Our Last (?) Wall

So this red tag business is over now, but I wanted to give a full view of the retaining wall shenanigans we endured. The biggest thing we had to do in order to be up to code with our retaining wall was…. build another retaining wall! Had we gotten the permits in before the new year, this wall would not have been required, but alas it must be done. Why? So our walls can withstand a 150 year earthquake! Which means if anyone wants to be safe when the big one comes, our (now fortress-esque) home is set.

So here it is- we finally finished our last engineered, permit-required retaining wall! (Other walls we have in mind for the future are little ones for terracing our hill.) Take a look- I think it is rather beautiful. Oh and of course THANK YOU GRANDPA! for drilling all the holes and basically risking your life on the side of our hill- you are awesome (even though you do not own a computer and will probably never read this, I appreciate more than you will ever know!!).

In order for my grandpa to get up the hill, we first needed to create a dirt ramp for him to scale. Jacob created the device above to get dirt from up the hill down the hill. Awesome!

In order for my grandpa to get up the hill, we first needed to create a dirt ramp for him to scale. Jacob created the device above to get dirt from up the hill down the hill. Awesome!

My grandpa's tractor up the hill (I have no action shots of him getting up there- I was gone and Jacob was too freaked out to do anything but watch!)

My grandpa’s tractor up the hill (I have no action shots of him getting up there- I was gone and Jacob was too freaked out to do anything but watch!)

Grandpa drilling

Grandpa drilling

Jacob was his helper- and he got SUPER muddy

Jacob was his helper- and he got SUPER muddy

One of the holes- 11 feet deep

One of the holes- 11 feet deep

my grandpa and Jacob moving the i-beams out of his truck (I moved one myself, the smallest one- grandpa wouldn't let me help with the others haha)

my grandpa and Jacob moving the i-beams out of his truck (I moved one myself, the smallest one- grandpa wouldn’t let me help with the others haha)

Jacob cutting the wood to place in between the i-beams (I promise I helped with all of this... though it sure doesn't seem like it from the photos!)

Jacob cutting the wood to place in between the i-beams (I promise I helped with all of this… though it sure doesn’t seem like it from the photos!)

first bay up top getting done

first bay up top getting done

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finished wall- now it needs to get backfilled with drain rock

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We backfilled the upper retaining wall with pretty much the best invention of all time- a rock conveyor that can shoot as far as 100 feet. You have no idea how happy this made us when we found out we could rent one of these bad boys instead of hauling the 12 yards of rock ourselves

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all done!

We also added two more bays to our lower retaining wall in order to have a little spot for our trash/recycling/yard waste cans. It was kind of sad just how happy this made me.

drilling the bottom holes for the trash bin area

drilling the bottom holes for the trash bin area

drain in to make sure too much water doesn't build up

drain in to make sure too much water doesn’t build up

Then of course there was the necessity of removing all of that dirt…

just a small fraction of it

just a small fraction of it

one of probably close to 40 truckloads of dirt going bye bye after the holes were drilled and i-beams put in place (we moved a lot to different people around Sonoma County, but then our neighbor said he could use a LOT of it so we moved the rest by wheelbarrow a few doors down)

one of probably close to 40 truckloads of dirt going bye bye after the holes were drilled and i-beams put in place (we moved a lot to different people around Sonoma County, but then our neighbor said he could use a LOT of it so we moved the rest by wheelbarrow a few doors down)

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And look! Now that the wall is done and the dirt is gone… we can fit both vehicles next to each other! It’s the little things I’m telling you.

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Huzzah! And notice we even poured a cement slab for the bins to live on!

Ahhh, it is SO nice having all of that done!

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