Advice needed - replacing 5 foot retaining wall very near pool

esurfer

Active member
Jun 28, 2013
34
St. Louis, MO
Hello TFP! I really need some advice. I have (had) an old tie retaining wall at the back of my property that is about 1.5 to 2 feet from my pool deck and about 6 feet at the shortest point to my pool stairs (probably 9 feet from the pool walls). We hired a company to replace the tie wall with a versa block wall and at the time, they never indicated having to cut the deck and they do not do concrete work. In hind sight I should have hired a pool construction company to do the work, but now I'm concerned about digging away so much dirt so close to the pool and the added expense of having to repair the deck. So now I have a decision to make about the wall.

1. Go with the original plan and city/county permit and allow the contractor to cut the deck so he can dig out enough dirt to lay the geo grid. Then have the portion of the deck that was removed fixed.
2. Abandon the versa block wall and go with a tie wall (will need new permits, it's not as nice, I'm not sure about longevity compared to block, but it is about the same cost)
3. Move the wall out so that the deck does not have to be cut (new permits, much taller wall, more material, two large pine trees will have to be removed, much more expensive)

I want to go with the original plan #1, but have concerns about removing the dirt so near the pool wall (shallow end). My pool is 3 ft deep and has stairs at the end. It is 20 x 40 ft vinyl lined pool and I just replace the liner this summer. The pool walls are a composite material.

The geo grid for the block wall needs to be 6 ft behind the wall at the top layer (about 2 feet from surface and 4 ft behind the wall at the lower layer about 4 feet from surface. The contractor wants to cut my concrete deck back enough so he can dig out the dirt to lay the geo grid. My fear is that will potentially compromise my pool walls.

Any advice?

See attached photos.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,058
Morris Cnty NJ
If your not gonna see the wall you can do a poured wall with a spread footing and you need no geogrid or tie backs. To not cut the deck there are other options. Not sure if this wall is engineered amd stamped as I install lots of versalok, I have huge walls at my own home. You can layer geogrid every other layer with a smaller 4ft grid and backfill completely with stone amd the wall wont move. Needs a full course buried, 2 is even better. I'm a certified ICPI installer
 

esurfer

Active member
Jun 28, 2013
34
St. Louis, MO
Thanks for you input @jimmythegreek

I'm not sure what you mean by engineered and stamed?
The distance from the wall to the concrete is only 2 feet. The inspector says he will not pass the wall if it doesn't have a 6ft geo grid on the top layer. The wall will be 5ft tall at most.
Moving the wall out further from the pool deck is not a practical option. And I was never given an option of a poured wall, that seems like it would be the most expensive way to go.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,058
Morris Cnty NJ
Poured wall is easy and same money if not cheaper. Most areas require stamped engineered plans for anything over 4ft tall. 2ft is not enough for geogrid 4ft from face of wall is minimum if its layered. Hopefully these guys know what they're doing. Why is moving wall out such an issue? Would save cutting into the deck that seems a bigger issue
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,683
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I'm not sure what you mean by engineered and stamed?
Contractors can claim a construction project was "engineered." City/county inspectors and planners can demand anything they want. Both will evaporate and wash their hands of you should something go wrong. When you get an engineer involved, and he provides construction plans and/or details, he will "stamp" the plans, which in essence means he is affixing his reputation and liability to the project, and is responsible for it (financially) should it fail due to a defect in the engineering. Then you have to later make sure the plans were properly executed.

So "engineered and stamped" basically means your project was designed by an expert that knows what he's doing, which includes another layer of financial "insurance" should your wall fail to do its job.