky,

Most of our work is on the shoreline, Madison area.
I follow most of what you're saying...clean stone for drainage...would that be gravel? I was thinking primarily gravel behind it with just enough soil on top to grow grass. What are weep holes? Small gaps in the mortar to allow for drainage?
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:18 AM
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Are you just designing this or building it? If you are building be careful with how you price it as a wall like that is not a simple thing to build. The concept is simple but the masonry takes a lot of skill. No offense meant...it's just clear from the questions that you don't know much about this and I know from experience that it's easy to underestimate the learning curve.

Clean stone is crushed stone of the same size with no fines. Usually 3/4". The lexicon can be different in different places but around here "gravel" means a graded aggregate like you would use for a patio base. "Stone" usually means clean stone.

Weep holes are holes in the lower part of the wall that let water drain out from behind it. Most people use pvc pipe.

I bet if you google "retainging wall construction detail" or something like that you can find lots of diagrams.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:43 AM
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Tricky, no offense taken. We are about as new at this as a baby that has had only one diaper change. Ok, maybe 2. We did build a small stone wall last year, but it was a dry stack, not a retaining wall, and only about a foot and a half high. Only the top layer was carefully mortared in to keep the dry stack look. I want to be careful with the pricing and not charge clients for our learning curve. I'm sure it's hard to say without seeing it but can you give me a ball park as to how long this should take someone with reasonable skill level so we're charging a fair price?
We will look up retaining wall construction, thanks! We're going to a versa-lok retaining wall seminar this week so hopefully that will help too. We're obviously not adverse to trying new things, and pretty careful about what we try so we still maintain quality work and reputation.
Is mortaring it in the best way or could it/should it be a dry stack?
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:50 AM
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Use large enough stone say 6" x 24" x 3'-5' excavate your base so you have solid footings. Add rip rap to protect your footing. Behind the wall att 12" of 1" to 3/4" stone and a long term non woven fabric something in the 5 to 6 oz per yard weight. I have used this method on fast moving rivers
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:36 PM
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Wow! Thanks Paul! I will do just that.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:06 AM
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If its only two feet tall, I see no problem with just doing it drystack. Heftier stones would be better than little itybitty ones, of course, and put some long stones back into the hill (deadmen). I've done a number of these, with no problems yet.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:40 PM
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Dry Stacked Wall Detail

Sandim,

Here is a generic dry stacked wall detail.
Attached Thumbnails
2 foot retaining wall-wall-detail-2.jpg  
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:04 PM
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Thanks guys! Hard to kind of learn on the fly. Been to all kinds of seminars on paver retaining walls, but this is a different animal.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:56 PM
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to add to the diagram...
put some geo fabric under your base also
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