Help with retaining wall lumber size ?

cimmarynFebruary 6, 2009

I am planning to replace a railroad tie wall with landscape timbers. Quotes I have gotten indicate 6X6X8 is the size to use. Any reason I could not use 4X4X8 instead? I can get a better price on this size, comparatively. I just don't know if there is a particular reason to use the larger size.

The wall will be 6-8 ft. tall. -- approximately 1500 square ft. total.

Any advice or help is appreciated.


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4x4 is not strong enough. In fact, 6x6 is only strong enough if designed properly for the application.

Walls over 4' high are required by state law (I believe every state) to have a structural engineer involved. Yes, people build them over 4' without an engineer and get away with it. It is only a problem when it fails and wrecks property or injures or kills someone. Then you are in really big trouble as well as well as having to deal with the loss.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:09AM
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You will also need a building permit as well and unless the permit application reflects a correctly structurally designed wall that meets code, it won't be issued. Attempting to short circuit these procedures could result in your needing to dismantle and rebuild the wall correctly, which would be a huge and unnecessary expense.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:56AM
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Thank you for the input. If I hire a structural engineer, is there any reason I cannot build the wall to his specifications myself?

Would I be better off using railroad ties, instead of landscaping timbers?


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:51AM
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Yes, you could build it yourself. Design the layout and heights of the wall before you get involved with the engineer no matter what quality of drafting you have. That can reduce the amount of time it takes for the engineer to understand what you want at minimum and save a lot of design time if you have better developed plans.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Thank you!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Hi there!
If you need any kind of drafting assistance, just drop a mail, I assure you a high quality of drafting with an economical base.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 12:58AM
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Two years ago.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:26PM
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