Retaining Wall – Part 1

Those of you reading out there may have noticed that I took last week off from the blog. I try to stay consistent with my posts, but with the storm two weekends ago and the power outage, I didn’t post until the middle of that week. On top of that, I began a project that has been taking up a lot of my time and making me pretty exhausted: building a new retaining wall.

Our property, amongst other issues, is significantly higher than our rear neighbors. On the east side of the workshop, there is was a chain link fence that held up our entire yard (not ideal).

It’s kind of hard to tell here, but that chain link fence on the left is holding up about 2′ of our yard.

The storm which took out our tree a couple of weekends ago also took down the fence between us and our back neighbor (as well as a bunch of other things). Because of this, it was the perfect time to build an actual retaining wall to protect the workshop from collapsing long term.

The first step was to remove the chain link fence. Not an easy task considering how many roots have been growing through the fence for decades.

Taking chain link out with roots around is a pain in the buttocks. Also, we found all of those pavers/bricks buried where we were digging.

Once I removed the chain link fence I started to dig the trench for the retaining wall. We are installing a timber wall. It is relatively cheap, simple to install (if not a lot of manual labor), and I actually like the way it looks. In order to make sure the wall is stable, I had to dig the trench down a full 6” past ground level. This will keep the first layer of timbers buried. I also had to dig back 12” into our yard to give a full 6” for a drainage pipe and gravel backfill. It definitely makes me a little nervous to have so little room before the workshop falls off of a cliff.

Mostly done with the trench here. Some widening and leveling required for the timber installation.

It was a ton of manual labor to dig the trench in one weekend, but I’m glad we got it done. While I was digging the trench our neighbors behind us were pulling out the old fence posts, so it was a veritable work party. Next up, installing the actual timbers.

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