Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The concrete block for the retaining wall comes from an Omaha company, Watkins, which has a showroom with helpful staff and lists of contractors.
We're using the Vertica Pro straight edge, which is designed for big walls.
Each one of these suckers is a foot square and weighs 115 pounds.
I chose the standard gray because I thought it fit best in the neighborhood, where most retaining walls are old concrete or stacked limestone. Brown tones looked too suburban.
Dying to know more? See Watkins' instruction sheet on how to build a wall with Vertica Pro blocks.
The neighbors are letting the contractors work from their empty lot to the north of the house. Well, it used to be empty.
Center of lot
Stacks of block waiting installation
Right side of lot
Top view of wall on right, equipment in the background
It's 6:48 a.m. on Day 2.
I can tell from the diesel rumble that they're here already.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The early-morning backhoe was the fun part.
Now they are painstakingly scraping the dirt away from the foundation.
They've created a trench for the concrete blocks to sit in and are starting to fill it with gravel (for draining I presume).
This looks worth every penny I'm paying.
They've got two Bobcats, a backhoe, dump trucks taking out scrap and bringing in gravel ... with the rumble of heavy equipment around, it's like having my own Ax Men crew.
Uh, you don't watch Ax Men?
About a decade ago, the wall was built wrong, with undersized timbers and no supportive "dead men," by a contractor who bailed halfway through the project.
The wall was bowing more than a foot in spots. The interior dirt eroded into sharp slopes. The house already leans a little to this side.
The wall, topped by a classy PVC drainage system
I hired Linhart because the company does major construction all the time.
That got it down to $15,500.
A backhoe peeled apart the wall, making the timber look like matchsticks and crackle as they split.