I am currently landscaping my garden and I am looking to build a
retaining wall between mine and my neighbours garden.
My neighbours house is raised higher than mine. The position of my
neighbours house (front to back) is approx 8 metres and the base or top
of the foundations is approx 900mm higher from my land.
The border between our 2 houses is approx 1 metre away from my
Looking at lots of info online about retaining walls it advises digging
away further back from the retaining wall position and then back filling
and compressing. As my neighbours house is only 1 metre away I can't
see how I can dig away so close to my neighbours house to back full the
wall I want to build.
Can someone please offer any advice.
One other point here is that there isnt a wall there at the moment just
sloping soil down onto my land, so I want to dig this away to my border
and build the wall.
Any advice or help would be much appreciated.
You are going to need to engage a structural engineer to advise and
design a solution. If you're lucky, the neighbour's foundations will
be deeper than difference in the gound level so you only need to
support the soil. If not, then you may need to support their house
too, e.g. by underpinning it or building a substantial reinforced
concrete retaining wall (which you might hide with a non-structural
decorative brick wall afterwards).
I suspect the Party Wall Act might well come into play here too,
although I'm not familiar with its precise terms of engagement.
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my only advice is to do what I did and to not do what I did
To whit tie the whole thing together with steel - at EVERY brick. And
NOT leave any out.
Leave drainage holes in the base too.
Foundations are less important than making sure the whole thing is tied.
BUT...Since you are close to the neighbors foundations two things are
worth thinking about
(i) Their wont be that much soil to slump against your wall.
(ii) You may end up causing his house to subside. Instead.
And since this is a serious issue I think you should spend a couple of
hundred on a specialist structural engineer's advice.
The presence of the house so close takes this from a simply DIY project
to something you need real design on, and possibly planning permission
and building inspectors involved. I don't know.
Don't please try to be clever. Warning bells are ringing in my brain on
this. Get advice and ask the building inspector if this is within his
remit. Absolutely get a structural engineer in. Also check position vis
a vis insurance if you do cause serious subsidence to the neighbour. Its
maybe 100:1 that you wont, but the cost of a legal action in the 1% case
would be horrendous.
When you talk to the neighbour explain that you are getting an engineer
in 'to make sure that whatever I do leaves your house with better
foundations than it has now' Present it as a positive to him, that 'you
are getting a free check on the state of your foundations'
TBH depending on what sort of foundations it has, it might be a real
wind for him as he could get them underpinned.
Because if there is any issue with them, that's what will work -
underpin the existing foundations and build a sold lump of footings that
becomes 'your wall' at its far side.
And you will need to excavate his land to buld the wall as well, most
likeely. Co-operation is essential.
Sorry to be so negative..but this at second glance seems to be one of
those conceptually simple exercises that have massive ramifications when
I may be being alarmist - but spend 250 with the engineers to tell you
whether I am or not. Please.
(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to
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