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Old June 21st, 2018, 08:05 PM #1
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retaining wall blocks

Hi everyone,
I plan to build a retaining wall in my back yard with concrete blocks like the ones made by Allan Block, to replace an existing wood retaining wall that's falling apart from age and weathering. Does anyone know of a place near Fairfax that sells retaining wall blocks, capstones, and geo netting? I'm avoiding Home Depot because I've seen what they sell and it's not very good quality.

I plan to get base rock from a local supply company for the base of the wall, then build up 3' above grade. I estimate 36 blocks 18" long, or equivalent, and the Allan Block dealer in Manassas will only sell by the pallet, more than what I need or want. Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old June 21st, 2018, 08:53 PM #2
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I have built a couple of walls and planters. HD and Lowe's sell single units but better products by block companies require full pallets as you said. I went with Nicolok (sp?) and used the extra for small planters. Good luck.
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Old June 24th, 2018, 11:11 PM #3
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Look for a supplier that carries Keystone Compac wall block. Aggtrans and Maisel Brothers in the Severn/Glen Burnie area will sell the blocks, end blocks, and caps individually - any number you want.

Good choice to stay away from anything available at Home Depot or Lowes. I also strongly advise that you stay away from anything offered by E.P. Henry, as their quality is not much better than you find at Home Depot (I am a certified segmental retaining wall installer).

http://www.keystonewalls.com/product...eystone-compac
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Old June 25th, 2018, 11:34 AM #4
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What Sgt. P. said.

Also, the wall needs a good base and drainage system, or your just setting yourself up for rework/doing it again. For each truck load of block, you will need the equivalent truck load of crushed stone and gravel. Don't forget to compact and tamp.




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Old June 25th, 2018, 01:46 PM #5
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Also check local codes about retaining walls. Some places require permits and inspections.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 10:59 AM #6
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Thanks for the input. I checked our code here in Fairfax County and I'm OK if I keep the wall 3' or less in height. I'm going to make it 3'
I plan to excavate and put in a 8" deep compacted gravel base, with base rock or what they call 21A gravel here, backfill with 1/2" crushed rock gravel and a pvc drain pipe at the bottom of the backfill. I ended up going to a local landscaping and nursery called Betty's Azalea Ranch to buy some blocks that use vertical pins to give the wall additional shear strength, Versa-lok blocks. They're not cheap, but they're much better than what is available at Lowes and Home Depot.

ETA: I realize reinforcement isn't necessary for a short 3' wall, but does anyone know if there's any place that sells small quantities of geogrid material, 14' x 10', and not a whole roll?
thanks.
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Old June 26th, 2018, 11:32 AM #7
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Can't help with geogrid, maybe find an active work site that might have a scrap to share?

I have also seen construction adhesive used in conjunction with the pins when placing the blocks in place. they ran a bead around the top perimeter as they added the next layer.

Good luck.




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Old June 28th, 2018, 05:12 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcab View Post
Can't help with geogrid, maybe find an active work site that might have a scrap to share?

I have also seen construction adhesive used in conjunction with the pins when placing the blocks in place. they ran a bead around the top perimeter as they added the next layer.

Good luck.




.
I will look and see if I have any leftover goegrid, but if I do you would have to get to the Severn, MD area to pick it up.

Do not use adhesive between the wall courses - just use a wall block with a good pin system, and fill in the holes in the wall block with #57 as you lay each course. The wall actually should be able to flex a little bit, and it will not flex if you glue it all together into a monolith. Use the adhesive to bond the caps in place.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 05:25 PM #9
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Here's my little block project two years after installing it. Seven foot tall rolling gate and 6' tall fence over four courses of block. I laid a row of old cinder block on the bottom and turned on sideways for a drain before mounding the dirt up to it. I did glue the top run to the rest and the 2x6 base board to it. Ran perf drain pipe across the bottom and back filled it with crush and run over old concrete debris.





Wood was stained with red diesel and used motor oil and still looks good. The city did replace and widen the alley concrete so I redid the perforated paver grade last summer which was a PITA.

I hope to do another 25' run this summer out front with a similar 4' wall next to the sidewalk. Doing the wall was surprisingly easy.
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Old June 28th, 2018, 09:20 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Psycho View Post
I will look and see if I have any leftover goegrid, but if I do you would have to get to the Severn, MD area to pick it up.

Do not use adhesive between the wall courses - just use a wall block with a good pin system, and fill in the holes in the wall block with #57 as you lay each course. The wall actually should be able to flex a little bit, and it will not flex if you glue it all together into a monolith. Use the adhesive to bond the caps in place.
Thanks for the offer. I really appreciate it, and going to Severn isn't a problem now.

I plan to compact #57 gravel into the blocks to interlock them and give them additional weight and with a drain installed in the gravel backfill. I'm now waiting for the blocks to arrive from the distributor.

I knew never used motor oil can be used to stain fence boards. That's almost a Martha Stewart thing.

Last edited by wabbit; July 1st, 2018 at 01:52 PM.
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