Trying to preserve my back yard with retaining wall(s)

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Old 12-17-16, 11:16 PM
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Trying to preserve my back yard with retaining wall(s)

I am dealing with two related issues right now. My sloped back yard is eroding because fire department pretty much made me remove almost all vegetation form the slope because of the fire danger. Now there is very little vegetation to hold the soil and I doubt I have time to replant anything that would.
So knowing that plants can do just so much I was thinking of installing at least one retaining wall. I don't want to take out a permit, so it would have to be a 3ft wall so it won't hold much I suspect, it will most likely will have to be at least one more additional wall in the middle of the slope.
I want to use Keystone Standard II with pins of course and the miragrid to stabilize it as much as possible. I know it's probably an overkill, but I'd rather have it this way than come back to it few years later.
My paver patio has started slowly sliding along with that slope so I decided to pour some concrete at the edge of the pavers and embed drains to prevent water from eroding soil right next to pavers.
Question 1 - should I start my first wall somewhere closer to my parev's edge and keep moving downhill or should I start from the foot of my slope and move up?
Question 2 - When I installed the silt screen I noticed that in some places the solid rock is very close to the surface of the soil/clay. Should I endeavor at trying to level the bedding for the first row of block into the solid rock, seems to be very labor intensive process or move a little above that spot and embed more than one course of the block into the soil? I was thinking if that's the case, I am still going to hit the solid rock and it becomes a mute point, no?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  #2  
Old 12-18-16, 05:59 AM
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You said your paver patio started sliding. Was the slope moving and taking the patio with it? If so the added mass/weight of the concrete band you added may make things worse.

Considering the size and steepness of your hill I would hire an Engineer to evaluate your problem before spending any more money. Keystone retaining walls are great but you should make sure they would be capable of doing what you want. You may need a retaining system with much deeper foundations to work on your slope especially if the surface soils are already moving downhill.

Do you have access to your slope for heavy equipment from above? The plan you mentioned with 3' high Keystone walls will require many walls. You'd be excavating your entire slope and it looks like you'd have to have a wall every 5'. Paying the nominal price for a permit and doing the job right may be less expensive and provide a better solution than going the long way around just to avoid permits.
 
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Old 12-18-16, 07:46 AM
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Thanks a lot Pilot,

I am aware that taking the permit is better and I may end up doing it anyway, I just cant afford hiring someone else. My friend has experience with retaining walls and offered help, that's about it. I did hire the engineer though and he was the one the suggested two walls, but he is soil engineer so no plans or drawing were provided.
I don't know if the slope was taking the patio with it, but I did notice that pavers developed some larger than usual cracks between them, that's what alarmed me of my problem the most. Before adding the concrete band I pounded 3" galvanized pipes 3ft apart into the ground hoping it will help stopping whatever has already started, but I know retaining walls are needed.
I do not have the access for heavy equipment to my slope unfortunately.
If I build 6' retaining walls, does it look like I may need just two?
What about digging into a solid rock, or should I say avoiding it.
 
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Old 12-22-16, 10:31 AM
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Hire a good geotechnical engineer to evaluate the slope problems. It will be money well spent so that any work you do won't end up in the neighbors yard or worse in the street down slope.
 
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Old 01-21-17, 12:14 PM
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Terracing with Formablok's will allow the ground to "perk" naturally while holding your existing soils in position.. Probably your cheapest option............
 
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Old 01-22-17, 11:40 AM
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Thank you Creator,

maybe cheapest but also the longest. I also suspect that I really can't buy concrete cheaper than premade Keystone block with all correct dimensions and pin placement.
 
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