I live in Maine at the top of a hill along the Kennebec River... The lawn on
the south side of the house slopes gently toward the river, and abruptly
terminates where the driveway goes up to the house... This poor lawn is in
the shade 95% of the time, is poor soil (including diggings from a project
that was done prior to my buying the house), and as a result doesn't have
much grass and an overabundance of moss... There is a quaint brick walk that
runs from the front door to concrete steps down to the drive (the steps are
in the middle of the drive)... In recent years (I inherited all the
previously cited items) there has been some erosion in the soil next to the
driveway, particularly where the walk meets the steps (with the loss of
three or four courses of brick)... Other than this runoff, which has
occurred on the sharp slope from the lawn to the drive, the soil is quite
My wife, bless her heart, had decided she could no longer live with the
mossy walkway, and dug it up in order to restore it... I had wanted to
consider this particular project for a bit longer (about 10-20 years or so),
but now I'm kinda forced into action...
I want to build a dry retaining wall of field stone around the top of the
steps, then taper the wall along the drive in either direction... I have an
OLD rock wall in the pasture behind the house that marked a former boundary
line (the line has since moved, now marked by a row of trees)... I plan to
use the stone from this wall in this project... After the wall is in place,
I can put good soil on the lawn and reseed with the appropriate grass....
These steps are about four feet high at the top, this four foot height the
wall will need will taper to about three feet high at the street, and taper
to nothing as you come up the drive to the garage...
I've done plumbing, carpentry, roofing, flooring, and concrete projects... I
have never done anything with rock, so I have a bunch of doubts in my head
and would like to save as much of my back as possible.... I know I need a
batter of 2 inches per foot of height, I plan to put about eight inches of
crushed rock in a trench at the base of the wall, I expect the wall to be
about 24 inches wide, made of field stone... I plan to backfill the wall
with topsoil to the level of the lawn....
Since this is dry, with no mortar, I don't expect to put any drainage pipes
into the wall...
If anyone has any experience with such a project, and would care to inform
me of the evil unknowns I'm about to encounter, I'd certainly appreciate any
comments and advice....
I'll post pictures as this project progresses... I'd like to be done before
the snow flies....