Questions And Answers On Retaining Wall

Ken asks…

retaining wall?

I need to have a retaining wall put in my back yard. Do I need to call a contractor or a landscaper? Also, In the Atlanta, Ga. area anyone know any good (contractor or landscaper) in or around this area?

Home Gardener answers:

I am not from ATL but maybe I can help! The answer to your first question, no your dont have to have a contractor.But to you need to talk to a contractor and see who they suggest for a landscaper.Most of the time latino american do the best job for the money.Talk to your contractors who build custom homes to get the best results.

Alana asks…

Retaining Wall?

How much should I pay a landscaping to build a 10 foot long by 3 foot high retaining wall?
Assume there is a slope of about 20 degrees and it is made out of simple concrete type blocks from Home Depot.

Home Gardener answers:

I own a landscape company in the upper midwest.

If you can find a trustworthy Joe Pickup Truck type dude, you might be able to get that done under $1,000. Of course, you get what you pay for.

Realistically an established company up here would charge you in the $1800-3,000 range. Depends how many guys and what equipment they’re sending over. Also depends whether they will have to haul away extra sod or soil, or bring in a lot of soil to backfill.

It costs my business $450 in labor time, fuel, and driving, on average, to show up, unpack, repack, and leave a site. That’s what makes those small jobs comparatively expensive. It costs us the same to show up and do a little work as it costs to come do a lot.

Lynn asks…

Retaining wall?

Im going to build a retaining wall behind my house and Im using concrete blocks to do this, what I need to know is how deep and thick does the footing need to be?

Home Gardener answers:

For that answer you are going to have to check with your local city’s building code. In my town, its 18″, and thats actually a pretty common depth for the first course to be set at. Also, since you are building a retaining wall, dont forget about the rebar. This you’ll wanna place vertically inside of your blocks. If you are living in a colder climate, one that has alot of snow, the depth may be more due to frost conditions. Your best answer for its depth though wil come from your city’s code. Now….. If you have questions about how to lay the blocks…. Ask another question daniel son…..

Charlie asks…

Does a retaining wall need to be set on top of a base of crushed stone?

I am building a 2-1/2 ft high retaining wall of 64 lb Oldcastle Rampart concrete blocks. Do I need to set it on a base of crushed stone or can I set it directly on top of the earth? How many inches of crushed stone or gravel would I need directly behind the wall? Is gravel okay or does it have to be crushed stone?

Home Gardener answers:

Straight on top of the earth mate.
Just make sure its level first.
You can do this with a string from one end of your wall to th other.

Helena asks…

How to apply caps on a retaining wall?

Can anyone provide me with help putting caps on my retaining wall? The retaining wall has curves to it and the caps will not fit on the curves evenly. Do I have to cut each of the caps? Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

Home Gardener answers:

Yes, you have to cut each of the caps to the radius of the wall. I would definately do a dry run first to see how each piece fits. Maybe even put a tick mark that crosses both the cap and wall so you know where the piece has to go once you mortar it.

Graham asks…

Can I paint a cement retaining wall, and if so, what product do you recommend?

I have a cement retaining wall in my back yard and have recently had a cement patio put in right in front of it. The wall is old, cracked in places, and I think it would look better if it was spruced up somewhat. What suggestions can you offer?
Every single answer was great and very helpful. Thank you so much. It’s too hard to pick a best answer because I think everyone provided good suggestions.

Home Gardener answers:

First patch the cracks with a cement patch. You can paint it with the same type of paint you would use for a garage floor and you can get it in many colors.

Marie asks…

How do I rebuild a retaining wall from timber to brick?

We have a retaining wall made from timber and it is falling down, we would like to rebuild it ourselves using bricks. The wall is about 1.5 metres high and we live on a slope.

Home Gardener answers:

What you want to do is remove the wood retaining wall and about a meter and a half of fill behind it. Replace the wall with a block wall and back fill it with the soil that you removed…if the soil is loose you will need to use plywood and supports to hold it in place while you are building the brick wall. If you are planning to build a block wall without mortar you will need to back fill the wall as you build it (this is usually called landscape block).

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