Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JAN 2016

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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January 2016 45 To Sum Up… While the recommendation from NCMA, the limit set by the International Building Code, and the general guideline for obtain - ing a retaining wall permit is 4' in height, there are exceptions in nearly every state. We cannot emphasize enough: always, always, always check state, county and city require- ments before you build – even if your city or county guidelines were described in this ar- ticle. Requirements may have changed. When the requirements are loose, it's best to follow the NCMA guidelines for safety and stability. If a permit is not required, make sure that the wall conforms to local codes and standards, and will stand up during an inspec- tion, so to speak. When in doubt, get the per- mit - it's better to have a permit and not need it than to need a permit and not have it. Top: The vast majority of the time, height requirements for retaining walls are measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, not from the bottom of the exposed wall to the top of the wall. When a retaining wall has a varying height, the measurement to determine whether or not a permit is needed should be from the bottom of the footing to the top of the tallest part of the wall. The city of Sachse, Texas, requires a permit when the wall exceeds 4' in height at any point along the wall. PHOTO: VERSA-LOK Bottom: While the specific requirements vary by location, NCMA standards recommend that an aggregate be placed in the cores of the wall units when applicable, between the units, and at least 12" behind the units. Cincinnati requires the use of a granular backfill behind all retaining walls. DBM LC I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 2 8 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 3 0

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