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Ex-Hasbeen

Sleeper Retaining Wall

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My blocks are in place! In the end, about 170 used plus 6 1/3 blocks for steps. That all cost a bit! 200mtrs of turf arrive today and it's already started raining. Couldn't wait another 12 hours eh!

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Noice.

 

With the red dirt staining them, they get the appearance of sandstone blocks. Is it like that normally, or is it just the photos?

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Pretty sure it's slabs! It's a lot of turf, and won't even cover half the area. I estimate there's about 550sqmtr that's been built up, retained and dug. I'm thinking more and more as things get done Rob will end up saying just turf the lot! Obviously it'll give us a lawn much much faster. Just gonna do the area directly behind the patio and half the area beside the house, which is where most of the traffic and kids will be. Have to get the fencing done yet too. Putting the steps from patio to retaining steps in as we speak (multitasking with pc ;) ) so I don't ruin the grass like I did in the past.

 

We are really really stoked with the job he guys done. A family member suggested we keep an eye on him, but I think he's done a great job and was pretty picky with what he was doing. Of the walls I've seen done in our area, ours seems much much more level. Yes it moves on the black soil, but not as much as I've seen of some of them. We just really wanted an area for the kids, and something that just looked better than the crap drop offs we had around the place.

 

The section around the bio system where I got him to block around. The plan at the moment is to create a deck over it with removable sections so the bio can be accessed. When we built, they placed it in the worst imaginable place, directly behind our patio in the middle of the view! I can't fathom why they did that? I'd have had it behind the tanks which I placed behind the shed so they were out of sight. It looks a mile better even with just the blocks around it. But I really would like to hide it away. Granted it'll take me 10 years to get around to that.

 

All told, the work he did - supplying and installing 167 blocks plus the 6 steps (A huge amount of cutting in was needed), plus over 10 trucks (several truck and dog loads actually) of fill, plus top fill (the red soil) from Mt Lofty (which should be good for the turf to take to) has cost us a bit over 13k (so 10k less than my teeth!). Thank god for disability payouts! I don't think we could have done a sleeper wall for that, and this one will never have to be touched again.

 

All told, there's about 100mtrs of retaining wall in place now, Some of it over 2mtrs high (but staggered to meet council requirements). There's no sections I need to mow with a whipper snipper any more (there were 2 main batter bank areas the mower couldn't do) and we've now got two specific sections for gardens - one up the side of the house and another down that driveway to the shed. We really really liked the blocks. They were about the cheapest you can get being the rougher concrete ones. Regardless, we didn't want sandstone (as everyone around here has them) and the smoother concrete ones were just too 'nice'. Normally you have the hook for the blocks exposed at the top (everyone here has) but he flipped the blocks on their sides and it looks great.

 

Still another job for him to go - doing some more roadbase and building a section behind the tanks for my father in law to store his motorhome. But that's not so urgent, and will mostly be paid for by my fil anyway.

Edited by goughy

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The section around the bio system where I got him to block around. The plan at the moment is to create a deck over it with removable sections so the bio can be accessed. When we built, they placed it in the worst imaginable place, directly behind our patio in the middle of the view! I can't fathom why they did that? I'd have had it behind the tanks which I placed behind the shed so they were out of sight. It looks a mile better even with just the blocks around it. But I really would like to hide it away. Granted it'll take me 10 years to get around to that.

 

I did the same thing at my 1st acreage. The sullage and septic tanks were in the area I wanted paved & gardened, so the section in pavers I simply built a treated timber edge around the tank and paved to that, with the pavers 20mm above the timber. I then built a frame and used decking to sit neatly on the timber. It looked real flash in the end. I did similar in the garden section, with the decking as an island in the garden.

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I hurt in ways I can barely imagine. I felt like this after my first half mara, the last tour de tri, spreading a truckload of roadbase by hand in the rain, and laying 4 pallets of turf in the rain! F' me. It was worth it though! I'd do the rest of the yard if the Mrs would let me, but we're already 4k over budget so she wants to seed the rest :(

 

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Thanks Pete! I'm mighty happy with it today. So wanna do the rest of the yard now (probably 500mtrs left :o).

Thats a lot of turfing. Got a big roller?

Not yet! The guy who did the retaining drove past yesterday to pick up his cash (it was a lot of cash and I was pretty unimpressed with how small the envelope of money the bank gave us was) and with the rain suggested I wait a few days, then roll it when just a little damp.

 

Is the turf rolls or slabs? I used to like the slabs, but I'm getting too old now & they're too heavy.

They get even heavier when rain soaked! Jeeze that was hard. Looking forward to a normal day at work today. Just pelmets to make so I don't have to bend down much (thank god)

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Thanks Pete! I'm mighty happy with it today. So wanna do the rest of the yard now (probably 500mtrs left :o).

Not yet! The guy who did the retaining drove past yesterday to pick up his cash (it was a lot of cash and I was pretty unimpressed with how small the envelope of money the bank gave us was) and with the rain suggested I wait a few days, then roll it when just a little damp.

 

They get even heavier when rain soaked! Jeeze that was hard. Looking forward to a normal day at work today. Just pelmets to make so I don't have to bend down much (thank god)

I know what you mean about rest at work. I had a bobcat in to move the soil from the front yard to the back. About 30 cubic metres. It broke down in the first 10 minutes, so I had to move the rest by barrow and spread it myself. The turf was turning up the next day, so I was still working under spotlight at midnight. 140m of turf laid the next day, rushing as there was light drizzle and a storm on its way around lunchtime.

The next day at work I barely had the strength to type.

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I don't feel so bad now!

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Sunday hopefully. I need to make some money to pay for it all.

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Here's how it's at now. I really need to get around to seeding the rest. Hopefully the fence starts soon. d2be143e05414fd5b0468dfd0b67ef3f.jpg

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Fencing is now done, and you can see in the pic the reason we needed the fence (a lot of money to spend just for that girl)!

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We need to do some top dressing now to even out the lawn. A mate told me Sandy loam is the best stuff for top dressing. While the area we turfed is OK (there are some ruts from the fencers bobcat), a lot of the area by the retaining wall has sunk, quite a lot. Much has dropped 4 to 6 inches, which we did expect once it all settled. But we need to get it built up again now. The Natural soil out here is black, but most of the fill used was Red. We hate the way Red soil stains, where as at least Black will wash out. So just wondering if any of you guys have any thoughts about what might be best to use, especially with having to build some areas up?

 

I managed to get some grass to grow where we didn't turf, but it is pretty weedy too. But I didn't think autumn and winter were the best times to be too harsh with it all. I pulled out what weeds i could at times.

Edited by goughy

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looks awesome. I love the size of the posts you have used. Lawns take years to settle so add a bit as u go over the next few years.

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Yeah, we wanted to keep that rural look to the rural/residential area we live. Someone down the street has fenced their entire acre with square tube fencing - it looks crap. Too much of it.

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Ordered 75x 1.53m concrete sleepers and 22 steel H beams last week.

I'm building a 26m wall plus sides. Only 1m high.

As I'm not looking at the wall I saved $1k by ordering factory seconds. Smooth charcoal colour.

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I found another use for sleepers.

 

Not a bad weekend's work if I say so myself. And it gave me an excuse to buy a new chainsaw. :)

 

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Edited by Ex-Hasbeen

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I spent the weekend building by retaining wall.

22 holes 400mm wide 1200 deep.

Half way.

I'm tired.

My fence took 66 holes, 250mm wide, 600 deep.

 

Cost $200 and a six pack. I only had time to drink half of the beer while I watched him in his mini excavator & auger..

Edited by Ex-Hasbeen

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We have a bomb site for a backyard. Demolished failing brick RW, rebuilt with slate faced concrete. Steps rebuilt, 1/2 path that had failed with the RW reported. Bricks and concrete waiting to go in as first layer of backfill. Porch ramp and pat about to get granite tiled. This much outsourced, but we get to do all the restoration (read total replant of the backyard.

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