FAQ: How To Build Retaining Wall With Railroad Ties?

Are railroad ties good for retaining walls?

A retaining wall allows you to turn a useless (for landscaping purposes) slope into a terraced, flat area. And perhaps the easiest way to build such a wall is with used railroad crossties.

How long will railroad tie retaining wall last?

Cons: Limited life span (10 to 20 years) because timbers rot and are damaged by pests. Cannot be used to create curving walls as can concrete and stone.

How much does a railroad tie retaining wall cost?

Railroad ties are the most commonly used wood for a retaining wall, and prices for this type of wall cost between $25 and $30 per square foot of wall. Untreated or soft woods are not recommended for retaining wall construction due to their susceptibility to rot and water damage.

How do you attach railroad ties together?

Burying the first row of ties and pounding ample steel spikes or lengths of rebar to hold levels of ties together effectively anchors the ties.

  1. Excavate a trench to accommodate the bottom layer of railroad ties.
  2. Tamp the soil at the bottom of the trench to compact it.
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What is the easiest retaining wall to build?

For the average do-it-yourselfer, building a retaining wall is easiest when using masonry blocks that will be stacked no taller than three feet, with no mortar binding the stones or concrete members. (For a curved wall, mark instead with a garden hose or spray paint.)

What is the cheapest retaining wall to build?

What is the cheapest retaining wall material?

  • Treated pine and is the least expensive material.
  • Hardwood is more expensive than treated pine.
  • Railway sleepers are another – slightly more expensive – option and are built to withstand ground and water contact.
  • Concrete sleepers are more expensive.

Is it illegal to use railroad ties for landscaping?

Every EPA site said the same thing about the main preservative in old railroad ties: “Creosote is a possible human carcinogen and has no registered residential use.” So it’s actually illegal to use old railroad ties in a home landscape. There are no approved residential uses of creosote treated wood.

Will termites eat railroad ties?

Any wood that is on the ground in your yard will be attractive to worker termites. Termites come up from the ground to feed on any rotting wood they find. If you use railroad ties, or some other old wood as a border around your garden or flower bed, consider replacing this wood with stones.

How much does an 8 foot railroad tie weigh?

The weight of a railroad tie depends on their size and specifications. They can range anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds. The majority of railroad ties weigh close to 200 pounds.

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How much does a 4 foot retaining wall cost?

Retaining Wall Cost per Square Foot

Size Average cost
25 x 3-feet (75 sq.ft.) $3,750
25 x 4feet (100 sq.ft.) $5,000
40 x 4feet (160 sq.ft.) $8,000
60 x 4feet (240 sq.ft.) $12,000

Can I build my own retaining wall?

Retaining walls can be made from wood, bricks, natural stones or concrete blocks. For DIYers, it’s best to use concrete retaining wall blocks, which can be interlocking and are heavy enough to stay in place without cement or other adhesive. Interlocking blocks fit together and add extra security to the wall.

Do you need drainage behind a retaining wall?

Third, since most retaining walls are impervious, which means water cannot pass through the wall itself, efficient drainage is crucial. When drainage goes unaddressed hydrostatic pressure will build up behind the wall and cause damage such as bulging or cracking.

Will railroad ties float?

There actually are simple I’m pretty sure they sink. Railroad ties are usually hardwood – so they’re very dense and thick to begin with. Adding creosote will add a little bit of weight to the tie.

Are railroad ties toxic?

Railroad ties are treated wood, steeped in a toxic stew of chemicals, chief of which is creosote. You can find old railroad ties for sale even at garden centers, which makes the question confusing. The EPA has denounced these repurposed barriers as toxic and not recommended for the garden.

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