Retaining wall suggestions


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Old 07-14-23, 07:05 PM
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Retaining wall suggestions

Getting closer to getting our home rebuilt (new construction) after losing ours to a fire in Dec. We wanted to keep our original layout of a walkout basement, But do to some other designs of the new house, we'll now need to put in retaining walls.
We haven't finished with the back filling or having the "driveway" leveled out, but wanted to get some ideas before we get to the point of what/where/how our retaining walls should/could be built.
I'm not a fan of the "step down" look at the top of a retaining wall. I have seen one in our neighborhood that has his top angled down to the end. (Hope to get a picture of that someday).
Here is what the current grade looks like.....the left side of the house is much steeper than the right.


Ideas anyone??
Thanks!
 
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Old 07-14-23, 11:43 PM
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I've been looking for these pictures for years, just found them!

Boulder walls, this was my summer project 2 homes ago, 180 tons of boulders, me an my little John Deere built it all by hand!

No matter what you do, "go big" with the material, that is what makes it look good, not those cheap little retaining blocks!



 
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Old 07-15-23, 06:15 AM
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A lot depends on where you are located. If in the northeast where nice granite blocks are affordable I'd go that route. Down here in NC my pick would be one of the engineered, pre-cast retaining wall block systems.
 
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Old 07-15-23, 08:11 AM
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De[ems pm the look your going for, causal or formal.

Nice thing about boulders, if the ground shifts a bit they dont care!
 
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Old 07-15-23, 10:43 AM
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I, too, am a fan of stone walls mostly since they are similar to my fieldstone foundation. Here are some examples in my driveway projects. The walls are natural stone with mortared joints.


This is how it looked in 1978 when the driveway was first excavated and walls were built with railroad ties. My daughter is now 50!

By 2007 the wood wall on the left was beginning to fall over so we replaced it with stone when we transformed our front lawn to a woodland garden. The wood wall on the right was left as a cost saving measure so we could install granite steps.

The original wood retaining wall on this side also shifted over time and began to push the granite steps out of alignment. This stone wall replaced it in 2022.
 
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Old 07-26-23, 03:39 PM
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Thanks everyone for the pictures you responded with! Some very nice looking retaining walls for sure! Still undecided on how we want or (can afford more specifically) want to go about this. Our insurance funds are just about at the max and our house isn't completed yet. Not knowing what to expect for the rest of the landscaping (i.e. backfilling, etc) it makes me think we'll be limited on what we can do. We live on a dead end road (only 2 other homes here) so not looking to trying to make any type of 'curb appeal', just functional (especially for mowing the yard!) I did get some pictures of the retaining wall that I saw and really like the concept, just not sure how this was done and what type of costs might be involved.
Hope the people how live here didn't mind me taking the pictures! I didn't see anyone home to ask.

Didn't realize there was a drain in this wall until I was close enough to get a picture! How is this "pebbly" look made??

I like the flat angled look.

Wall goes behind this boat.
 
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Old 07-27-23, 05:07 AM
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That looks like a poured in place wall with an exposed aggregate finish. Not cheap. It would require a poured concrete footer similar to what your house has which is a significant part of the expense. Basically any kind of solid concrete wall (poured, cement block...) is going to require a proper footer which bumps up the cost. Dry stack walls (stone, engineered retaining wall blocks...) can be set on a base of compacted stone which helps keep their cost down.
 
 

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