Large Rock Retaining Wall - Part 2

Pictures and information on the stone staircase I put in my backyard after doing the lower retaining wall (see part 1). Click on pictures to see larger image.


The upper landing has two concrete walls, this is the first one I poured. I didn't use a form, just carved the earth, made it wider at the bottom.

I used rebar to strengthen the wall.

The rebar was flopping all over, so I pulled it out and welded it together.

I used a sheet of plywood to get the concrete down the hill. You can see the concrete risers that I used for the steps. These are 8" high by 36" long, by 3" wide. I set them in a bed of about 2" of concrete to help hold them in place.

Getting reading to pour the 2nd wall.

Picture of the rebar grid at the bottom of the hole. This time I dug a much larger hole and used a form.

Form for 2nd concrete wall.

A week after pouring the wall I removed the forms.

Wall isn't level on the top, the form leaked at the top on one side. Not a big deal, I levelled it with some sand mix before placing on the first course of stone.

I got to use my new toy, 1982 GMC 7000 dump truck with 4 ton HIAB 650 AW crane, to remove one of the forms which was a bit stubborn.

I gathered stone from two sources. This picture is from the Aylmer Quebec construction site where a new subdivision was going in.

This darker stone was from a farm in Stittsville, it is much heavier limestone.

My "stone yard". I stacked all the stone, bad idea. The perfect stone always seemed to be halfway down the stack.

My parents came for a week and my dad helped me work on the steps. We got most of the stairs fitted to the concrete risers, the large steps on the landing in place, and some of the stone put on the upper wall.

The first course of stone was mortered to the wall to help level it. Each stone had a hole drilled in it and then it was placed over the rebar sticking out of the wall. We used thinset mixed with acrylic admixture to place some thin stones on the front of the concrete wall to make it look more natural. I haven't grouted it yet.

Another few days of work and the upper wall is done.

Looking down from the top.

Landing with lower wall in place.

First set of stairs were set on natural stone risers.

I am going to put the slate tile on the front of the concrete blocks to make the risers look better

View from the dock.


...develop, race, win!