Free/cheap retaining wall


Old 11-07-04, 09:01 AM
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Question Free/cheap retaining wall


I have a long steeply, sloping back yard which I want to break up into several tiered gardens. This will mean several retaining walls & many, many, many wheel barrels of dirt & mulch. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for free or cheap materials for building the retaining walls.
I found where the county puts the free compost/mulch so that's covered.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-07-04, 09:31 AM
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Hello: Lori

Demolition sites in your area are but one source for used bricks and or blocks. Amongst other used building materials. Of course, ask before taking. Very likely the demolition foreman or supervisor will allow you to take all if not much of what you want. Providing you have the means to carry the materials home, stay away from and out of work zones, etc.

Used materials yards are also another source for many types of building and or construction materials. Used materials in reusable condition are less costly. For the purposes you intend to use the materials, used is okay.

Also might consider used railroad ties (rails) which can also be found at used building materials supply yards. Or at the railroad yards, if any are in your area. Have to be resourceful finding used materials. Time spend finding sources for used materials for the intended purpose is money well saved.

Free compost in your area? Great. Around here and most likely in other areas in the USA, our city SELLS it back to the residents whom are required to use the cycle yard waste supplied trash bins.

Oh Yeah, another fact around here. The cities contracted waste removal trash pickup company RENTS the residents the waste and trash bins. So we pay multiple times to recyle and buy back our own yard wastes....which ='s.....$$$! ($Money, $Money & More $Money)...

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Old 11-07-04, 09:40 AM
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word of caution

Railroad CROSS TIES.. The wooden parts that go between the steel rails of the railroad may contain cresote, a black oily substance that rubs off on your skin clothing and will leach into the soil thus contaminating it. I believe the usage was banned several years ago although it does take time to replace all the cross ties across the nation. Some used materials may be treated with cresote.
Old 11-07-04, 07:29 PM
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Here in racing country the material of choice for cheap retaining walls is old racing tires. You lay out a row, fill them with dirt, tamp it in real firm and set the next row. This will work with car tires but it would not be as cool as having a back yard full of racing slicks.
Old 11-07-04, 08:19 PM
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Never thought of that. Maybe I will use racing tires to level out part of my severly sloping yard.
Old 11-08-04, 06:01 PM
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We have several racers/teams in my little town and they go through a lot of tires. If you let them know you want tires they will burry you with them.

The racing slicks honestly look better than car tires. With no tread they look a bit more architectural and from a distance they do not scream "old tires".
Old 03-23-05, 02:17 PM
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In Michigan you can see many older houses using broken concrete for their retaining walls. It doesn't come with as many flat faces as bricks, but you can either find a flat face on the piece already, or cut a flat face on the piece.

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