Engineered Steel I Beam Wall, Keystone Block Wall, Paver Patio and Stair Structures
This customer contacted HTCI, from a referral, of a friend of theirs that HTCI had done an engineered project for. They had been going through various designs for transforming their steeply sloping yard into usable space, provide access to their lower yard and also to buttress the hillside beneath their residence. After discussions and meetings with the owners, HTCI, the Soils Engineer and Structural Engineer, a very workable, aesthetic, and affordable design was arrived at. The concept would have a Steel I Beam wall buttressing the hillside, all along the rear of the residence, two stair structures with landings (one of pressure treated framing and redwood and one of 6” x 8” pressure treated landscape ties) and a series of Keystone Block walls which would create a patio centered on an old oak tree. Access to complete this work was very difficult. All drilling, for I- Beam Piers, was done with a portable hydraulic drill rig. All designs contemplated having men moving the individual components by hand. All soil stayed on site, and was compacted into place, which saved a great deal in the budget. The Stee I- Beam wall was designed with a combination of I-Beams and steel cages so that they could be assembled, on site, to make the components necessary, lighter. Once I-Beams and cages were in place, concrete was pumped into the pier holes. The wall consisted of heavy pressure treated laggings. A filter-fabric and drain rock system was installed behind the wall. A pressure treated and redwood guardrail system was then installed on top. A landing and staircase was built to provide access to the lower areas and then excavation for the Keystone Block Wall was began. The final depth of the footing for this wall was inspected, and then base rock, drainpipe, filter fabric and the first row of blocks was installed, and then inspected again. Once the walls were completed then the paver patio was installed. The final connection from the upper part of the yard to the lower area, was accomplished by installing a series of stairs and landings built of pressure treated landscape ties, that were anchored into the hillside with 4” x ¾” steel pins. A great deal of excavated soil had to be dealt with, so under the supervision of the Geo Technical Engineer, HTCI relocated it onto other lower areas of yard. Once completed, the owners now had exactly what they had envisioned for their yard.
This homeowner, who lived on a "Flag-Lot" property, had concerns that her open front driveway provided access that she was not comfortable with. She lived alone and did not like the idea that anyone could come on her property anytime they wanted to. She wanted to close off her property, but wanted to provide entry to family and friends, and also keep her dogs from getting out. She also wanted to provide for deliveries and those wanting access, to be able to do so. HTCI designed a system that achieved all of this. There was already Ornamental Iron on the property, so HTCI designed a gate that was substantially in keeping with that iron, but had an element of grandeur as it was to be situated at the front, and next to two "Cobble-Stone" columns. The new iron gate had to sit about two inches off of the grade as the owner had a very small dog that would escape if it was situated any higher than that. The system had a telephone entry system so that someone on the outside could speak to the owner, without actually entering the property. Three safety features were added to provide safety for pedestrians and also vehicles. As it turned out, the two columns that were already installed were not connected through underground conduits, so HTCI had to cut between the columns and excavate the concrete and soil in order to install these conduits. and then install new concrete. In the end, the gate and system addressed all of the owner's concerns and provided a layer of security that didn't exist before.