Additional Retaining wall for a steep slope

disqimationSeptember 10, 2013

Hello everyone.

My wife and I just bought a house and I want to build a retaining wall behind an existing retaining wall. In the backyard is a fairly steep hill and we currently have no seating area, just a narrow gravel walkway that wraps around the house. There is a brick retaining wall that is approx. 3' high. What I want to do is, dig up a flat surface that is the height of the current retaining wall so that it can act as a sort of elevated patio.

My main question is, can I dig up and level off a platform(about 10' deep) and build another retaining wall behind and above the orginal 3' wall? My idea is that there would be one wall(the existing wall) about 6' from the house, and then you could step up onto that wall and there would be another wall 10' further out(which would be about 5' tall)

Would it even work, or would the second wall just topple over? If it would work, would I need to do anything to the area that will be used as a patio?

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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Design wise there is almost always a way to do this, it is the engineering that has to be sorted out .

Your best bet would to speak to a local structural or soils engineer and they can either draw you up a set of plans with footing details and the appropriate required calculations for your building permit and or you can work in tandum with a designer and an engineer.

In most locations you will require a permit to build such a structure that has the attached calculations and is wet stamped by an engineer.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:18PM
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^^^what she said. You need to keep in mind two important facts about what you're proposing. First. a 5' wall by itself is usually right on the bubble (around here, anyhow) regarding whether or not it needs an engineer's stamp or you can use typical wall details. Second, an upper wall often creates additional loads on the lower wall. If that's determined to be the case, that lower wall may not be sufficient as built.

tl/dr; talk to a local pro

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 8:49AM
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It sounds like you are asking if a design you are composing in your head will work. But your description is unclear. I don't understand the details of what you are proposing or the conditions of the site. It would be helpful if you add a picture(s) that explains the existing conditions and if possible, a sketch that shows the layout of what you are proposing. Or you might be interested in hearing how others would consider solving the problem (...?)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Why not build a deck?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

I'm with the deck dude! We are on a severe slope, and we have decks off every bedroom in the house, and at floor level there are many more.

I think you are at the bottom of your hill. We are on top, so there is a difference.

But Decks will give you what you want at a cheaper price. They will NOT fix your erosion problem.


Good luck! We went cheap with pressure treated wood, coated with some lovely cheap gray paint, and it all works well


    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 5:36PM
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