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My retaining wall replacement that has snowballed into a major landscaping overhaul pic heavy

7635 Views 85 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  Lohe
Well to start previous owner had a wood tie wall that over the last 10-13years was failing and collapsing forward. Here it was beforehand
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Also they previous owner had a stamped concrete patio installed incorrectly was not properly graded and no real sub base so it was also failing and causing the house to flood during heavy rain storms.

So I started down this path by first renting a Home Depot tractor and then rented another from private party locally.
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So I got the wall ripped out and started tearing up the patio. But with limited time frame on the rental had also had bad rain while I had it rented turned into a mudbog even get the rental stuck for a little bit. So I decided to get my own tractor and picked up the 1025r.
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And put ole green to use right away. We have also been under severe drought in Utah so now I have ripped up my entire back yard figured will xeriscape my entire property. Have had my sprinkler system shut off since July of 2021.

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Fixed my one shed the previous owner had buried the back side with dirt and was causing it to rot. So dug it out jacked it up replaced the rotted out wood. Moved it forward a little to a better location and then built a retaining wall with drainage to keep the water away from it.
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Then I continued on with the patio removal and built a pad for my 2nd shed. You can see how much of the dirt had eroded away under the patio by the window well it was nuts I can’t believe how poorly it was built!

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Here is the patio finally removed and I have not dug out any dirt around the house that was all from erosion!

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My wife then wanted to add an underground trampoline for the kids. So dug me a hole, and a trench to run power out to it.
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In hindsight should have finished my wall before the tramp went in because it has made working on the wall in that area a lot more difficult.

But started excavating for my new terraced retaining wall.
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So I now have been at this project for over a year working on it after work and weekends so it has taken awhile. We decided to hire someone to install the wall and new paver patio. So I could focus on finishing the front yard portions.

Got my park strip done with a new drip system for the trees and rocks placed as the installer came in to work on the back yard portion.

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Sooooo the installer starts on the new retaining wall and first put it up with NO back fill and I was like ummmm what. He takes and down does it again and it’s completely wrong again and leaning towards the house. 🤦‍♂️ so let him go wasn’t about to give him a 3rd try and decide to go back to doing it my self.

I wanted to get it done quicker but when I know how it should be done and the quality I expect it becomes difficult to communicate that.

If you want something done right do it yourself.

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So I ended up ripping down what he had done and started over.

This time the results are much better.
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Definitely been giving this little tractor a work out. I have 34 pallets of materials and the paver pallets are over 3000lb if I down load them to 1/3 I can barely get them up. And now without paying for the installation using that money towards tools I am going to need for the job. Like this stihl 420TS 14” blade concrete saw $1300 bad boy and a high end high reviewed $300 diamond blade that should be arriving today.

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in regards to the tractor. Was thinking of renting when I was finished to pay for it. Or just sell it but it has been so handy don’t think I would every want to get rid of it I am a bit of a tool whore. Owned a small business before got sick of the stress and hours so doubt I will do that again.
Made some more progress. Lots of heavy lifting that has to be done by hand tractor can only do so much lol

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Ran out of clean gravel backfill so had to make another rock yard run with the dump trailer. But got to my final course and much better than before

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Threw some cap on just to get and idea of the look
picked up more rock yesterday so still need to finish backfilling then cutting and gluing the caps down.
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Then will start the 2nd terrace wall. Was also taking some grade measurements last night and realized to make my new patio driveway (tractor way lol) strong so I can drive on it going to have to excavate a lot more dirt than I originally anticipated.

It’s going to be approx 860-900sq feet paver patio with fire a pit.
And for driveway strong you need a good 8” of roadbase will have 1” bedding material and the paver is aprox 2.5” so I am going to need to go down a entire foot from the house foundation in order to keep my 1/8 pitch away from the house for proper water run off.

and ole Johny is at 198hrs now. I purchased a 200hr service kit but one more thing I need to get done.
5th spot saved. Will be back later with some more
And one more for good measure to try and keep most of it on the front page.
oh didn’t know that. Oh well. Pretty much got the thread caught up to current about to head out and start working on project hard scape. Guess I will just update the thread as I go from here.
Great project! That is impressive!

Saving "spots" won't help, after 12 hours you cant edit post's.
I set 1/4 inch back lean on my bottom base course
Amazing work.

One question. What is the lean back on the wall? We build one in NH summer cottage and did the lean back at just over 5*.

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Owned a Snap On tool franchise. Assistant service manager at a dealership now. (Used to be a master BMW tech and grew up on Job sites my dad was a general contractor) So overall pretty handy.
Well done, glad you started the separate thread of your project......that was a great idea....! (y)

I can't imagine what the guy you hired was thinking, apparently, he wasn't......

Just curious, what was the small business you owned before and what type of work do you do now? No need for a gym membership with that manual lifting of the wall blocks, what are they, about 60 to 80 pounds each?

Geo grid use, socked back drain, compacted back fill, grade shot correctly, Yep, you are doing it right.......Nice to see........Looking forward to more.....
haha true
He already owns the 1025rTLB and said he had thought about selling it, but now plans to keep it as he can't imagine being without one......also a self decscribed "tool junkie" which makes even more sense knowing his background..........

I bet he has a beeotchin "Ultimate set of tools" in the garage and just like Jeff Spicoli, can probably fix anything.....

I had to build an upper walkway storage in my garage. It’s like a 18-19 foot tall ceiling and so much wasted space lol

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and last Christmas my daughter wanted a loft bed. I said screw that I will build you a loft instead.

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Added outlets up top a 2nd light switch so you can turn it on off from bottom or top and motion sensor led lights to the stairs. Got pretty hot up there this summer so also added in her own small a/c unit.

really got into woodworking over the winter picked up a new table saw and a bunch of other woodworking tools. Made my first storage cabinet

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Didn’t get a lot done on the hard scape project.
Got most my fill rock done crazy how fast it goes. 6 tons of 3/4 rock and almost used it all up all ready.

Blade showed up so I tried out my new concrete saw for the first time, going to take some time to get good with it that thing is nuts and the gyro force from the blade spinning was a lot more than I thought it would be.
Placed some caps near the trampoline area to get an idea for the layout and what cuts I will need to make for the small sitting bench on that side.

The opposite side of the tramp will be where the fire pit is and I plan on building the same type of stone sitting bench that will follow the curve of the wall.

basically a “2nd” wall about 3 blocks high will go right infront of the actual retaining wall butted up to it. Still thinking how I will make the caps look good as the wall bricks have quarried face and the back of the cap is straight so going to have odd gaps.
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Doubt it I put a French drain down the center of it and over dug it to line the entire thing with a few niches worth of 3/4 rock.
Plus I have power out to it for the led lights that I could add a pump to it down the road if needed.
will the trampoline hole fill with water and snakes?
Got the rest of my backfill compacted in.

That'll Do Donkey, That'll Do
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well good news it didn’t topple over 👍😂
Going to wait until this weekend to start fitting and cutting the caps will be easier to see my measurements and line with actual daylight.

So started preparing for the 2nd tier of the wall. Some asked how I do it and keep going. Burritos and whiskey seems to do the trick!

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Found on Amazon 15 foot x100 weed barrier rolls way better than the 4-8 foot ones you normal can find. Will be nice when doing the rest of the yard and pavers area also. Around the tramp and upper section I am planning on putting the synthetic grass in still been researching the best options.

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Oh and here are a few older pics.

Rough layout of the patio area.

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And not too worried about the power in the tramp hole. Outlets GFI, in outdoor water rated housing near the top and then mounted housed inside a pvc fence post.

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Fire pit will be something like this. And this is the style of pavers I got.
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Bottom wall is 4 foot 6 inches and setback to next wall is 5 feet. I dug down 10 inches from the base block and compacted in roadbase. The next tier is going to be 3 foot 2 inches and same thing had dug a trench down and compacted in road base. Didn’t really want to pay for engineering plans for that. Native soil is clay.
I have a JD 3039 and worked for a retaining wall licensor and manufacturer for 18 years. It is refreshing to see a retaining wall installed correctly. I was glad to see geogrid in the installation. The only thing I would do in addition is to have engineering done. Without knowing about your soils, tier spacing and tier heights, the wall looks good.
footing is a 2 foot wide by 10 inch deep compacted road base.

Belgrad diamond pro is the blocks Pins are fiber from the block manufacturer.

yeah, I was looking for a concrete footing and rebar.. the gravel fill on tile bed and stack is interesting.. see vertical pins, rebar or fiber?
Yep and the first block gets glued to them

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Were those round edge blocks from the earlier pictures just footing pads?
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Those base blocks are only 3” tall but weigh in at 54lbs and the blocks are 74lbs. Those start blocks make it a lot easier leveling the first course and then gluing the next block to them pretty much turned it into 1 solid block.
yep this happened last night. Stinks now gotta spend some time on maintenance also my compactor shredder the belt last night 😢
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Having used my 1026R to build a 2 tier retaining wall ( 350+ blocks, many, many yards of gravel/soil moved ), I can appreciate the amount of planning, leveling, and movement of those blocks. Just doing that put 200+ hours on my tractor. Very nice job, especially on the curves.
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