Bought an old house with leaning retaining wall, what to do.


Old 06-18-18, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 65
Bought an old house with leaning retaining wall, what to do.

This old house we bought had a driveway and a below grade sideload garage in the end of the driveway. There was an "L" shape retaining wall built around that driveway. Long side of that "L" seperate this house from neighbor's lot. Judging from the style and looks of the wall, it was built by the previous owner (the one even before this seller, so at least six years ago)

Next door was a tear-down rebuilt, and we do not know for how long that retaining wall has been leaning, and not very clear if it lands right on the boundary or it's entirely on my side. But now the wall is leaning towards the driveway, and the home inspector said it needed to be fixed, and it probably won't be cheap. The general contractor who is doing renovation of our house said the same thing, but suggested that it could be caused by the heavy machinery coming in and out of nextdoor lot during the construction.

First time SFH owner, so I had no experience dealing this type of scenario. A friend of mine suggested me talking to the new owner about this safety concern, and the cost might be shared. I'm a little hesitant to be the unfriendly newly moved-in neighbor to welcome another new mover with such a request.

Questions are:
1. in this case, who holds the responsibility of repairing this (as a safety concern), I don't want the logs from that leaning retaining wall to collapse or pile on my cars or even worse, family.

2. What would be the proper fix? And what type of company should I ask? The driveway is concrete btw.

Thanks a lot.

I attached two pix, one is from 6 years ago (google streetview, so it was skewed a little), way before this new built house next door, the next one was present time.


Last edited by Mr.Nobody; 06-18-18 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 06-18-18, 03:51 PM
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I can't tell anything from those pics, they're too small. That said, retaining walls are usually better replaced than fixed and the responsible party is the one on whose property it resides.
Old 06-18-18, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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my bad, copied the wrong link.

Anyway, wall is made of wood/lumber if it's not clear from the pix, the driveway is concrete.
Old 06-19-18, 03:44 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
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More than likely it's yours but it's a situation that both owners need to be involved.

First off you need to resolve where it sits,

Any kind of freestanding wall like that is subject to shifting and to install a similar solid wall, that wont move, is pretty extensive as anchors will need to go into the upper yard to hold the wall in place.

If you had the room a bolder wall could be built, they just tend to shift a little with movements in the earth.

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