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Foundation Repair: Arizona Home on the Edge Part 3 – Challenges

Retaining Wall and Home Stabilization

home-on-edge-3-1Cost of the project:  $121,500

Project Start Date:  August 2008

Project Finish Date:  January 2009

Structural Engineer: Gervasio & Associates

Geotechnical Engineer: Copper State Engineering


Having construction errors (part 1) and a structural engineering design completed (part 2), this particular home’s foundation repairs presented numerous access challenges for us.The retaining wall was located at the far side of the house with very little access for equipment needed to install the various solutions.

There was a path leading to below the wall, however, it had in some places a cross slope of more than 45 degrees. In addition, the area below was considered a preserve area, precluding the use of permanent retaining walls for equipment access.  Even the use of temporary concrete retaining walls was rejected due to fear of debris and soil during removal sliding down and contaminating the preserve. There was no room for equipment above the wall for equipment to reach down below.The temporary methods chosen to provide access and construct the designed repairs included:First, install the helical piles under the house foundation. Second, install temporary helical piles vertically in the soil 6’ in front of the retaining wall. Some of these needed to be installed with hand equipment due to the slope and access restrictions. Third, install temporary tiebacks into the existing wall.

Next, a steel frame work was welded connecting the temporary tiebacks to the temporary helical piles. Then Railroad ties were then placed inside the framework parallel to the retaining wall as a temporary retaining wall. Finally sandbags were loaded inside of the railroad ties as temporary fill, and minimal grout was used on top of the bags to provide a stable work surface. All this site preparation for part 4 … the foundation repair work.

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