Cinder block retaining wall

Old 09-24-01, 02:33 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I hired a licensed contractor to build a 3' tall retaining wall, 170' long. On top of the retaining wall will later (next year) be mounted a 4' tall wall, and it will all be stucco'ed. But for now, I am doing only the retaining wall.

The retaining wall is build of 8"x8"x16" cinder blocks; it sits on top of a 24" wide, 8" tall poured concrete footing.

The first row of cinder blocks were laid in the still wet concrete of the footing; the blocks are spaced 1/2"-3/4" apart with no mortar in vertical spaces. Only the horizontal surface are separated with mortar. According to books I found on tbuilding block walls, this is not the standard method. Am I in for big trouble?

I had asked the contractor to put in vertical reinforcement for the final wall (i.e. 6' tall) and anchor these rebars in the footing, but for some reason that did not happen. The contractor said the reinforcement could be done later. Does that sound right? Also, do I need more horizontal reinforcement as the wall go up? Currently only the footing is reinforced.

BTW, I am living in earthquake country, no-freeze zone.

please advise me ASAP
Thanks, Elin
Old 09-24-01, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,018
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Earthquake, as in California! Your question about reinforcing pertains to engineering. Consult a licensed engineer. A licensed contractor cannot certify the design, but might instead use empirical methodology for design and construction.

Rebar could be grouted within the cores for the upper wall section, but I doubt that the footing would be drilled for rebar. Setting blocks in the still wet footing is a field practice used by some masons for "garden walls" but joint width is usually more contolled.

I believe CA follows the UBC. If so, retaining walls must be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practice...yadah, yahad..., [in your case that includes seismic loads], but retaining walls 4' or less in height (meastured from the base of the footing) and not supporting a surcharge or impounding flamable liquids are exempted work.
Old 09-29-01, 07:24 PM
some help
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
What are you planning to use to hold the framing on the wall on the block? bolts, straps, post bases or a vertical post of steel every so far to keep it strait?...Good Luck

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: