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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but I've finally got everything lined up so I've made a start on my back garden.
I thought I'd post the progress pics on here in case anyone wants to laugh at my suffering! :lol:

My house is on a hill, and the top of the back garden is about 3m higher than the bottom but it's only about 10m from front to back so you can imagine it's pretty steep. Due to the layout of the house and the aforementioned hill, there is no possibility of getting a machine in to do the digging, not even one of the tiny little excavators because access is actually up a flight of stairs at the side of the house. So this whole thing, from beginning to end is all being done by hand, by little old me. Yay.

The lawn itself is roughly 6m wide and 8m from front to back on plan, so the idea is to construct a 2m high retaining wall to create a flat area of 6m x 6m.

The retaining wall will be made from railway sleepers. Specifically, these sleepers right here:



A couple of shots of the garden before I started:





And a couple showing how steep the slope is



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So the first step was to mark out where the retaining wall is going. The small white marks are the post locations, apart from the centre one which is, uhm, the centre.



And then start digging.



The red string line you can see in the pic above is the where the top of the wall will be, so the bottom of the hole I'm digging needs to be 2m below that line.

And here's the progress as of last night.



Luckily it's all fairly soft ground so the digging isn't too difficult, there's just a lot of it!
 

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If you had put a retaining wall at the bottom of the slope then moved all the dirt downwards you would have a flat area. :unsure:(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you had put a retaining wall at the bottom of the slope then moved all the dirt downwards you would have a flat area. :unsure:(y)
True, but if you look at the 3rd pic in my 1st post, you can just about see the top of a brick wall next the step. I want the lawn to be at that level. The pics don't really show it clearly but this is the only way to do it, really.
 

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So the first step was to mark out where the retaining wall is going. The small white marks are the post locations, apart from the centre one which is, uhm, the centre.



And then start digging.



The red string line you can see in the pic above is the where the top of the wall will be, so the bottom of the hole I'm digging needs to be 2m below that line.

And here's the progress as of last night.



Luckily it's all fairly soft ground so the digging isn't too difficult, there's just a lot of it!
yep, that is pretty steep and that will be quite a big hole :)

just be careful
 

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Steve, you can get really small excavators, designed especially to fit through doorways. They have two forward legs rather than tracks. The name will come to me at some point, spider, tripod, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Steve, you can get really small excavators, designed especially to fit through doorways. They have two forward legs rather than tracks. The name will come to me at some point, spider, tripod, etc.
Yep, I know the type you mean but the problem is that the only access to the back of the house is up this staircase :



😕
 

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That's a lot of digging! Looking forward to seeing more updates 😎
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's a lot of digging! Looking forward to seeing more updates 😎
It's a lot of digging, but it's not so bad because I've got some help...



Anyway, posts are in now. These are 3m long and 1m of that is in the ground. They're painted with black bitumen paint for protection.




The next step is to get the ground under the wall to it's final level and then fix the sleepers to the posts.
Then I can work out what I need to order for the return walls down the side and then comes more digging!
 

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It's a lot of digging, but it's not so bad because I've got some help...

“I don’t know what you’re doing dad, but it looks very clever and I love you”

😃😃

Are you going to have steps up to the top level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you going to have steps up to the top level?
No, the plan is to make the garden as maintenance free as possible so there'll be no need to access the top part so if I ever do, I'll just use a ladder.

I didn't get a lot of time today but I've started putting the wall together. The circular saw is quite noisy so I could only do a couple of sleepers before I had to stop out of consideration for the neighbours.

 

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That's a lot of digging to do there, Steve. Personally, I would have brought the split a bit further down. I know it would have meant even more digging, but it would reduce the overall height by quite a lot. Then, to keep it maintainance free, pave it, or weed membrane and gravel the top part, and stick a shed/man cave on it. :)

Good luck, and stock up on Radox...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's a lot of digging to do there, Steve. Personally, I would have brought the split a bit further down. I know it would have meant even more digging, but it would reduce the overall height by quite a lot. Then, to keep it maintainance free, pave it, or weed membrane and gravel the top part, and stick a shed/man cave on it. :)
Yeah, I see what you mean, but I think I'd rather have a bigger flatter area to sit out in. The house has got a decent sized garage already plus I've got my unit down the road so I don't really need a man cave at home too.

I've lived here for 14 years now and I think the only time I've ever been in the back garden is to work on it and never actually enjoyed it.

I had planned to pave the whole thing but it's not ideal with the dogs etc so I'm going to turf it instead. I'm OK with cutting a flat lawn every now and then, it was cutting it when it's so steep that I didn't like.

Here's a couple of drawings to show what I'm after because it's hard to capture it in photos




 

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I didn't see the 2m lost at the front, I can see why you need a shallow top now.
When i did mine, I wanted to level the bottom areas, but I found that there are services running under the upper level. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
but I found that there are services running under the upper level. :mad:
Oh, that's annoying!

I was expecting to find a lot of builder's debris and rubble but apart from a few bricks it's all been nice soft sandy ground so although there's a lot of digging it's fairly easy going.
 
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