concrete blocks/retaining wall

30 Nov 2006
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United Kingdom
I need to build a small retaining wall to support the side of my driveway.The wall be approx 3feet high at one end and tied into an existing boundary wall.It will then slope down the driveway for 5 mtres to finish at 2 feet high .I have excavated a trench 450mm wide to a depth of approx800mm for a concrete foundation which will be 150 mm thick,I then intend to build the retaining wall using hollow concrete blocks .The drive will be excavated ect ect and then block paved.Can anybody advise me as to what type of blocks I should use and will my constuction method be ok.
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I wouldn't use hollow blocks unless you are planning to fill them with concrete. This type of wall relies on weight to resist the thrust from the retained material.
The wall is retaining very little, so I can' see a problem with hollow blocks. In fact it may help in keeping the front face relatively dry and looking better than a damp mouldy face

Make sure you fill the blocks below ground level though. Also consider what coping you will have

800 deep footings seems a bit much - was the ground soft?
If solid blocks are used rather than hollow ones, the wall will work better and therefore is less likely to move, and he avoids the need to fill the voids
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The ground was in my front garden and was topsoil so I have dug out to firm ground ie 800 mm from top of existing top soil.Have put in a foundation today and have decided to put a shutter in place and will form a wall in concrete instead of using blocks ,probably a bit over the top and when done the wall will be approx 350mm above ajacent ground level,garden was sloping previous to excavation.
OK, I presume you know about release oil on the timber to prevent the concrete sticking?

Also add more sand and cement to the mix and give it a good vibrating in the shutters to ensure the face of the concrete is smooth and 'hole' free when you remove the shuttering
Woody didn't tell him to do it in concrete, he was giving him (sound) advice about how to do it that way, as that's what he's decided to do. RTFP :)
And he dug down 800, as he was in topsoil above that. Do you just put footings into a certain depth, regardless of soil type, just because that's "what you've always done"? Again, RTFP...

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