The Great Wall of Stafford: Level ≠ Levelish. Must… Start… Over…

As I completed more and more of this Great Wall, my perfectionist side of my personality became impossible to ignore. I usually only listen to it when I am at work and programming but it was overpowering and I caved.

I blame my dad (voice of common sense and logic).  He said that no matter how much I want ‘Levelish*‘ to be acceptable, it wasn’t, level ≠ levelish*. That and another issue made it impossible to live with how the wall was, so I dismantled it Sunday, May 7th.

Wall - ColumnEvery time I looked at the wall, the other issue haunted me. This issue was a 6″-9″ gap between the steps and the beginning of the wall. That area, if not “retained” would obviously erode. My initial ideas were horrible but centered around avoiding a rebuild. However, a rebuild became inevitable when the gap issue was combined with the leveling issue. After a week of brainstorming, I came up with a solution. I needed to dig 2′ further into the hill and start a column, perpendicular to the beginning of the main wall.

It ended up working and I was pleased with the results.

It’s literally rained everyday since April 28 and I really wanted to get more done Sunday, but I moved over twenty 55lb. blocks twice and I did a lot of digging so I was a little exhausted. Thankfully the previous days of construction got me into decent shape.

What’s Next:

half-blockDenver doesn’t make a block in the size I need for the corner. I need a block that is 9.5″w x 6″h x 12″d. My only option is to make one. I ended up cutting a block in half, building a wood box to make a concrete mold. It’s what the internet said to do to make the block stronger. Once the concrete is cured, I can continue with the corner. After that, I need to complete the leveling of the rest of the 30′ wall…. FYI, the first row is extremely important and fact: leveling is the worst, most frustrating aspect of building any retaining wall.

* Levelish: When the bubble doesn’t cross either line, but touches one of them instead of being in the middle touching neither.

Pictures Prior to the Redo – April 28th:

Pictures of the Deconstruction, Reconstruction – May 7th