Thursday, February 25, 2010

Building around El Nino

The lake's full just about to capacity, which is good...I've been delayed in building by rain and snow though. Twice now I've finished the concrete pour while the sleet started coming down, then scrambled to get it all covered up.
If you're like me and don't care to hear about aches and pains, skip this paragraph. My rotator cuffs (both sides, but more the right) have been giving me problems, especially at night. It was frustrating and scary---how'm I gonna build a house with arms that don't work? I decided to ignore it and try to mix 6,000 pounds of concrete and move heavy rocks anyway. Know what? Everything felt GREAT afterwards, much better than before.
The lower wall is all done. This upper wall is right on the property line. What doesn't show is the 'dead man', a concrete girder about 14" x 12" that joins the top of the lower wall with the bottom of the upper wall every 20'. They're covered by the gravel driveway. They'll keep either wall from bowing from the pressure of the hillside over time.
Most time is spent digging. Then build the forms, trying to re-use the lumber and screws as many times as possible. Then line everything with plastic---if you pour right on the soil, too much moisture is drawn from the concrete. Strip the forms. Lay a bed of concrete on the footing, start placing stones, backpour concrete against a temporary form on the backside to lock it all in. Later I'll pour an upper burb that ties everything together, which will have post holders. I have to put a fence on top of this wall since it's going to be parking right on the property line.


Lee said...

We have a similar hill type deal here that I was wanting to shore up for some more level ground. In front of our house is a poor built retaining wall that is angling out. I understand it was moved via water in the soil.

I was thinking of either getting those stackable retaining bricks or doing a pour. I was thinking of putting a French drain with pvc going through the forms for water draining.

flyingvan said...

The interlocking retainers are pretty good, but pricey and a bit trite. If you have stones, use them. It's a good way to make the property fit in with the terrain, and it's a lot cheaper. Dry stacked retaining walls can last thousands of years

Tina said...

We have mostly clay soil here. No rocks really. Even down in the river there aren't many decent-sized rocks. I don't think we could grab any, regardless.

We're still thinking...

keeka said...

We have to terrace our backyard or build a 6 ft retaining wall to do what we want to do. Unfortunately for us, a 6 ft retaining wall requires a special permit which is another cost we cannot afford. So we wait... I still want the add on before we get to the yard. Sigh...who knows when that will get done!