Recommendations - Retaining Wall Contractors in WashCo?

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  • 308Scout

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 27, 2020
    2,170
    Washington County
    Does anyone here have a retaining wall guy/company that you trust in Washington County? I've got a failed wall relatively near to the house that needs to be replaced. This is not a decorative wall (i.e. not just holding back a flower garden or tree) - there will be down spout drainage passing through it downslope of the house. It really needs to be an "engineered" wall.
     

    Archeryrob

    Sir meat stuffer
    Mar 7, 2013
    2,244
    Fairplay, MD
    Does your wall really need engineering? Contractors are not qualified to do this and you would need to involve a mechanical or civil engineer firm. I have seen engineers and others oversell retaining walls as an entire mexico type mud slide will happen on a 15% grade if not done right and constructions sites run a bull dozer up and done a 45% grade and pack it and nothing moves.

    Pictures of the area might help. Also consider routing the drain away behind the wall to a lower point than through the wall. 50' or 100' of corrugated pipe is pretty cheap and a lot less trouble.

    I have used R L Hull for concrete and was happy with their work. I think Concrete would look nice but be much more expensive than a cast block wall. Google shows up Nature Boys Landscape construction is someone like what you might need. Stop by a Place like Sunny Meadows Nursery and ask around. They know most of these guys and can probably give you several recommendations. They sell all the stone for this kind of stuff. Ethan is the owner and his brother Joel used to run the stone department.
     

    308Scout

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 27, 2020
    2,170
    Washington County
    Does your wall really need engineering? Contractors are not qualified to do this and you would need to involve a mechanical or civil engineer firm. I have seen engineers and others oversell retaining walls as an entire mexico type mud slide will happen on a 15% grade if not done right and constructions sites run a bull dozer up and done a 45% grade and pack it and nothing moves.

    Pictures of the area might help. Also consider routing the drain away behind the wall to a lower point than through the wall. 50' or 100' of corrugated pipe is pretty cheap and a lot less trouble.

    I have used R L Hull for concrete and was happy with their work. I think Concrete would look nice but be much more expensive than a cast block wall. Google shows up Nature Boys Landscape construction is someone like what you might need. Stop by a Place like Sunny Meadows Nursery and ask around. They know most of these guys and can probably give you several recommendations. They sell all the stone for this kind of stuff. Ethan is the owner and his brother Joel used to run the stone department.
    :thumbsup: Thanks for the leads. My wife goes to Sunny Meadows quite a bit this time of year. I may have to accompany her on her next trip this weekend. I have a couple of less local leads as well. I had a jack-of-all trades excavator out yesterday to discuss the wall as a part of a larger project also including filling in a pool (the guy also does septic, connection to the topic at hand below). He's giving me contact info for his wall/hardscape contact in case we decouple the wall project from the pool, which seems likely at this point.

    A design/plan step for the wall is most likely needed, but am obviously seeking opinions as folks come out. As more context, the wall has two tiers (the first shorter tier is about 4' from the foundation and the second higher one is ~7-8' from the foundation) and runs along the entire width of a front addition (~35'). The wall is longer than the addition and wraps around it slightly. Complicating matters is that the line to the septic tank runs on a slight diagonal in the soil behind the wall from one corner of the foundation to the septic tank just outside the other end of the wall. I currently have an extension on the downspout in question to keep erosion at bay until we can get the wall re-built (the roots from some largish plants are also helping keep the area intact).
     

    slsc98

    Active Member
    May 24, 2012
    4,289
    Escaped MD-stan to WNC Smokies
    Down here one locates one or more engineers who do the advance work which guides the contractor AND THEN focuses on what contractors the engineer “associates” him / her self with … engineers tend not to do business more than once with contractors who do subpar retaining work …

    again, down here, just a few (not all inclusive list here) of good sources for the names of engineers who do residential retaining wall work are: your local SiteOne* store (try to catch the mgr or longest-tenured employee after the morning rush of pro contractors but before lunch); your County permitting office; the top realtors in your area; and, I found ours by literally driving up the drive and knocking on the doors of several homes which had impressive retaining walls.

    best o success and again, suggest “Engineer first, then digger


    * - looks like may be slim pickings in your area so, locate the site(s) / concerns closest to your job site that sell the most retaining wall blocks in your area!

     
    Last edited:

    308Scout

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 27, 2020
    2,170
    Washington County
    Down here one locates one or more engineers who do the advance work which guides the contractor AND THEN focuses on what contractors the engineer “associates” him / her self with … engineers tend not to do business more than once with contractors who do subpar retaining work …

    again, down here, just a few (not all inclusive list here) of good sources for the names of engineers who do residential retaining wall work are: your local SiteOne* store (try to catch the mgr or longest-tenured employee after the morning rush of pro contractors but before lunch); your County permitting office; the top realtors in your area; and, I found ours by literally driving up the drive and knocking on the doors of several homes which had impressive retaining walls.

    best o success and again, suggest “Engineer first, then digger


    * - looks like may be slim pickings in your area so, locate the site(s) / concerns closest to your job site that sell the most retaining wall blocks in your area!


    A most excellent suggestion.
     

    Archeryrob

    Sir meat stuffer
    Mar 7, 2013
    2,244
    Fairplay, MD
    The cheapest guy to do septic work is Jeff Herd. He’s a bit funny, half deaf and sounds like he’s yelling at you all the time. But cheaper and good. Tell him you hunt and he’ll chew your ear for an hour and a half. Crazy Jeff can save you money but cost you time. He’s got a dump truck, backhoe and can handle work like that. He’s a one man show so I doubt he does anything like walls, but I never asked.
     
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