Landscape Design forum: Retaining Wall Measuring on a Slope

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
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bloominholes2fill
Jul 27, 2017 8:27 AM CST
Hi Gang! I will be installing a retaining wall on a sloped area of our yard that will incorporate the front border garden around the corner of our porch to the side garden. We inherited flagstone border that is just a mess, 27 years ago, and it's time to clean it up!

So, I'm a gal who's career was drawing residential plans, for 23 1/2 years, and I'm pretty well versed on the ins and outs. No idea why, but I really get "balled up" on how to figure out how far down to dig for that foundation course of a retaining wall on a slope! Blinking Blinking

I've been searching on youtube, but I have yet to find specifics on how to figure this out, in order to wind up with the top of the wall to be finished off flush with the rest of the retaining hard scape, in the front, that consists of only one course. Thus far, all of the videos that I've found skip the measuring step!! Grumbling I found some instructions with an idea on height, but I need full instruction from start to finish! I can then draw it up with measurements. Smiling Smiling

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Video links are of particular help to me, if possible!!

Southeast corner location of retaining wall. Flag bunting is on the front railing of the porch.
Thumb of 2017-07-27/bloominholes2fill/cca88b

Thumb of 2017-07-27/bloominholes2fill/ee575c

The wall would be placed 48" out from the side of the porch, which is the property line. So the stone border, in the photo, is in the approximate location of the property line.
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
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[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Jul 27, 2017 9:07 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1513429 (1)
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Aug 20, 2017 11:59 AM CST
No takers?? Shrug!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
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Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
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GaNinFl
Aug 26, 2017 8:28 AM CST
Surprised you haven't had any takers... have you tried to search how to measure a retaining wall on a slope. I tried and found a few videos.

Here is a link for one of the videos I watched this morning. Hope it is helpful.
https://youtu.be/T3BLAUarF2Y
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Aug 27, 2017 9:37 AM CST
GaNinFl said:Surprised you haven't had any takers... have you tried to search how to measure a retaining wall on a slope. I tried and found a few videos.

Here is a link for one of the videos I watched this morning. Hope it is helpful.
https://youtu.be/T3BLAUarF2Y


Stan, I've hunted and hunted for youtube videos and drafted out images alike, but to no avail! Blinking This is a great video! I think I can figure it out without the app that they refer to......although I'm no longer getting paid to do math equations! Blinking Crossing Fingers! Whistling Whistling

Thank you very much!! Thank You!
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
Name: Stan
Florida Panhandle (Defuniak Sp (Zone 8b)
Region: Florida Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Daylilies Lilies Keeps Horses
Dog Lover Garden Photography Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover
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GaNinFl
Aug 27, 2017 9:56 AM CST
Welcome! hope it works out for you. Look forward to seeing progress photos.
Stan
(Georgia Native in Florida)
http://garden.org/blogs/view/G...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Aug 27, 2017 10:18 AM CST
I have no idea! Maybe one. Find the highest point you want the wall to be and put a stake there. Then put a stake at the other end of where you are working. There is a level you can buy that threads onto the string to make sure you are working level. Then you just lay your stone according to what you need. You want any footer underneath to be 18inches deep -I think that is right for zone 6 (below frost line).
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Aug 27, 2017 11:31 AM CST
Frillylily said:I have no idea! Maybe one. Find the highest point you want the wall to be and put a stake there. Then put a stake at the other end of where you are working. There is a level you can buy that threads onto the string to make sure you are working level. Then you just lay your stone according to what you need. You want any footer underneath to be 18inches deep -I think that is right for zone 6 (below frost line).


Yeah, I have all the tools (I use them more than the DH does) nodding nodding
That's basically what the video shows, and it's really what I was thinking. Everything that I've seen and read is that only one course of retaining wall block is necessary, for the foundation of the wall, laid over well tamped ground, followed by well tamped patio paving base and sand. Smiling The patio base will adjust with the freeze/thaw cycle expanding and contracting the soil, as well as a good amount of gravel sandwiched between the back of the retaining wall and the soil, for ground movement and good drainage. I don't think it will be so tall that I'll need perforated drain tile behind there.

I've had a little practice with a small project at the entry to the pathway, from the other end of that same side yard, which still slopes to the neighbors driveway. It was more trial and error, so I really need something that is more time-saving than my usual trial and error ways turn out to be! D'Oh! D'Oh! nodding

BTW, 36" is below frost line, here. Some will argue 32", but 36" is the safest to go. I drew residential plans, additions, garages and decks for 23 1/2" years... Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Aug 28, 2017 8:18 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1536733 (7)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Aug 27, 2017 9:21 PM CST
What are you going to make the retaining wall out of?

If you are going to try to use flagstone, good luck, it is by guess and by gosh.

I put in retaining wall, block type and field stone, the base -- crushed rock and sand -- and that includes what is under the top laye is what is important, screw that up and nothing will work for very long.
If any part of the base is not solid, the whole thing will move.

If you think you can start away from the end point and make it match, do not, for every one thousand attempts, 999.7 fail.
[Last edited by RpR - Aug 27, 2017 9:26 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1537106 (8)
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Aug 28, 2017 10:53 AM CST
@RpR useful advice on my question for the first step of measuring, for a retaining wall on a slope, would be very much appreciated. Smiling

In case, perhaps, it wasn't quite clear in my posts on this thread, I got this (the rest, that is).... Thumbs up
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Aug 28, 2017 8:10 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1537342 (9)
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Aug 28, 2017 8:28 PM CST
You do not measure for a retaining wall; you measure for the compacting action of paving stones but for retaining walls you are laying to see how close you are to desired level and adjust to make it fit as you desire.
The base, which is what must be done right to stop sinking or moving is what most time is spent on.
The only measuring is in a lateral style to some times make it fit a constrained space and that is fixed with a stone saw.

Retaining walls, true retaining walls are just that, they hold some thing back. Design means nothing if in x years it all has moved.
As I said, if you are using those flagstones it will all be by guess and by gosh with no guarantee of how it turns out.

If you are thinking of the slope as in, x inches per x feet as is used for paving stones, that does not work for retaining walls and the numbers the x perts give are bs.
If I ever laid pavers at that much slope I would have to go back and fix it as they would have stuff rolling off of the edge.

[Last edited by RpR - Aug 29, 2017 4:59 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1537674 (10)
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Aug 29, 2017 12:49 AM CST
Wow....just wow....
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized.".....Yours Truly
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...

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