Increase Block Wall Height


Old 08-17-18, 02:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Increase Block Wall Height

Hello All,

I have a block wall on the rear of my house that I want to add some blocks to increase privacy. The tallest portions of the wall are a couple inches under 6' tall and the the shorter sections are just about 5' tall. My house backs up to condos so people are walking by all the time and I just want the extra privacy. The total run of the wall I want to raise is about 80 feet, so by math to add 1 layer of bricks to the tall parts and 2 blocks to the shorter parts I need 102 blocks. I had a couple local contractors (Phoenix, AZ) come out to quote this project and all the quotes came in around $2500-$3000 so I have decided to tackle this project myself and want to make sure I have all my bases covered. Also when one of the companies came out to quote it they said that the footers were sufficient to handle the height increase, and my neighbors have almost all done the same thing, so I am not terribly worried about that. My basic plan for the job is below:

1. Remove the column caps
2. Drill into the existing wall and epoxy in 1/2" rebar every 8" to a height of 1" shorter than the desired height of the finished wall.
3. Mortar the first layer of blocks into place
4. Fill the blocks with concrete
5. Mortar the second layer of blocks into place where needed
6. Fill the second layer blocks with concrete
7. Mortar column caps into place
8. Drink a beer and enjoy my privacy!

Am I missing anything here? I've done my research and think I have considered everything, but the $3000 estimates have me nervous. By my math it seems like $250 in material and a day of labor for me and friend.

Thanks in advance for your response!
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Old 08-17-18, 04:58 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 21,396
Your existing blocks are "solids".
Old 08-17-18, 04:59 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 21,396
Your existing blocks appear to be "solids".
Old 08-19-18, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 572
As XSleeper said, what you have is solid blocks which appear to be about 3" thick (they may be 4" but it's hard to tell from the photos). You're going to have to be very careful drilling into those for the rebar, if you push it very hard it's quite likely the blocks will split out. Also, since they are solid you probably just want you short pieces of rebar between each course instead of trying to drill all the way through each block to extend the next layer up.

Actually, I would probably not use vertical reinforcing but instead use ladder reinforcing between courses. Something like this: 2" Ladder Reinforcing This will lock all the blocks in a section together and keep the wall from flexing. You also are going to have to remove all the pain from the top course so the mortar adheres properly.

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