Building raised driveway

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Old 09-25-15, 08:14 AM
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Building raised driveway

Hi all. I was thinking about turning part of the yard along side the house into a gravel driveway. It is on a slant with about a 1 foot difference from the top and where I plan to end the driveway. Just a simple 10x16 or so is all I'm looking for. My idea was to dig a small ditch (just large enough to fit a landscaping timber) on both sides and drive some rebar into the ground all around. Then I plan to pour about a 6" concrete footer the whole way around to give the timbers a flat surface and hold the rebar in place. Next, use the timbers (the 3x5 oval shaped ones) with holes drilled and place over the rebar until I have an even level surface. Then I plan to fill with gravel. Would this be a suitable build to hole the weight of about a foot of gravel and the weight of the cars? My fear is that the lower wall may begin to lean outwards and ultimately collapse. Any suggestions aside from having a professional lay blocking? Thank you all
 
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Old 09-25-15, 09:28 AM
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Read up on retaining walls because it sounds like that's what you will be building. No, I do not think the decorative 3x5 landscape timbers will be sufficient. They may hold for a while but I think things would lean or fail in a few years. I'm a fan of dry stack retaining wall blocks. Not the little decorative ones you see at home centers but the larger, commercial sized ones that are actually an engineered product designed for structural retaining walls.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 12:16 PM
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And when the rebar you've driven into the ground corrodes to the extent it can no longer support dead load and live load shear forces , then what? Tear it all apart and start over, before everything winds up in your neighbor's yard?

"Cheap and easy" is rarely a good option for permanent structures.
 
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Old 09-25-15, 03:01 PM
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Landscape timbers are not even rated for below grade. (read the lable)
 
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Old 09-25-15, 04:41 PM
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So basically from looking around my best option would maybe be a mortar and concrete block "retaining wall". It's not as much as I was expecting the cost to be, just more labor intensive. In the end I guess it will be worth it
 
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Old 09-26-15, 11:00 AM
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Laying up block with mortar will take a lot longer (and require more skill) than a dry-stack block wall, as mentioned by Dane. Keeping in mind a concrete footing is required for the former, while the latter just needs a compacted course of gravel instead of a concrete footing. If you've never laid (mortared) block before, you might be biting off more than you can chew.
 
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