How to Add On to a Concrete Block Wall (not a retaining wall)


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Old 08-29-07, 01:36 PM
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How to Add On to a Concrete Block Wall (not a retaining wall)

There's a new road opening behind my house, so I need to raise my back wall (about 3 or 4 blocks) to help with privacy and noise reduction. I guess I'll raise the wall between me and the neighbor while I'm at it.

I've never done this before, but I'm pretty handy so I think I can do it with proper instruction. I have laid ceramic tile indoors and made concrete pavers for the patio.

I don't know how to post a photo, but here's URL to a photo of the walls:http://home.comcast.net/~pbanks/Block_Walls.jpg

Here's a URL to a close up:http://home.comcast.net/~pbanks/Wall_Close_up.jpg

Questions:
1. Can anyone explain how I go about this, or point me to some kind of tutorial?

2. Can I remove and re-use the red brick on top (how?), or should I just buy new ones?

The back wall is stucco on the road side and it has to be painted a specific color so that it matches (Home Owner Association rules). I think I'll hire someone to stucco the new wall addition, but I'll probably paint it myself.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
mrpb
 
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Old 08-29-07, 03:23 PM
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How to Add On to a Concrete Block Wall (not a retaining wall)

If you are talking about adding 3 or 4 feet to an exsiting privacy wall, that makes it pretty high.

You should contact and engineer to determine (old drawings or inspection) what the existing wall is built of. You will have to reinforce the added portion of the wall. Even with the added on steel, the existing wall may not have enough strength or the footings may not be thick and wide enough.

Since you are subject to local codes and the HOA, there may be a hight limit. If you add on the existing wall you could have big liability if the wall toward the street (public property) or adjacent to you neighbor's property becomes a sidewalk or someone is under it.- BIG LIABILITY!

Many things can cause a wall failure. - Seismic, wind, car accident, etc.

A car accident sounds crazy, but they happen and if the wall is not adequate for code, you are liable.

Make sure you do it right and are protected (permission, professional design. Also, get your neighbor involved, so he cannot plead ignorance.

Dick
 
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Old 09-03-07, 08:24 AM
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(Back from vacation)

Dick,

Thanks for the info. I live in a new subdivision (5 years old) with a common perimeter wall. Some of my neighbors have started raising their walls 3 to 4 feet, in anticipation of the road opening. ( Two years ago, a guy in the next block knocked down his 5 foot back wall to install a pool, then replaced it with an 8 foot wall.) So, I assume the footings, codes, HOA rules etc. are covered. They have all used contractors, so far. I just figured I could save some money by doing it myself. I noticed that they did use steel reinforcement on the wall additions.

"Make sure you do it right and are protected (permission, professional design. Also, get your neighbor involved, so he cannot plead ignorance."

That's a good idea! I will get the necessary permissions. I will talk to the next door neighbor - maybe even get him to pay half ;-) As for professional design, it seems fairly straight forward (looking at what the others have done) I was hoping to get design pointers and instructions from this forum.


Given the above, can anyone give or steer me to the information I need to make this a DIY project?

Thanks In Advance.
mrpb
 
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Old 09-03-07, 10:32 AM
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How to Add On to a Concrete Block Wall (not a retaining wall)

The professional design is a key element.

You better hope that they over-built the existing wall enough so it and the footings have enough "beef" to take the added loads. you are adding the loads to the top of the new wall where they will have the most effect.

Dick
 
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Old 09-04-07, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry
The professional design is a key element.

You better hope that they over-built the existing wall enough so it and the footings have enough "beef" to take the added loads. you are adding the loads to the top of the new wall where they will have the most effect.

Dick

OK, I'll see if I can contact the builder and get plans for the existing wall. They sold out to Pulte Homes, but since they kept the same offices and most of the staff, I may still be able to locate the drawings.

Thanks,
mrpb
 
 

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