Barnstone Retaining Wall a facade over brick?

Old 05-16-18, 07:44 PM
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Barnstone Retaining Wall a facade over brick?

My home's driveway is bordered by original mortared barnstone walls from the 1940s... I want to extend the wall 4' on one end to 2' on the other end, ~10 feet in length. When I dug out the edge of the existing wall, I was surprised to find that wall was built as a stone face stting ontop of and in front of a brick support wall. The stone wall has a few 'zippers' that have opened but it is otherwise stable and retains a 1:10 ratio. The original section is 6' on one end to 3' on the other and runs ~20'.

I bought some barnstones that are are mostly 10-18" long, 4-6" high and 6-8" deep. I will mortar the wall to match the existing wall. I had planned to just use barnstone and alternate the stones using the long face and then the short face to bury half of the stones into the wall length-wise. I was building on a ~6" base of #2B limestone with half a row of stones below level. Planning for ~6" of gravel backfill behind the wall. I'm in Pennsylvania with heavy clay soil... it doesn't move and the existing area was more excavated than backfilled.

Should I stack this on the limestone base that I mention, or should I pour a concrete footer?
Should I construct the wall as a facade over a rebar reinforced block wall? This seems to be overkill.
Old 05-17-18, 04:45 AM
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If you are mortaring the wall together I would pour a concrete footer. If it were a dry stack wall I would go over a compacted gravel base but a rigid wall need a rigid footer.

I would build a retaining wall then add the stones as a pretty facade. Especially so since you are attaching to an existing wall that already has moved and cracked. Retaining walls are no joke and the relentless pressure of the soil behind usually wins.

And, you said you have heavy clay soil. Yes it moves. You need to do everything required of a proper retaining wall especially the drainage behind the wall.

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