2012 Home Renovations – Part 12 – Retaining walls revealed

Today the forms were removed revealing the new retaining walls. Michelle has some reservations about the height of the wall at the back of the lanai. In the original plan it was supposed to step down as you go from left to right finishing off maybe 2 feet off the ground

When we revisited this so that we could NOT have the 7 foot high section on the left, we ended up with a plan where the wall would be 4 feet across the entire back and we would resculpt the hill in the back yard to accommodate this. However I think “the cheerleader effect” had taken over and she was blending the best aspects of both plans in her head and was taken aback when only the latter plan “won”.

As you can see the wall looks pretty formidable. But if you consider that the hill it replaces was as high if not higher for much of its run AND the concrete pool deck has yet to be poured. There will be another 6 inches shaved off of the perceived height of the wall.

Here at the top left of the wall you can also see an extension that will hold back part of the re-contoured back yard hill. This will allow us to put a ramp from the back yard up to the shed. There *were* going to be steps there but 1) we still wanted to be able to move dollys and other wheeled things between the house and the shed and 2) that would have introduced the first steps to the property and I kind of like the idea of a “stepless ranch”.

The East wall of our existing lanai has been removed. Note the air conditioner to the left. This is its last day on this side of the house.

More of the driveway has been removed. Only enough of it remains now to support the air conditioner and we’re avoiding the various utility conduits

Below we have the basis for a French drain in the making. A large corrugated tube with holes with a sock over it to screen out muddy particulates. This is embedded in gravel (you can see this against the retaining wall in the picture above).

2012 Home Renovations – Part 11 – Second round of cement pour completed

2012 Home Renovations – Part 13 – Backfill has begun Electrics have begun


5 thoughts on “2012 Home Renovations – Part 12 – Retaining walls revealed”

  1. Looking good! I have two kids that can’t wait to christen the pool if you know what I mean. They don’t like chlorine filtration though, hope you are doing salt. Just let us know and when it’s ready and we’ll be there with Patron in hand!

  2. Looks exciting! Can you downplay the size of the wall by using plants to cover it?

    It looks like this will be an indoor pool when it’s done. Is that correct?

  3. @Alison – We were discussing options with our contractor today on that front. Because the wall is going to be such a prominent feature of the back patio, we will almost certainly be covering it with a rock face, adding a water feature in one of the corners and, as you suggest, adding some planters to make it less starkly imposing.

  4. @Alison – Actually, it will be an outdoor pool with many indoor pool advantages. The bright side is that we expect pool maintenance to be greatly reduced as much of the larger debris will be kept out by the screening. We also don’t need a fence because it is enclosed (we will need kiddie alarms on our doors however). Also, enclosed pool areas tend to have their share of moisture issues which can make them unappealing to relax within.

    The downside is that this introduces a seasonal limitation on the pool. I think it is realistic to have it out of commission for between 3 – 3 1/2 months. This year we could have started using it easily about a month ago. Since it will often be used for exercise, the temperature can be kept lower at those extreme ends of the season and I can get in, swim and get out. We’ll see how much I’m willing to brave chilly air to get my bi-weekly fix.

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