The original rock that later had to be ripped out
The rock retaining wall between us and the neighbors
A closer view of the retaining wall

Retaining Rock

The retaining rock started out as a real mess. A few months back, I met with our excavator and talked to him about the retaining rock we would need on our lot. Our neighbor to the right is up quite a bit higher than us, so we needed to "pin up" the dirt between us and him to prevent erosion, water and landscaping problems for years to come.

During my visit with our excavator, I learned that our estimate of how much rock we needed was much lower than what he thought. So, instead of making a final decision on the spot, I told the excavator that I would talk to Mark (the builder) and figure out what we wanted to do before we would actually start work on the rock.

Before I even had a chance to talk to Mark, and before we had told the excavator to begin work, the excavator pulled his equipment up to our lot and started going setting rock. In the process, he dug out about 3 feet into our neighbor's lot, which obviously caused some serious concerns.

I pulled a meeting together with the county inspector, my builder, my neighbor and myself and discussed what we were going to do about the problem. We came up with some solutions on how we would rebuild the neighbor's lot and place our rock right along our side of the property line to keep the dirt from moving.

In our discussions with the excavator thereafter, he seemed unwilling and uninterested in making any concessions or fixing the problem he caused on the neighbor's lot. We also later realized that the rock he did set was right in the way of a footing that needed to be poured, so the rock he did set had to be completely ripped out. As a result, we took him off the job and found a new excavator to do the job. The new excavator (Ammon from Blue Rock Construction) ended up doing an absolutely beautiful job with much nicer rock than the original excavator, and for much less money - so we are glad we found him.

Because of all the rain, however, a period of about 6 weeks passed in between the time the original excavator ripped up the neighbor's lot and the time the new excavator could get in to fix the problem. This caused some additional concerns with the neighbors (for obvious reasons) and we felt quite a bit of tension. Given that we will be living right next door for many years - this is not how we wanted to kick off the relationship.

The excavator still has some additional rock to set, mostly in the back yard, but also in the front of the house to hold up the dirt that will support the sidewalk that leads up to the front steps.

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