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UK diy (uk.d-i-y) For the discussion of all topics related to diy (do-it-yourself) in the UK. All levels of experience and proficency are welcome to join in to ask questions or offer solutions.

Building a retaining wall next to house wall.



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 22nd 04, 06:44 PM
Adam
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Default Building a retaining wall next to house wall.

Hi All,

Time to test your expertise again...

We're doing a lot of work in the (very small) garden in our colonies
property in Edinburgh. Polly wants to have a raised bed next to the
house wall (it's actually the wall of our downstairs neighbour,
despite this being our garden), but we can't actually stack soil up
against the wall as this will traverse the damp course. The plan is to
build a wall about 20cm away from the house wall to retain the raised
bed - probably about 50-60cm high - and have gravel in the gap.

We've dug a trench for the footing and about to lay the concrete and
some reinforcing rods (salvaged from an old iron fence). The trench is
about 40cm deep and 50cm wide by about 5.6m long (almost the width of
the garden) and is dug down directly next to the house wall. I was
planning to lay the concrete footing directly against the house wall,
because I assumed this would add stability. I'm not so sure this is a
good idea now, for a couple of reasons: the need to add an expansion
joint between the footings and the house wall and the need to put a
fall into the concrete's upper surface away from the wall.

Should I have some soil between the house wall and the footing?
Something else, perhaps, and if so, what? Any other advice?

Thanks in advance - Adam...
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  #2  
Old May 23rd 04, 12:47 PM
stuart noble
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Default Building a retaining wall next to house wall.


Adam wrote in message . ..
Hi All,

Time to test your expertise again...

We're doing a lot of work in the (very small) garden in our colonies
property in Edinburgh. Polly wants to have a raised bed next to the
house wall (it's actually the wall of our downstairs neighbour,
despite this being our garden), but we can't actually stack soil up
against the wall as this will traverse the damp course. The plan is to
build a wall about 20cm away from the house wall to retain the raised
bed - probably about 50-60cm high - and have gravel in the gap.

We've dug a trench for the footing and about to lay the concrete and
some reinforcing rods (salvaged from an old iron fence). The trench is
about 40cm deep and 50cm wide by about 5.6m long (almost the width of
the garden) and is dug down directly next to the house wall. I was
planning to lay the concrete footing directly against the house wall,
because I assumed this would add stability. I'm not so sure this is a
good idea now, for a couple of reasons: the need to add an expansion
joint between the footings and the house wall and the need to put a
fall into the concrete's upper surface away from the wall.

Should I have some soil between the house wall and the footing?
Something else, perhaps, and if so, what? Any other advice?


I've seen this done with a series of four sided brick troughs, leaving an
inch or so clearance behind, and random distances between them. A single
structure may be vulnerable to frost expansion, especially if the soil is
heavy. I can't see that you'd need an expansion joint between the house wall
and the footings over a 50cm span, or a fall for that matter. There isn't
going to be surface water running towards the house.
I have a raised bed over a similar length, but only 3 bricks high, so it has
no footings other than a 4th brick underground. Works really well and saves
the old back a bit.


  #3  
Old May 24th 04, 02:41 PM
Adam
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Default Building a retaining wall next to house wall.

"stuart noble" wrote in message ...
-8- snip -8-

I've seen this done with a series of four sided brick troughs, leaving an
inch or so clearance behind, and random distances between them. A single
structure may be vulnerable to frost expansion, especially if the soil is
heavy. I can't see that you'd need an expansion joint between the house wall
and the footings over a 50cm span, or a fall for that matter. There isn't
going to be surface water running towards the house.
I have a raised bed over a similar length, but only 3 bricks high, so it has
no footings other than a 4th brick underground. Works really well and saves
the old back a bit.


Thanks for the response, Stuart. It sounds like I've totally
over-engineered it from the description of your retaining wall; ours
probably isn't going to be much higher.

In the end (as your response hadn't appeared by the time I started
work) I shuttered the first ~120mm of the trench nearest the house
wall, laid rubble, then gravel, then sand in the bottom (to a depth of
about 150mm), then laid a 150mm deep concrete footing with the rods
from the iron fence supporting it and exposed by about 200mm out of
the top. I plan to fill the 120mm shuttered gap with gravel when the
shuttering comes out. Hopefully that will be plenty strong enough and
will drain well...

Cheers - Adam.
  #4  
Old May 24th 04, 04:19 PM
stuart noble
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Posts: n/a
Default Building a retaining wall next to house wall.


Thanks for the response, Stuart. It sounds like I've totally
over-engineered it from the description of your retaining wall

I think so. As it isn't very high, and isn't going to take any weight, the
only thing you have to think about is the soil. Ours is pretty sandy, but a
clay soil can exert a lot of pressure when it freezes.
I left a gap here and there in the mortar on the bottom course for drainage.
I wish I'd left a few more to grow trailing plants from. Lavender's pretty
good for hiding the brickwork.


 




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