House retaining wall

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More retaining walls – yay! I’m glad I bought the relatively flat block in Swan View, because some of the steeper blocks would have killed me. 🙂

Current plan is to smash out the retaining walls as quickly as I can, then get my sand pads done – both pads butt up against the walls, so it makes a lot of sense to get them done first. Earthworks guys want to do the house pad first so they’re not trucking sand in across the shed pad, so we did the house wall first.

Gathered up dad and a couple of friends J & C (J was a landscaper in a past life, he’s a very handy person to know.) and we put all the posts and formwork in. Turned out to be a little bit harder than I’d hoped thanks to a dodgy bit of trench-digging, so we had to straighten and extend the trench down the east side of the house. There was much commentary from my helpers about if this new trench wasn’t in the right spot then we were moving the bloody house. 🙂

There’s a couple of differences from the first wall we did. The first is that the concrete for this wall will be higher than the current ground level around the trench, so we put a bunch of formwork up to contain it:

Timber doing quality inspections on the work.

The formwork should also make it a little more predictable how much concrete I need – last time I estimated short because the walls were quite uneven.

The other change was using longer, continuous beams with notches cut for each post rather than individual spacers between each post – this made a huge difference to the stability of the whole thing – there’s no propping at all across some 22 posts, just 4.2m timber across four posts each, then each beam attached to the next one and the whole thing holds itself up.

The ply for the forms came from a convenient gumtree post where Rackman had disassembled a warehouse mezzanine and had 2000sqm of 25mm ply for $30 a sheet. Yes please! There’s also not as much rebar in this trench (just a single sheet on one side), it’s not a vehicle-rated wall and nowhere near as tall.

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