DIRTCO Construction of Austin, Texas
Hillside retaining wall

Many Austin homes are located on hillside lots that limit the amount of usable outdoor space. DIRTCO expanded the back yard of this property adding more level ground and a safe play area.
CLEARING BRUSH AND DEBRI
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CLEARING TO THE PROPERTY BOUNDARY
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As with any land project, respecting the property line is important.
By clearing the brush and checking the soil conditions, the proper methods and materials can be selected.
THE WORK AREA
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After locating and marking the position of the retaining wall, the crew begins digging a trench to serve as the footer.
While part of the crew completes the footer, the limestone blocks are brought in and distributed along the length of the wall site.
CONTAINMENT STRUCTURE
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Additional concrete was poured along one side to contain the project and provide a base for fencing.
Concrete for the footer is mixed at the site and finished by hand.
FINISHING THE FOOTER
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SETTING THE LINES
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String lines are set to mark the location and level of the first course of stone.
A visual inspection from above confirms the first course will be positioned properly.
NATURAL STONE BASE
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The naturally occurring stone provides a solid base for the fill that will sit on top.
One key element of the first course is locating the corner and building up the grade.
LABOR INTENSIVE
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Although the Bobcat loader was used to bring the stone to the back yard, moving the heavy blocks down the slope to the wall can only be done by hand.
The first course includes weep holes at the base to provide adequate drainage.
ADDITIONAL COURSES
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Each additional course is set back slightly for greater strength.
Large stone is used for the majority of the fill which will allow water to percolate down for drainage.
FILTER PAPER
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Controlled drainage is achieved by incorporating rolls of filter paper.
Smaller stone, gravel and top soil cover the filter paper for the final component to proper drainage.
NEARING THE FINAL ELEVATION
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As the construction nears the final elevation, the DIRTCO crew can make use of the Bobcat to move raw materials.
Adding an angled contour at the end increases the strength of the retaining wall.
Each phase of the construction is inspected for structural integrity, fit and finish.
The final wall construction shows the high quality of masonry work done by the DIRTCO crew using the large blocks of native stone.
QUALITY MASONRY WORK
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The same stone is used at one end to create steps leading to the base of the wall.
The slight curve in the center of the wall improves the structural strength and will add to the rigidity of the ironwork that goes on top.
VIEW FROM BELOW
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As the top layers of soil are spread over the newly level area, the crew begins cleanup. DIRTCO always leaves the site clean and ready to use.
The final grade slopes gently away from the house to prevent water from running under the building.
Thoroughly compacting the soil reveals any settling and prepares the ground for sod.
With the sod in place, the area becomes a usable back yard.
Sod also takes care of areas worn by construction traffic.
The retaining wall is capped with an ironwork fence for safety without spoiling the view.
The ironwork turns at the corner to meet a cedar privacy fence.
The angles in the ironwork created by contours in the stone wall provide additional strength.
Viewed from below, the completed project shows DIRTCO's quality construction.
Call DIRTCO Construction at 512-844-4366
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Tracen Gardner, Owner

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