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Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)

 
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:43 PM   #1
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Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Hi guys,
I have a question that maybe you guys can clear up for me. I have a buddy that says I do not need to use crush gravel rock on my base if I'm using timber. I have only built two retaining walls so far. They have come out pretty good, I'm happy to say. He says. "I should just stake the timber to the ground. As long as i have my drain pipe properly buried i would have no problem with drainage. Is there anyone else that agrees with this? I have never heard of such a thing. Please enlighten me if you can. Thanks in advance for the lesson.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Are you suggesting placing wood on the ground and putting a retaining wall on it to level the wall? I might not be understanding. This sounds crazy to me. The wood will rot and the wall fall over or go out of plumb as the natural decay process progresses.

Stick with compacted rock for a base.

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:36 AM   #3
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Personally I would use a gravel footing for any wall but then again personally I would not build a wood retaining wall. We always build segmental retaining walls.

Many factors come into play when building a retaining wall. Soil composition, height of wall, slopes above or below the wall, etc. If it is a very short wall you could probably get away without a gravel footing but to me gravel is easier to level than soil. Make sure you embed enough courses below grade to stabilize the base of the wall and off you go..
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Gravel will filter the water and allow it to
flow through whatever weep areas are available.
There are plenty of wood retaining walls around.
Railroad ties and pressure treated timber work well
and can be seen along Americas highways.
In the mines, wood has been used for centuries
to hold back the earth.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Yes, I would put the timber right on the ground. I agree with AltRemodeling, it would seem that gravel would work best for leveling. No doubt about it. A couple of the premier wall builders in my town, both agree that there's no need for gravel. They say all that is needed is timber, 6 inch nails, period. They claim to not use any rebar, no 12 inch spikes or anything. The wall is 40 feet long and 3 feet high on one side, 2 feet on the other. Driveway in the middle. I'm beginning to wonder if there are joking.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


I dont know I'd be safe and put atleast a 6" base. We have craptastic timber retaining wall on the front of the tuck under house that leads up to the front door thats causing alot of problems. Basically the whole thing is settling downwards and out pulling stoop and driveway edge downward. I know theres more to it then just a bad retaining wall but I dont think it helps it anyway. I see a awful lot landscrapers causing problems trying to cheap out on basic construction practices.
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


I agree. I'm to going to do what i know, gravel base it is. I want to thank all you guys for the advise and help. This is one of the best sites for contractors hands down. Thanks again.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:05 AM   #8
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


I've only ever built stone or block walls and always use gravel.

but I know guys who build it with wood and they don't use gravel. Make sure you do proper deadmen, and I guess it would be fine.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Winchester thanks, for the feedback. Deadmen are the very essence of timber walls. Not properly assemble would be a waste of time and money. I can assure you the customer would not be please in a couple years. Thanks again.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:32 AM   #10
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Re: Base Of Retaining Wall (Timber)


Compacted soil, rebar, ten inch nails and deadmen.

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