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Common Retaining wall mistakes & how to AVOID THEM, bad designs, bad base, wrong block....#2

 

Stan: Man, I'm seeing stuff for the first time that I've never seen before. 

Stan: All right, well welcome back guys. Today, we got a pretty packed show for you because we are going to walk you step by step how to base your own retaining wall block. We're gonna take all the mystery out of what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. So get ready for that. Plus, we're gonna talk in detail about why some landscaping companies like to offer "tiered retaining walls." Now I'm air quoting for a very specific reason, because there's kind of a few red flags, I guess would be the way I'd say. If a landscape company is only offering you a tiered retaining wall, there's a reason, and we want to make sure that you guys fully understand all the benefits, and all of the bad things that go along with building a tiered retaining wall.Plus then today, we're gonna talk in depth about why these systems are mortarless. It's crazy, but there's a rhyme and a reason to that as well. So without...

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Building a Big Staircase Over a Landscape Retaining Wall & Connecting it with a Bridge to a Patio

 

Speaker 1: So the story starts out, we built these beautiful boulder retaining walls on this property that we're going to sell. And after we get the walls all done, my wife looks at me and says, "Well those look nice, but how's anybody going to get up to the upper patio if they want to get there from the driveway?"

Speaker 1: You could've said something before I had the walls finished, Honey.

Speaker 1: And so I looked at Frank, and I said, "Hey, let's build some stairs over the retaining wall, and then let's build a bridge to the patio."

Speaker 1: Now normally guys, I don't like to build stairs over. I kind of like to build them through and incorporate them in, so I want to hear from you on this video as you watch it, let me know. Do you like this idea? Do you like this design? Good, bad, or in between, lay it on me. I just want your guys' opinion on this one.

Speaker 1: Oh here's another fun thing I do Guys. On today's video I take all of Frankie's tools and I ask him, "Just use...

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How to Build a Stack Stone Retaining Wall

 
Stack-Stone Retaining Walls

If you've ever wondered how they build those nice stack-stone retaining walls, I'm going to show you how right now. It gets started with a concrete foundation. So what we've done here is adjust for the elevation change.  This wall begins at the corner of the house. It's about 5 1/2ft tall. It carries on through the elevation change. This wall’s about 35-40ft long. At the very end of this was going to be about 8-10inches tall.  So we start off at a higher elevation and end at the lower elevation. At the foundation, we've begun by pouring a concrete foundation. This is going to have to step up on the bottom to adjust for the change in slope; so it actually rises in steps.  Let me try to get a close up of that.   Here's one of those steps right down here in this hole. You'll see this concrete foundation is poured at a depth of 6inches thick, and we step it up to adjust for the grade. Otherwise, this whole entire wall would just...

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The Mistake I Made Installing Pressure-Treated Timber Stairs

 
Math Errors

So I've talked to you in the past about some of the difficulties and challenges of building stairs. They're not easy. From a mathematical standpoint, it works out just like rise over run. You look at the hillside behind me and you say, "OK let's say we've got 15feet of height differential.  We've got a 6-inch stair, so that's going to equal 30stairs." Then we figure that at the depth 12 inches per stair, you're going to have about 30 feet. You measure, "do we have 30 feet?" And it all works out on paper. But when you get out in construction, sometimes things go wrong.  So, today I want to show you something that didn't go right that we're about to fix and what happened and how it could have been prevented. Right here we started building the stairs as we normally do. And the one thing I want to point out is these for 7 or 8 stairs look fantastic from an aesthetic standpoint.  They're solid and they're strong.  The problem is that they're too deep....

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Retaining Wall Failure

 
Retaining Wall Blowout

Well, this is not a sight that you want to see on your property. As you can see, we have a retaining wall failure. I was given a call by this client of ours to come out and take a look at this wall and see what we could do to help them with it. This is not a wall that we built. This wall is seven years old and the remainder of the wall runs down the side of the driveway looks to be in pretty good shape. So, they came home one day after a hard rain storm and noticed that this wall had fallen down. Let's take a look at why this wall failed. If we look into the next door neighbor's yard, we will see a beautiful new landscape. Look at all that nice rock work and those nice rocks stairs. However several weeks ago this was all wooded and this hillside was not clean and pine straw. Rather this hillside had a lot of vegetation on it. That vegetation prevented a lot of silt sediment from washing downstream. So, you can see this water comes downstream into this low...

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Landscaping Renovation - Dry Creek Bed River Stone Drainage, Retaining Wall, Zoysia Sod

 

I want to give you a walk-through of a job we completed that has just about every type of service that we offer on it. The job started off to do the work for this house right.  We were doing a retaining wall to fix the drainage, clearing the back yard, irrigation system, sod, pavers, landscape lighting, and fencing. So, we started off working here and about day 2 into the project, the neighbor came over and said, "listen we've been getting bids on our back yard for 5 years." They had huge drainage problems.  If you can see, the water came down from that area and just washed out the whole backyard. There was no sod, and it was overgrown with weeds.  All that water came downhill into this property.  It’s a big natural area so where I'm standing. This was just no backyard.  It was all completely down to bare dirt with a lot of channeling where all the water had flowed into the property. Our job was to fix all of that. As I said, this neighbor came over...

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How to Backfill a Timber Retaining Wall

 
57 Stone

Today I do not want to talk to you about dirt. I want to talk to you about this stuff: 57-stone. This is a course stone about 3/4 - 1" and it's great for drainage.  We're building a paver patio that's going to extend off of the house to just a portion underneath this deck. So, what's important here is this wall’s pretty short. It's about 3 ½ ft tall at its highest point, so you might be tempted to try to get away without drainage. We've seen a lot of jobs where contractors will just backfill with dirt only.

I do not recommend in any situation but specifically where water is going to be sloping down and has a potential to seep in behind this wall. What we've done here is we've put in a boat load of this 57-stone instead of using dirt.  In a normal drainage system, you're going to have about 12 inches of dirt that you're going to wrap in a fabric and allow that to create a separation between your gravel and your dirt.

So eventually they don't combine....

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How to Build a Retaining Wall and 6 Reasons they Fail

 
How to Build a Retaining Wall and 6 Reasons they Fail

Today we're going to cover six big mistakes when you're building a retaining wall and how to avoid them so let's get started. I predicted this wall would fail over a year ago in this exact spot, in this exact way. You can see where the grades behind this wall have dipped down. It's going to blow that wall out and in fact, we had one catastrophic wall failure on this project last year and we had to repair it. We got another one coming up; it's not because I have a crystal ball it's because the writing was on the wall. It's just completely shot right there, that's from drainage, from not maintaining it. You can see where all the grades have dropped down in here and now we've got big sinkholes behind this retaining wall. I can literally stick my leg down in here, up to my knees. You can see this distinct angle, it’s all bowed out.

Avoid Problems

This problem could have easily been avoided had the property owner, the...

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Timber Retaining Wall, Artificial Turf, Belgard Paver Patio

 
Week 1

We are about one week into a major renovation project and we are working on by far the most dangerous hillside we have ever worked on. I want to try to give you an idea of what we're working on. If you look at how steep the slope behind me is, so we've got a two-tier retaining wall.  We have our lower tier behind me that extends up about 6ft tall. This entire slope was very steep and covered in a rose or control plants that have large evergreen trees on it. We've created this middle level area which is 14ft deep and then we've built the second reinforced timber retaining wall. This middle terrace is going to go to the blue lines behind you. That is going to be a putting green.  This putting green is going to be a pretty awesome feature.  Around the outside of this putting green is going to be a rock or chipping area. This is the part that makes me nervous. Every time it comes down, I can't help but hold my breath. It's been in and out about 60 times.  But...

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How to Build a Retaining Wall - Step by Step Guide

 

HOW TO BUILD A RETAINING WALL

STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Today we're going to take you step-by-step so that you can build your own retaining wall. Covering some of the most vital parts in retaining wall construction.  Including the excavation and the initial sub-grade protection which will be the main component to the longevity of your wall being straight and perfectly flat-topped, or ending up years down the road having a wave in it. We're going to help you eliminate that. We will also be looking at the material used in your first course of block. How to base and level that most critical element: the very first block that goes in the ground Then we are going to show you how to construct a 90-degree corner in case you happen to have any of those on your site. Take your project from something that looks like this, to something that looks like this.

Step 1

The very first step we've got to do is remove the existing CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) retaining wall and prep the sub-grade. Most of...

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