My neighbor was rather insistent that we check with the county before construction of the patio to be sure we didn’t have to pull any permits. Even though we did not need a permit for this, it was good to learn that retaining walls over 4 feet tall do need a permit in our area. My husband said, he will make sure our retaining wall is under 3’ 11”, just to be on the safe side.
The construction of the wall seemed pretty simple – until I added a flower box to one end and electrical outlets. That’s what I do, make something a bit more awesome and annoy my husband in the process. The framing of the wall and waterproofing took him an entire weekend to construct. I say “him” because I was really busy in the garden this weekend, so I only helped him rip some plywood, all this progress is my hulk of a husband, and was completed over Memorial Weekend.
Here is a break-down our progress:
Wall construction: There was a total of seven sections of prefabricated stud wall framing. The total wall is 45 linear feet and about 3.5 feet tall, with studs 16 inches on center. We used pressure treated wood for the top and bottom plate. We did not use pressure treated wood for the studs because plywood would be covering both sides of the wall, keeping them out of the elements.
Waterproofing: We bought two kinds of waterproofing materials. One was in a long roll, called peel and stick bituthene sheet waterproofing. This was applied to the plywood located on the backside of the wall, which would be back filled with gravel and dirt. This was really hard to apply, we hit a huge learning curve, and had to toss about 40 square feet worth due to how badly it sticks to itself. A costly mistake! Secondly, we bought cold applied fluid waterproofing solution used on roofs, this was sticky and thick, applied on with a bristle brush. This was used on the tieback pieces which I’ll discuss in Part 3. Here is a picture of back of the wall, you can see 2×4’s protruding, this is where the tiebacks will be attached.
Overall it was a good three-day weekend to get the wall up and the waterproofing ready. The weather was spotting and we had several social commitments to attend. I say this weekend was a win.