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Anchoring a Railing

etherhuffer's picture

I have a retaining wall made of solid stacking concrete block, not hollow. It abuts a patio of pavers. The retaining wall is a reverse wall against our house, and on another side, a drop off. I want to put a railing up and need it secure, I can tie into the corner of the house on one end, but away from that, my posts need securing.


As I see it, the choices are to pull out pavers and go down with a footing of some sort, or set it on the surface with triangulated supports on the back side, which would be ugly.  The tie into the house will stabilize one end. It makes a 90 degree turn about 10 feet from that, which will help too. But the center really needs to be stable, not a wobbler.


Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities- Voltaire

 

(post #100881, reply #1 of 4)

..."the retaining wall is a reverse wall against our house, and on another side, a drop-off."


 


Sorry, but you lost me on that one.


 Bottom line though, the railing posts need to be embedded into the ground for stability.  You can't bolt a post to a paver, the paver will crack and it also will move or even "lift."  Remove the pavers where you plan to put the posts and embed them in the ground securely.  Once the posts are secure, attaching the railing is a non-issue.


Placing triangular "above" ground supports to steady your posts are not only an ugly alternative, but would only be viewed by most agencies as a temporary barricade; having no real merit and meeting no real codes concerning permanent railings or walls.  I seriously doubt such a structure could withstand a 250 lb force falling against it. If it cannot withstand such a force, it would never meet code...nor will it meet any home insurance requirements.


Davo

(post #100881, reply #2 of 4)

Yeah, hard to explain this wart. But the bottom line is the paver and block set up. I think I need to take out the pavers  where the posts go,  dig down deep enough to set a post anchor in concrete. If I do it right, I could have the pavers out in a small area so the anchor does not show too much or the paver reset.


 


Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities- Voltaire

 

(post #100881, reply #3 of 4)

If I understand this correctly, there is a downslope, and you want a fence so no one falls off.  Is this correct?  How tall is the retaining wall?


Putting in posts along the edge of the retaining wall is risky unless you go deep.  As someone mentioned, it needs to resist IIRC 250# of side force (at least that's what my engineer designed for).  That's 250# at the end of a lever.  A lever that's going to have a whole heck of a lot less resistance on the block side than the dirt side. 


Other than going well below the retaining wall footer (depth depending on factors I don't have a clue about) or putting the fence well back of the retaining wall I'm not sure how to pull this one off.


Which is a long way of saying: Consult your local engineer!

(post #100881, reply #4 of 4)

The wall is 6 foot high, has been made of solid blocks, 80# each, not hollow core. No locking pins, just the lip on the block.  The wall terminates at the house, so I can tie in at the corner of the house for extra support, but its down deep we need to go I think.

Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities- Voltaire