Monday, May 25, 2015

Building a garden rock wall

Welcome to out blog, Menfranco general blog,
and this post, building a garden rock wall
Building a garden rock retaining wall
Garden rock walls are needed when we want to hold the ground back for various reasons, they can also look nice when built properly, see these rock walls here. Anyhow, these stone walls can be of any types and shapes and we are going to describe a few in our posts.

Building a garden rock retaining wall
Dear readers, in our last post we have been talking about how to build a mortar-less retaining wall, in this post we are going to talk about how to build a garden rock wall. To build a garden rock wall as shown in the picture here is a lot harder than you think, and you need to know how to go about it, you see for a start you need to have a good eye to see how the rocks that you have can fit together to make a wall. There are a few ways how to do this depending how tall the wall is going to be and lots of other things as well.
 You see if you have only a very low wall you can just lay one single rock one after another, or two rocks one on top of another making sure that you choose the best face to show at the top and at the front, the other part of the rock can be hidden ether in the ground, or at the back since you are backfilling behind the wall; in this case it is not necessary to use any concrete, as the stones can be laid dry, but if you want you can use concrete as well.
To start with dig all the grass and loose soil even if your wall is going to be low. If the wall is going to be in a place where the ground is slopping down make sure that you dig deep enough and reach solid natural ground at least, so that the wall you are building can sit a couple of inches or a lot more than that into this firm ground, So that your wall is not going to slope down the first heavy rain you have after building it.
As we said in this case we are only building a low stone wall and we are not going to use anything to bind the wall together, so there is no cement or anything else between the stones, in this case because there is nothing to stop the rain water to run between the stones you don’t need to worry about drainage. You see one of the greatest problems with retaining walls is the water that can build behind them, the water and wet soil puts pressure on the wall and if the water cannot get out easily the wall is going to fail.
Now it could be helpful to have a look at some stone retaining wall, and for this reason in mind I have found this link in the Internet; so, have a look at the pictures in this link;  there are several types of stone walls, now you can start thinking how and why they have been built that way; there is also a video that you could see.
Now what we have been talking here was about a very low garden retaining wall, but what about if you require a different retaining wall, because of some works you are going to do in the yard since you need more space, so, let us start to talk about this new wall that we require and how we decide to built it.
Deciding to build your own rock wall
You have been doing some works in the backyard as you needed more space, you wanted to build a car port and also put a trampoline for the kids. You have done the digging and are satisfied that everything is going to fit easily; but now you have this bank that stands almost vertical in the backyard, it looks ugly and you know that when the first heavy rain comes it is going to start washing it down and worse still it may collapse. So you think of building a retaining wall, perhaps a stone rock wall would be good to hold the soil up. 
For this reason you have had a couple of quote for this job and had a good talk to the contractors as you did not want to spend more money that was strictly necessary, they did their best but still you cannot afford to pay the full price, beside that you found that if you lay a dry stone wall, ether you have to use stones that have been cut at the quarry and they cost a lot, or you have to have a rock wall with a wider base and this is going to take away some of the space you created when you dug, so really you need to think about it.
So you have decided to build the stone retaining wall yourself, what you have decided is that you are going to build an hybrid stone wall, which you believe would do the job without costing too much and also it would not take too much space; therefore, you have already looked for a rock supplier and ask for prices of the different materials you might need, because you think that you can afford it if you do the job yourself.
By pure chance you have learned from the blokes that have given you the prices how many cubic meters of rocks you might need and another few things that you were not so sure before; well done sometimes in the building game things work out this way, you learn a bit from here a bit from there and then you can decide what to do with the information you have collected. There is nothing wrong for doing this as long as you do not do it purposely, but if it does not work out, then it is okay to use what you have learned from them.
I have to say that it has been done to me many times and that I have done this myself; not only on quoting but also in buying something new, if I have to buy something expensive that I have never used before, I go to at least three places and inquiry about it, by asking the right questions not only I learn how much it is going to cost me, but I have learned also how to use whatever I was going to buy in the first place, of course I end up buying from one of them what I wanted to buy in the first place; sometimes I call this let me go first to spy and then to buy, I know that some of these people are going to feel a bit hurt, for using their time for nothing, but so what, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, as I have said it has been done to me as well and I have felt a bit hurt, when I had to spend some time working out a price to build something, and at the end I did not get the job, so I spent all that time for nothing, but that is life and we should accept the outcome whichever way it goes. Anyhow I believe that this post is already long enough, so we will go back to building a rock wall in our next post, building the hybrid rock wall.
See you soon.

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Menfranco general blog, 
Building a garden rock wall
Next time with, Building the hybrid rock wall
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