COMMUNITY FORUM

TomR

07:07AM | 07/16/99
Bvmisc
Hello, there:

I’m in the process of building a deck. It’s a relatively simple design, 16’x8’, which fits into an inside “L” in the back of the house, so one 16’ and one 8’ are attached to the house. Along the remaining 16’ side will be a beam and a series of 4x4 or 6x6 posts. I have not decided yet. In the future, to area will be enclosed, and become part of the new kitchen.

I hope to be able to explain this in words. In the back of the house where this deck is going, the basement on one side of the “L” is a walk-out, while on the other side the basement wall is about 4’ under the ground. Several retaining walls form a basement-level patio for the walkout side, and one of these walls is basically parallel to, and directly below, where my supporting beam for the deck will be. This retaining wall is 4’ high, 12” thick, consisting of 6” cinderblock and 6’ of stone, and capped with flagstone. The walls have been there since probably the 60’s, with no signs of cracking, shifting, or settling.

Here’s my dilemma: If I could simply attach posts to the top of the one parallel retaining wall, I would not have to dig any holes, or at least not as many. But, I do not know how to attach the posts to the top of the wall. The flagstone caps are loose and can be removed, and underneath you can see toe cinderblock/stone makeup of the wall. Again, it’s very solid, and the township seems okay with the idea so long as I work out the attachment issue. To that end they were less than helpful.

I thought about adding some courses of new block on top, but I would rather keep the area open. In addition, my a/c unit is in this corner, and I don’t want to move it until this area becomes an enclosed part of the house. To add strength, I may add re-bar to some of the hollow portions of the cinderblock, then fill with concrete. I guess I could also add some foundation bolts.

Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks!

jorgeb

12:31PM | 07/18/99
The best thing to do for the wall is remove the stone cap. Any areas nthat have voids should be filled with either concrete or cement depending on the size of the voids. Reset the caps in cement (no lime or mortar should be used, e.g.-3 shovels of sand per 1 shovel portland cement). "Butter" the back of the bluestone caps with a simple mixture of portland cement and water mixed with any type of latex admix for asdhesion. Mix this to a slightly thicker than paint consistence and apply with a stiff hand brush to the back. Set the bluestone at the height they were. Allow the cement bed to set at least 3 days then once you layout the locations of your support posts, drill a 3/8" hole to accept an expansion bolt. Simpson Manuf. makes a post base support for both 4x4 and 6x6posts. These consist of a base, washer and finishing cap. Place the base over the expansion bolt. Add the washer. Adjust the location of the post to center and add the post acording to directions and nail off with wood joist nails. You can wrap the base of the post to hide the metal base.

TomR

10:54AM | 07/21/99
Thanks, jorgeb. That sounds like a good plan. When I remove the caps, the hollow insides of the cinder blocks seem to align, and go all the way down. The wall is about 4’ high.

Should I add re-bar?

jorgeb

07:30AM | 07/24/99
If the wall is starting to lean then add a #5 (5\8) rebar at 32 " o.c. and fill with fine grout. Call a ready mix company if there is over 2 yards of material needed. Its a back saver.
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