Retaining wall + fence recommendation

I am looking at putting up a fence, extending existing that ends flush with house to extend out several feet plut at angle (around electrical and mail box) then to run along side of house giving 6-8 feet space along side and total stretch of 60 feet. House is on corner lot (small lot!!).
My original idea of installing myself seems to have gone by wayside as project has taken on life of its own. Before putting fence in, need to build up ground with 2' tall retaining wall for majority of stretch (60 feet).
Quotes given to me by contractors ranged from 2100 to 2600 (ProGrass was at $5400 ouch) for a ManorStone (MutualMaterials) retaining wall and wooden fence. After selecting one contractor, as I have made inqueries about small changes, such as wanting 6' fence for 15 foot stretch, then rest 5', the cost for materials keeps edging up.
QUESTION: To help keep cost down, should I consider pressure treated wood as a form of retaining wall instead of the ManorStone? It would definately give me more yard room as ManorStone is 12" deep + extra setback needed for posts. With my back, digging and lifting are not what I dream of (more like nightmares), so was also reason of selecting contractor.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Clayton.
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doolc-at-comcast.com wrote:
Have it done in the manner that gives the best result. You will enjoy it whenever you look at the result. It will increase your home's resale value.
Dick

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If you are interested in going through this same exercise a few years down the road, then you could use PT lumber. Wood, even pressure treated wood, will rot when in constant contact with moist soil. Not a material I would consider for any type of long term garden project - certainly not for a retaining wall. Bite the bullet, get out your checkbook and go with the stone. It is far better to invest some serious dollars in good, longlasting quality materials than to economize temporarily.
Have you considered having a poured concrete retaining wall done? It will have a much narrower profile than the ManorStone and they can inset post clips directly into the wall to support your fence posts. Look for a fencing contractor rather than a landscape outfit - they are more experienced in this type of application and the cost should be very competitive.
pam - gardengal
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yeah, wood is wood.
the cca replacement might not be a rot resistant, but shouldn't leave as nasty stuff in the siol when it rots?
Not a

better check the specs on the bases. simpson is a big mfr. i think all their post bases warn against using without top support. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q =% 22not+recommended+for+non+top%2Dsupported%22

posts could be lag bolted onto side of retaining, but that would be ugly.

yep yep yep :)

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Dooler wrote [in part]:

A retaining wall must be engineered to hold back the mounded soil. This requires below-ground footings and might require some steel rebar. Sometimes, the wall is best sloped back against the soil its holding.
In some jurisdictions, even a 2-foot retaining wall requires a permit and inspections. This is NOT bureaucratic obstructionism. The failure of a retaining wall can be an awful mess if not a real disaster.
--

David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/
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Check your local building codes. In our community, retaining walls over a certain size (right around 2 ft I think) MUST be made of stone, brick, concrete, or some other non-biodegradable material (no railroad ties...). Some heights require inspection, and some don't (shorter walls are considered raised garden beds and not structural). Some heights require more reinforcement than others (the taller the wall, the more re-inforcement) Apparently, even if you are repairing more than a certain % of an existing retaining wall that is made of wood, you must rebuild the entire thing of a non-wood substance. The stone should last a lot longer and keep you (or the next homeowner) from having to re-do the same work in a few years--plus, it looks a lot better, IMHO.
My husband and I have a small suburban lot (125 feet deep from street to back, and 60 or 70 feet wide) where about 50 feet in the rear is on a 45 degree slope downward away from the house. If you think your estimates for your retaining wall are bad, just imagine what ours to terrace that hill and make usable garden or patio space are like...:)
Good luck with your project!
--Elit.
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Sooner or later even dock stock will disintegrate. When large and pressure treated timers are used in construction, their replacement on some regular basis is an anticipated GIVEN. It depends on your climate. something like railroad ties can last for a very long time in a DRY CLIMATE. I doubt your building department will give you a permit for an unsafe material for a real retaining wall. ALSO if you can buy yourself a decade, you might be able to afford a permanent material by then. IN Southern California railroad ties and the like are often used; however, i used them to build a raised bed in my greenhouse and in about 8 years some of them were rotted thoroughly.
hermine stover
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