Block wall fence

paul32_2009March 14, 2009

Can anyone tell me how a block wall fence is built? I am talking what we call cinder blocks here.

Does it need a footer?

Below the frost line (if so, the entire length or just every so often)?

The soil (or lack thereof, almost all rock) where said fence/wall would be constructed is very difficult to dig, with machines. I would hate to have to dig 3 feet down or more. I live in Pennsylvania.

A web address would be alright too. Thanks in advance.

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lbpod

Are you talking about a 'fence' or a retaining wall?
Depending upon your climate, a block retaining wall
won't last long, (here in the northeast they begin
crumbling in just a few years).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:58AM
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homemasons

Whether it is a fence or retaining wall, the foundation should extend below the frost line. Probably not a Building Code requirement if it is just a privacy fence, but a good idea to avoid that fence overturning after a hard freeze or two, from "frost heave"... which is the expansion and contraction of the moisture in the ground. This action WILL move whatever is sitting on it.
I would think that frost heave applies to decomposed rock (anything that has pockets in it for moisture to collect... as you say, "mostly rock")... although if we are actually talking solid, impervious bedrock, you might get away with building directly atop that.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 4:30PM
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paul32_2009

Thank you very much. One side of my property would be a stepped retaining wall, the other a privacy fence. My mistake with the wording, homemasons, it is not bedrock . Is there some type of intermittent or "pier" type methods to combat heaving? I'm sorry to hear that about the short lifespan of retaining wall made of cinder block, lbpod. I was hoping to make the wall and embed chain link fence posts in it, for chain link (vinyl?) fencing of course. I, along with my wife and brother, built the foundation for our addition from the blocks (12"!), and I like the actual work and the way it looks. I have seen fences embedded in this fashion and I always marvelled at how solid it looks.

Thanks.
-Paul

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:19PM
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live_wire_oak

Improperly done retaining walls can KILL you! They MUST be engineered correctly with the proper drainage and weep holes. Water heavy soil weighs far more than you think! Holding it back requires proper engineering. Digging down to the frost line for a footer (and you MUST) is the least of it. You will also have to excavate back into the hill to create proper drainage and to create proper support within the hill. This will require a permit and inspections from your local municipality and will require a properly engineered plan to even issue the permit in the first place. Retaining walls taller than about 18" are not for weekend DIYers unless they were designed by a soils engineer and properly inspected.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 10:17AM
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