Thursday, April 18, 2013

Retaining Wall Project

Well it has been way to long since I blogged last, but it has been a busy time.  I have spent most of my energy over the past few months studying for my PE (Principles of Engineering) Exam, but now that is over we can get back to some improvements.  With the weather starting to break one of the biggest things we want to do this year is to get everything in order outside of the house.  We have spent most of our energy over the past year and a half working on the inside, but have further neglected the outside of our home which is in dire need of some sprucing up.  The old overgrown shrubs will all eventually come out to make way for some new landscaping, I hope to find time to build a patio off the back kitchen, but first off it is installing a swing set for our slide loving 2 year old.

Like all things, it can't be as simple as buying and assembling the swing set.  Our back yard sits on a pretty good slope so we have to build a retaining wall to make a spot level enough.  The goal is to make a level spot about 20 ft by 20 ft, I initially was just going to build the wall the required height and fill to level everything out.  That was before I calculated that it would take about 18 cubic yards (3 trucks at $110/piece) to fill it completely.  Now the plan is to build the wall about half the original height and cut from the back and fill the front.  Even better the plan is to do it all by hand so if you feel like digging come on over.

Anyways here are some shots of staking off the area and starting to dig the trench that will hold the base for the wall.

Staking Off the Area
The start of digging (with my little helper)
The progress after night 1 (only about 20 min)
That's where we are at so far, tonight I hope to get the base completely dug out and ready to start setting some block this weekend.  Hopefully this is a return to regular blogging and the next update will show some real progress.  Until then, my mind goes to Findng Nemo except instead of, "Just keep swimming" I hear "Just keep digging".


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