Struggling with Retaining Wall decisions

pfa95August 4, 2012

We have about a 100 foot railroad tie wall that goes from ground level to a height of 3 feet in its center. The thing is rotting, so we're looking to replace. I'm down to two contractors I like - both have offered a quote for treated pine and for concrete stones. The two quotes for the pine are around $8000 each. I've been heavily leaning toward the stone though, because I'd prefer to avoid the rot, bugs, etc.

Where I'm struggling though is the two quotes seem similar in supplies. However, one is about $10K, the other is about $13K. They both said they use Anchor diamond blocks.

I tried to get a few more estimates, but one guy was way off, and others are not interested because of disposing of the ties.

They both have good references, no BBB complaints, have been around forever. I just have no way at this point to determine which difference between the wood/stone seems more realistic.

Anybody have experience that could offer any insight? This is the first major project where I actually feel a little lost on which way to go. I don't want to overspend now, but I sure don't want to redo this in a few years either...

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Have you asked them why they're $3k away from the other guy?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:03PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

It's not surprising the aggregate quote is higher. Do you plan to stay in the property for a long time? Go with the longer lasting, hassle free material.
I've dug up a 25-30 year old timber garden wall that was buried for ~5 years by another landscaping project. I've never seen something teaming with so many termites. Once whatever preservatives are added leach out, you have a termite paradise.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:14PM
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Wonder if you're willing to consider other options. First, disposing of the ties could be done by a different contractor. My primary thought is that you explore other than the concrete or timber, perhaps stacked stone/stacked natural block. If you are open to other suggestions, think you'll get a lot of help from people who know walls better than I.

HTH, Rosie

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:15PM
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PFA, read this link. It might inspire you. A search of Gardenweb will give you lots more information.

Here is a link that might be useful: building stone wall

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:36PM
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