Originally I was going to build a picket fence type barrier out of disassembled shipping pallets, but upon actually acquiring some of these things we determined that the wood wasn't sturdy enough to hold the weight of the dirt. Scrapped that idea, now I have a pile of pallet wood to use for something else in the future.
Then we went in search of other building materials, pricing cinder blocks, bricks, concrete, and then finally found what I have come to know as castle brick. Castle Brick is an interlocking system just for building landscaping walls. Each brick has a lip on the bottom of it that catches on the brick underneath. The weight of the dirt behind the wall holds the whole thing in place. Pretty interesting, how physics works in all sorts of situations around the house!
Our search took us to Custom Concrete, which is a locally owned building supply company that is just outside of Sabraton on RT 7. They were super helpful, calculated how many bricks we would need for the length of our wall, and even sold us the bricks for a sweet discount (about half as much as they retail for at Lowes). Keith made two trips in the truck bringing about 60 bricks each time, and we unloaded them into the side yard. There they sat for a couple of days till it quit raining. We watched a couple of how-to videos on the internet and became confident in our ability to build this wall ourselves.
If you click here, you can see a photo of the front yard in the before stage.
Keith and Tammy
Thursday I came home from work and the sun was shining for the first time in what seemed like months, so we set out to excavate and then build the wall back up before it started thunderstorming again. That was an insanely tall order, upon reflection, but we did in fact work from about 2PM till it got dark at 9, and in that span of time, with the angelic assistance of one Malissa Goff (who kept us from killing each other during the ridiculously difficult process of leveling the ground and then the bricks). Keith had a sledgehammer (which he named Tammy Wynette) and I had a shovel, it probably wouldn't have been much of a fight.
There were a LOT of rocks in that dirt, not to mention some fairly rotten landscape timbers and the remains of the original wall. But we got it out of there.
Me, on the sidewalk, hunched over the trench filled with rocks and dirt and sand, armed with two levels, a spade, and my fierce determination.We laid the 5th course in the dark, and had to quit, but I decided it was enough to keep the impending rain from washing the whole foundation of our house away. Then we drank a couple of beers and collapsed into a pile of aching backs jello-like muscles.