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Question DetailsAsked on 3/30/2015

What single type of contractor repairs a retaining wall AND repaves a driveway?

I have a retaining wall adjacent to my driveway. The retaining wall is beginning to fail and the driveway needs to be repaved. Should I call a mason, paving contractor, landscpe contractor, or general contractor?

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Hard to tell which AL category to look under - basically what you need is probably a Landscaping or Excavation contractor who does parking lots and commercial developments like drivethrough restaurants and such, who does paving and retaining wall work both - generally a commercial rather than residential contractor if you want it all in one contractor.

Certainly a General Earthwork Contractor could do it, but would likely hire a specialist in paving (Driveways - Asphalt or Driveways - Concrete and also an Excavation or Landscaping - Hardscaping contractor to do the work, and probably do little or none himself. If you are interested in all the work being under one person, then a site civil/development general contractor is probably what you want - the contractors who do the general earthwork, streets and drives, and earth retaining structure work before the home builders and landscapers come into a site or development. Not a specific AL category - some in Excavation and some in Landscaping maybe, or you could call some Builders - Homes and ask them who could do it or if they do.

Personally, I would get a retaining wall contractor (assuming this is a substantial height or length wall) to either subcontract a paving contractor to do the paving, or if using a separate paving contractor have any substandard material excavation done and the driveway subsurface prep done first (if this is not a simple overlay job), then the retaining wall built complete, then the driveway prep cleaned up as needed and paved - this assuming the retaining wall is immediately adjacent to the driveway. If several feet away from influencing the driveway edges, then get the retaining wall built first, then the driveway redone. In either case, get the wall completed before the paving to avoid damaging the new driveway in the course of wall construction. Be sure to include consideration of how close any excavation can come in front of the wall so paving contractor work does not undermine the front of the wallor remove lateral restraint and allow the wall to slip forward at the base - not a significant issue if less than 3 feet high and you don't get within a foot or so, but can be significant on higher walls or one supporting large loads like buildings or vehicle parking orhigh hillsides.

And don't forget to make drainage arrangements and spell out who is doing what, so you don't get one contractor damaging subdrains installed by the other - may require some coordination, especially if a solid concrete retaining wall. If a complex situation or high wall, the engineer can include construction sequence and do-not-disturb distances in his drawings.

Remember that if the retaining wall is over a certain height (typically 3 feet in most areas, but up to 6 feet in some), you will likely need a civil engineer's design to get a building permit. Paving is likely to require a permit too, but generally that is just a file and get permit at same time exercise - more of a fund-raising function than safety oriented.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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