I wasn’t looking for work. I was just talking ‘garden’ with someone my wife knows when the subject of the driveway and a retaining wall came up. The home owners were planning on having a block retaining wall built before paving the driveway. I cringed at the mention of block and then had to go open my mouth about how much nicer real stone would be.
BW – Before WiseAcre
|Last year some drainage work was done along the side of the garage. It was plain to see the retaining wall the excavator built was only temporary. It did hold the soil back but you can see it had a bad leak at the bottom.
Make a note – retaining walls need to extend below the grade.
The morning was spent digging out along the garage and removing the landscape timbers. I got lucky and found a deep base of sand so there was no need to haul in stone dust for the base. Instead it was off to the quarry to get the first loads of stone. Unfortunately the first day had to be called short on account of a wicked thunderstorm. No way was I going to wave my steel bar around with lightning strikes nearby. At least we got the heavy stuff off my helpers truck before having to flee.
My truck remained loaded over night. That’s nearly a ton of stone on a 1/2 ton pick up. Say what you will about Ford but their little Rangers can handle a load.
Once my truck was unloaded we headed out for two more loads. By the end of the day the job was showing some progress.
My old truck, now belonging to my helper was taking some abuse and I could feel the hesitation on his part to continue hauling rock. I couldn’t blame him, I may be an idiot but he isn’t. I worked alone, got a load and barely managed to get the next slabs unloaded before calling it quits. It really is too hot for this kind of work in my condition.
Back I went to set the stone slab steps. It took about 3 hours in the heat.
What’s the next step? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m debating whether to use some field stone to build up the right side of the steps. I’ll go rock hunting tomorrow to see it i can find something I like that may work both aesthetically and functionally. The only problem with large boulders is they’re so much harder to move. They have a tendency to roll off the ramps when loading and unloading. On the plus side – they’re free (on my land) and I don’t have to drive 100 miles (round trip) to get them.