Retaining wall replacement question


Old 08-04-13, 09:09 PM
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Retaining wall replacement question

I have a 4.5' tall retaining wall made of treated railroad ties that is rotting and needs replaced. I've attached a picture and you can see the rr ties next to the steps up to the front patio.

My question is what to replace it with and if it would be a diy project. I currently have someone that will sell rr ties to me for about $5/tie, which would take about 16 ties, so $80 for material. But I think I would be in about the same situation with them rotting out again. Also, I think landscape blocks would be an improvement in looks.

I can't use regular retaining wall blocks because they have offset, which when they are butted up against the stairs, there would be a 4"+ gap at the highest point... not going to work. I saw Menards has a split face concrete block that doesn't have the rear lip (no offset), but would require I become a bricklayer overnight. They look good and are $2.99 a block, so cost around $250, and I guess figure another $100 for mortar and rebar, so $350.

Lastly, looked at regular cinder blocks with a stone veneer. The cinder blocks are cheap ($1.27/block) but the stone veneer is pretty expensive around $8/sq.ft.

Anyone have your professional advice of where to go on this?
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Last edited by mattfam77; 08-04-13 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 09-16-13, 05:34 PM
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Does any ready mix suppliers pour formabloks in your area?
Old 09-18-13, 09:46 PM
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I too have an aged RR tie retaining wall on the boarder of our yard. While mine has years left in it I looked at alternatives. Properly rebuilding a RR tie retaining wall requires particular know how. A cinder bock wall faced with decorative stone or even just plain requires skills beyond that of mine and most DIY folks. The more attractive wall you want means more $$$$. Have more questions, just ask. Hopefully I can help. Good luck

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