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  1. #1
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    Any builders / landscapers out there?

    Desperate for some advice please
    We decided to build our own patio after most of the old one was demolished to have the new conservatory built. The trouble is the land is not even and it slopes away from the house in places. This would mean that we will have to build a small retaining wall approximately 200- 300 mm to keep the new patio at the required fall.

    My question is what sort of foundation would the retaining wall need? Can I just build up on a layer of MOT after digging to subgrade? Do we need to dig a trench and fill it with concrete? Do we need to use rebar?

    Of note, this area of the garden can get quite sodden in heavy rain. We are not worried about run off from the surface of the patio though as there would be a linear drain connected io surface water pipes before the edge of the patio.

    Advice is greatly appreciated as always.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    No you can't just build of type 1. For a retaining wall 300mm highx215mm wide a footing of 150 mm deep X 350mm (minimum) will be enough.
    You don't need rebar but you will need to leave open perp joints ( the vertical ones) every 900mm along the base of the wall at lowest ground level to allow any water behind the wall to escape.

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  4. #3
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    Thank you. So I suppose it would be easier to dig the foundation trench before removing the turf from the remaining area of the patio? Do I need to have a layer of gravel at the bottom of the trench?
    Also I have a load or engineering bricks lying around. Am I ok to use those or does it have to be concrete blocks? And if so will it need to be single or double skinned?
    Sorry about all the questions. I want to do this right the first time.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Questions not a problem, no gravel in base of trench but a firm natural base is needed, so if you can walk in the trench leaving slight footprints is ok. yes engineering bricks are good and yes it needs to be double skin. English or Flemish bond is best ( Google those bonds) but if you are doing it yourself and don't feel confident with either bond you could just build 2 skins back to back using wall ties to link together 1 row on top of first course of bricks at 900mm spacing and 1 row under the last course of bricks. The important thing with retaining walls is to make sure your perp joints are full to give wall strength, other than the weep holes left empty to allow water to escape

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    Last edited by Big nige; 29-04-2021 at 03:54 PM.

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  7. #5
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    Really can't thank you enough. After a quick Google search, I discovered that the bricks I have are only facing bricks. I had those for many years stored at the side of the garage and it would be great if I could use them. Would they be any good or do I still have to buy engineering bricks?

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  9. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Face bricks are absolutely fine to use.
    No thanks needed it's a case of each to their own, 40 years in the building but crap at other stuff lol

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    Last edited by Big nige; 29-04-2021 at 04:52 PM.

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  11. #7
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big nige View Post
    Face bricks are absolutely fine to use.
    No thanks needed it's a case of each to their own, 40 years in the building but crap at other stuff lol

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    Lol haha brill

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  13. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    Lol haha brill

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    Seriously AJ if you saw the mess I can make with a chainsaw you would cry laughing, even my fish look at me with that " are you sure you know what your doing" expression most of the time. Any builders / landscapers out there?Any builders / landscapers out there?Any builders / landscapers out there?

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    Last edited by Big nige; 29-04-2021 at 05:02 PM.

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  15. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big nige View Post
    Seriously AJ if you saw the mess I can make with a chainsaw you would cry laughing, even my fish look at me with that " are you sure you know what your doing" expression most of the time. Any builders / landscapers out there?Any builders / landscapers out there?Any builders / landscapers out there?

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    Am crying here just thinking about it lol

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  17. #10
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    How about levels? The bit of land that the retaining wall will go on has different levels and is uneven. Any tips on how to make the final footings level throughout?

  18. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    You can put steps in the footing 75mm high or 150mm high which is 1 or 2 courses of brick, where the step is the concrete will obviously be double depth to maintain its linear strength and tie the whole footing as a mass

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  20. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Ignore the actual dimensions on the drawing but this should explain it betterelevation-stepped-foundation-diagram.jpg

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    Last edited by Big nige; 30-04-2021 at 07:46 AM.

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  22. #13
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    This is really useful. But how do you decide where to place the step when digging? Sorry if this is a stupid question.

  23. #14
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    I need some more help please. We have now dug the trench as big nige kindly advised but it has not stopped raining now for days. The ground is clay and the foundation being at the lower end of the patio is now becoming a moat. It is full of water in some sections. The delivery for cement and sand is not coming until middle of next week. WHAT DO WE DO???
    Any help will be much appreciated.

  24. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Sump pit at lowest point and a puddle pump dropped in and a pipe to drain.

    Maybe a channel to flow the water from the trench
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  26. #16
    Member Rank = Nisai Gnmm's Avatar
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    I can use my pond vac as I don't have a sump pump. How dry should the ground be though before we pour the concrete? Do we need to scrape the slush? How deep should we go?
    Last edited by Gnmm; 08-05-2021 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Error

  27. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnmm View Post
    This is really useful. But how do you decide where to place the step when digging? Sorry if this is a stupid question.
    Sorry only just saw this guess youv done it now, top of concrete just below ground level

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  29. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Big nige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnmm View Post
    I can use my pond vac as I don't have a sump pump. How dry should the ground be though before we pour the concrete? Do we need to scrape the slush? How deep should we go?
    Just no standing water is ok, slush should be ok as long as it's not thick.less than 15 to 20mm
    If ground is very wet just don't add to much water when mixing, you want it so you can tamp the surface to form a smoothish finish.

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