Oct 28, 2009 10:35 am
Took last week off after months of pressure from the darls & decided to build myself "a wall". Also wanted to get some turf done at the same time but didn't quite get there. Got the ground rotary hoed & some "stinky soil" trucked in, which was a start.
Anyway, back to the wall. Just over 1 metre high & about 11 metres in length. 3 courses with 3 high at the bottom, 4 in the middle & 3 at the top. 4 sets of steps (2 missing as I didn't order enough ). In total there were about 500 bricks to do the job. Also did a garden bed along the back wall as well. The blocks are called "Stackstone" & they are in Ivory. Once the first course is done, they are very easy to lay. Recommend doing it yourself rather than paying someone $$$$ to do it. Rough cost was about $1660 for all bricks & $75 for a 1½ metres of crushed rock. Borrowed the wacker off the brother-in-law. Labour $0 (back is still killing me though)
Each section sits on a bed of 20mm crushed rock, compacted down with a wacker.
Unfortunately the delivery guys forklift wouldn't fit through the side gate so I had to barrow all of them to the back yard (9kgs each ), same with the soil (10m³).
Just have to work out what I will put in the bottom corner of the yard now. It's a shame that all you can see from the house is the top row of bricks, so I need to build something that will make us want to go down there to enjoy it... All suggestions welcome.
Re: My Retaining Wall4
Oct 28, 2009 11:07 am
Was thinking of running power down there for either a water feature or maybe a nice Japanese Maple with a light shining on it ontop of a small deck. Someone also mentioned to put some type of mirror on the deck so that the wall could be seen from the top from the reflection. Would also make the area look alot larger. I like the idea.. Just need to find some pics of something similar.
Re: My Retaining Wall6
Oct 28, 2009 9:22 pm
Just try and mix that soil through the clay you have rather than do a layer on top. You should find why that is easy enough in some of my other posts in here, unlike the task itself
(ie turf laying summary)
Hire a little rotary tiller to do the work for you You will thank me in years to come, some sand wouldn't go astray either You'll love it ... sorry, your back hurts already ( )
The wall looks ace
Re: My Retaining Wall7
Oct 29, 2009 8:44 am
Step lights would look nice - we have two on ours but couldnt put any along the wall as we thought of it too late. But the step light give subtle lights on the stairs and it looks good at night.
Uplights on any feature (big pot, water feature or a tree) would look excellent.
Are those bricks concreted? A friend used a similar one on his on two tiers, with the top tier being his lawn like yours and it started moving after several years. But I think your tiers are not as high as his so maybe that's why his became unstable.
Looks good anyway, dont forget to show off when your project is all done!
Re: My Retaining Wall8
Oct 30, 2009 8:35 am
Chocoholic: They haven't been concreted in. Each level sits on a 100-150mm course of compacted 20mm crushed rock. Also each row is only 300-400mm high. Not much weight behind each. Was also going to adhere the top of each row down as there is a little movement on a couple of the bricks & the steps as well.
Fu: Was actually going to ask you about this. I will be turning over the soil again to mix through the layers. Also add all the goodies that you recommend... Powerfeed, seasol, molassas etc before I lay the turf. In some parts of the ground, before I added topsoil, I could turn over 100-150mm of soil, whereas in other parts the rotary hoe barely scratched the surface... 20mm tops! Is this going to make a big difference to the way the turf "takes" to the soil?
Was also going to put in irrigation through the lawn as I have a water tank & pump. About 9 of the pop up type sprinkler heads. What are your thoughts on this... A little bit of overkill maybe
Re: My Retaining Wall9
Oct 30, 2009 9:46 am
Lovely! Looks like a professional job to me.
You have the perfect location for a "lower lager lounge". Decking would be awesome, some comfy seating, a shade tree, somewhere to put the coldies....
Built PD Bridgeport 35; moved in December 2008.
Moving on up
Re: My Retaining Wall10
Oct 31, 2009 1:11 pm
Hi Firthy - top job, look fantastic.
I have a few questions as I'm looking at doing my backyard soon....
- How did you find doing the steps? Did you concrete them in or are the blocks stable enough to just lay them like the rest of the wall?
- I did a smaller/simpler wall at the front of my place and just compacted the base with a sledge hammer and wooden block as the ground was so hard there was no give in it anyway. But I found that getting the level correct was a 'block by block' process and was very time consuming. After you used the wacker did you do anything else to get the levels just right? I found the surface has to be perfectly flat or ir looks rubbish. Do you have any easy technique here?
- What brand are the blocks you are using and where did you get them from? I used Austral Linkwall which is more expensive and I found the size inconsistant which made laying them alot harder.
Re: My Retaining Wall12
Nov 05, 2009 9:26 am
How did you find doing the steps? Did you concrete them in or are the blocks stable enough to just lay them like the rest of the wall?
Once I worked out how far I had to come out from where the top level would meet the turf & how far down I had to dig the trench, the steps just fell into place. I put compacted crushed rock beneath them as well as the brick at the front that it sits on & they're very solid. I will (when I get time) liquid nail them to the brick underneath so there won't be any movement down the track.
What brand are the blocks you are using and where did you get them from?
The brand of bricks are called "stackstone" (made by ECS Masonary) & they are in Ivory. Got them from a place in Fountain Gate called Brick n Pave http://www.bricknpave.com.au/Products.htm. They have some spring specials on atm which works out pretty cheap for what I needed. Very helpful too.
After you used the wacker did you do anything else to get the levels just right?
I made sure the crushed rock was as level as possible before I started laying the first course. As you said, it takes a while doing it this way, but I was happy with the finished product. It would have been easier to put a course of sand ontop of the rock & lay the bricks on that, or a mortar mix instead of sand.
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