Small wall for raised planter


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Old 06-07-13, 02:58 PM
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Small wall for raised planter

I am in the process of building a small block wall, about 18-24", that would run along the front of the house and serve as a planter. Similar to this:

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We had a bunch of weeds growing so I dug out the whole area, it's probably 6-8 inches below the grass now.

After digging we put several inches of paver sand and compacted it with a hand tamper.

My issue is getting the first course of blocks completely level. Even if the sand is level before I put the block down, the block isn't level. It takes 10-15 min per block to get it level.

I did about 10 blocks, went back and checked the first ones and they are no longer level front to back. They are still ok side to side.

Any tips or advice on how to get the blocks level? Should I change what I am putting under them to make sure they stay level?
 
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Old 06-07-13, 03:56 PM
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Don't use sand but use a compactable gravel and level that surface. Sand is never really compacted unless it is 100% contained, so it can shift literally and allow settlement. - Think the major retainingg wall systems recommend some compactable material, even for a low wall, but you can get really level.

Dick
 

Last edited by Concretemasonry; 06-07-13 at 04:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-08-13, 12:50 AM
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Something you might try (in addition to using gravel instead of sand) is to smack the top of each block a few times with a stout rubber mallet. Initially set the blocks just above your stringline, then get them to grade with the mallet. A quick check with a small torpedo level will ensure the front-to-back is level.
 
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Old 06-08-13, 02:31 AM
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The house wall also needed to be 100% water proofed and there needs to be drainage in the front.
 
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Old 06-08-13, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I'm headed out now to get the gravel. I actually had several bags of gravel on my cart when I bought the bricks but the Lowe's guy said all I needed was sand.

@BridgeMan45, I did use the rubber mallet technique when I was using the sand. I think because the sand allowed the bricks to move so much, the mallet moved them more than I wanted them to move.

@joecaption1, everything I read (and that obviously can be wrong) said not to worry about drainage on walls under 3'. What type of drainage are you suggesting?
 
 

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