Cobblestone retaining wall building in Colorado: Why you should compact the trench? Compact the soil in the trench bottom with a hand tamper or vibrating plate compactor. This step is often neglected. The excavator, and even hand shovels, can disturb and loosen the top inch or two of soil, and that’s enough to make your wall settle—settling is bad! Our experts prefer crushed stone for the base rather than naturally occurring gravel dug from a pit. Crushed stone is a little more expensive. However, it provides better drainage, and because of the sharper angles on the stone, it requires less compacting, and once it’s compacted, it stays that way.
First of all, what is No Fines Concrete (NFC)? Basically it is just what the name suggests, concrete without any fine aggregates or sand. It consists of generally an aggregate (gravel), cement and water. The aggregate is coated with the cement slurry binding it together, it dries with the strength of concrete but with voids or air pockets. This makes the NFC light weight and allows water to pass through its honeycomb texture.
We also repair existing retaining walls. Many railroad tie walls or older concrete retaining walls which may or may not include rocks or boulders are beginning to show signs of failure. Often times a homeowner will build a DIY retaining wall that needs help after years of service. We serve all of Colorado out of our home office in Colorado Springs. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. Estimates are always free and everything we touch comes with a warranty. See even more info at Colorado Retaining Wall Builder.
After mixing your concrete, pour the wall in horizontal layers of not more than 20 inches, beginning at the ends and moving toward the center. Use a ramp to wheel the concrete into position and a splashboard to direct the pour and control spillage. Remove the spacers as you go, and work the concrete against the sides of the form and around the reinforcement as each layer is poured. Pour layers as soon after the previous one as possible to avoid cold (non-bonded) joints, which cause leaks. Strike off the concrete flush with the top of the form, and then trowel it to the desired finish. Insert anchor bolts for mud sills and wooden caps once the concrete has set sufficiently to hold them. Because of the pressure created by the slope of the lawn, cure the concrete for at least seven days before removing the forms.
DON’T lay blocks on an unlevel surface. The first course (or row of blocks) sets the stage for the rest of the wall, so it’s vital that you make it perfectly level. If it isn’t, subsequent rows won’t be level either, resulting in a retaining wall that’s lopsided and unattractive. Use a four-foot carpenter’s level to ensure that the gravel layer below the first course of blocks is level before you start setting the blocks. Any discrepancies here will show up higher in the wall. DO stack blocks at a slight backward slope.