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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
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please direct to appropriate expert; Fixing a bulk head on

Resolved Question:

please direct to appropriate expert; Fixing a bulk head on a waterfront property, I got 2 estimates. One is $16,000 and another is $6,000.....So that is so extremely different.

The lower bid is a licensed contractor and has his crew insured.... and licensed etc. So what could the reason be for such a diff in the quote?
And what can i ask in regards XXXXX XXXXX that are required to do this repair. Only Half the bulk head appears to be damaged. The house in on Long Island SOuth Shore and at the end of the canal. it is about 30 ft wide
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Hi and welcome.
Please clarify what you are referring to as "bulkhead". A bulkhead in my mind is the part of a ship that has a door in it, or the end of a pressure vessel. Like a steam engines boiler.
Are you possibly referring to a levy, or a wall that has water that it is retaining from encroaching into the home?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

yes.... We tie a small boat to the bulk head.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Sort of like this?
graphic
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

yes.....


 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

AH It is called a "Dock" here in California. Just judging from what I see in the picture you still have the main timbers. The higher price is most likely to replace the whole thing, which may be advisable. I really cant say from just a picture. The lower one is just to repair the existing dock.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

my bro said the quote was for replacing the whole thing and using the plastic type fake wood...Is that being used nowadays? ...but here is another pic of the other side of the dock...my dad always used the word bulk head and i simply never had the need to clarify until now...lol.. But i will use dock from now on. The left side and the right side where the damaged dock is, is seperated by an area of about 6 ft that has a step down ...I can't find a pic yet....

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

He is probably referring to "Trex" or the equivelent. It is a composite material made partially of recycled car tire rubber. It is some great stuffg, but it is pricey!
To give you a "guestamate" of the cost to do this I will need a good set of pictures from on shore and off if possible.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

i will try to snap one tomorrow,,,thanks so far....

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
That works! Its pretty late here and Im headed to bed soon.
See you tomorrow! =)
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I know this much also,,, the $16k bid is going to take 2 years because of the waiting list.... The $6k is going to begin this week and wants a deposit tomorrow...yikes,,, so i am wanting to do it now before it gets cold and we get more erosion.... But maybe they won;t get a permit? We did the other side ourselves.. we just replaced the beams of wood that were already there one by one.....


The $16k bidder might be coming into the property via the canal but the cheaper bid was going to come from the street with a machine of some kind. Tractor?.. my concern is that it is too heavy and it will budge the dirt on the part of the yard that slopes down to the dock

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
A back hoe could cause the earth to slip into the water, but it would have to be pretty close.
Before I answer your concerns I would really like to get a better idea of what you are working with here. I could give you all kinds of maybe this and maybe that, but I wouldnt call them answers.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

ok...ill take pics tomorrow,,,thanks gnight

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
You are welcome. G'night. =)
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

ok, im loading more pics

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

hi i did not see this request that i rate your service,,,,,i prefer you see the pics before i rate since we didn't really evaluate anything except to determine that it is a dock and not a bulk head... ;)


Just answers will send me a notice that i shouldn't rate untill i am done..

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

Sorry for the delay replying. Had a long day in the field today. Please do not rate until we are done here. What I need is a picture of the whole dock. Preferably from different angles. pictures that show the whole thing, not just parts of it.

The close ups are helpful for determining the materials needed but I cant estimate the job that way.

Thank you. Best, Smitty

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I had more pics but I can't upload with my iphone for some reason. He came to see the job and the rate is 600 per day for 5 days of work with a few guys and we have to pay for all materials. He has to dig up yard to get the iron rods into the thick wood under the dirt and he will use blower pressure to drive the beams into the dirt. He won't use large round wood because its too expensive .... And would need a drill of some kind to drive them into the dirt in the water. (When its low tide, there's only 2 ft of water) I prefer the large round wood but I suppose the 5x5 would be enough of a step up since we have nothing now.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can u tell me if its possible to load pics into this reply while using an iPhone? I don't see the feature as to how to accomplish this?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

The real long photo is a panoramic view of 2 photos added together so it is a bit uneven where one side joins with the other,, so it looks like half the dock is sloping down,, but it really isn;t...

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the pictures. Judging from the house deck and the damage that the dock has you definitely have a soils problem. The soil is slipping/eroding into the canal causing the dock, concrete, and the deck footings to sink.
The only way to correct this would be to drive pilings and then install a retaining wall. The retaining wall is then back filled like the property across the canal from you. If the low bid contractor is just going to rebuild the dock it would be a waste of money (in my opinion). Sure it will look great for a while but I can guarantee that you will be fixing it again within 3-5 years.
The other bid is in the ballpark for installing a retaining wall and then adding soil behind it. This will be a more permanent fix than just rebuilding the dock. In addition it will add value to the property in the long run.
Let me know if you have any other concerns.
Best, Smitty
Nice boat by the way!
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

It is a noisy as hell boat....And the price might be a trade for the boat actually...lol....


The whole thing was going to be redone. Not just replacing the planks on the top. The planks of wood facing the water and in the water would be driven down with pressure, not vibration. He was going to order recycled plastic,,,,(my father wants vinyl and i thought that was the same,,,,But the price was alot and we are thinking of wood now,,,,,


ANd then instead of the fat round things,,Pilings?...,they would be 4x4 beams driven down...Most people just have a retaining wall and no beams. If we have those big round things, then it chews up a foot of space and we have a very small tight spot and so i am thinking the more narrow beams are good enough...?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Your problem is the soil is collapsing behind the dock. If it is not stopped by a retaining wall it will continue. You can do as you plan, but I do not recommend it. Eventually the back of the home will be affected and start to sink like the deck is doing now.
If you go with full pilings and retaining wall you should be able to actually increase the area of land. Check your property lines. You can place the wall right on that line, and then back fill from there.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

i think i am misunderstanding what a retaining wall is. The wood is going to be left there and new wood will be driven down in front of it. My understanding is that another wall will be created 5 ft back. So i think there will be 2 walls. And a deck on top. And the part that sunk forward is going to be straightend and pushed back to make a straight line because it exceeds into the water. Is that what you mean? We can create a new line and add about a foot of land? When our neighbor has a boat, it gets a bit tight in the water so i think he would fret about our land increasing into the water area.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Give me about 30 minuets and I will do a drawing for you showing the difference.
Thanks.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

We are on a 2 year waiting list for the certified dock builders...but we feel afraid to wait.. and this is why we want to begin now. I am assuming that a retaining wall is going to be built because he mentioned two rows of wall. One were the dock planks begin at the grass and another at the water. He mentioned that we need a few truck loads of fill.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Using boards as a retaining wall wont cut it in the long run. It must have pilings to support them.
You can go with the system that the low bidder proposes, but I highly recommend that you save some money and continue with the full job in two years.
graphic
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9508
Experience: #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
The Home Smithy and 2 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

ohhh....wow.. that was great

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
??The drawing?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

clarifying is great..now i just have to bug the guy to ask what he was going to do

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
OH! Thank you. I would have him put it in writing just to keep things straight between you. I have seen a lot of good friendships ruined by having a friend do work that wasn't spelled out on paper.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

just for clarity,.. the 2nd drawing you made did not have the 2nd row like in the first drawing.... Is that because the 2nd row does not have to be built if there is a retention wall?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

, on your drawing to the right...The thicker wood is the piling? Are you considering the piling to be the big round ones spaced apart or the 4 x4 kind spaced apart and driven down?


 


So behind those would go 2 x 10 planks laid horizontally?


 


 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
The drawing is a side shot. The verticle ones are the pilings. Similar to your neighbors with the pointy caps. The small square ones are the 2x10's. The one horizontal is the deck.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I can see that the drawing is a side shot... . He was clear about not using the large round pilings and instead using the squarish pilings about 4 x 4 in size like the neighbor has across the canal.

 

Wouldn't that suffice if we don;t have fast water current because there is a turn in the canal about 25 houses away so the water flow slows down.

 

Maybe he is going to lay the 2 x 10 horizontally anyway? he said he was going to put them right in front of the exsisting planks.

 

Perhaps the 2nd row will also have a retention wall with planks of wood laid horizontally but he simply did not explain it to me?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
If that is the way he plans to do it then it should be fine. Using only 4x4 pilings seems a bit weak. When I build a retaining wall I use a minimum of 6x6 posts and 2x8's for the horizontals.
If he uses 4x4s for the shore side that should be sufficient, but like I said I always use a minimum of 6x6s just to be sure that they last a good long time.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

( my hope is that the 4x4 is actually 6x6....He did not say 4x4... but he pointed to wood near the deck that looked like the size of a post....But then he also pointed to the house across the canal as a sample of how to wrap the square edges...So if he is going to lay wood in front of the wood that is already there, i can't imagine them not being laid horizontally. because otherwise it would be verticle against verticle pilings so that doesn't make sense.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
No it doesn't make sense. Best thing to do is to confirm what he will be doing. I can give you many different ways that someone might do this , but I can't read his mind (at least not from here. I'm still developing my Vulcan mind meld techniques. ;-) ).
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

oh... and also, does it really matter if Trex will be used or pressure treated? The thought of all those chemicals seeping into the canal really bothers me. We eat the eels and they are bottom feeders... I cook it japanese style. I know the Trek has 2 kinds. Recycled plastic and vinyl. The vinyl has 24 years warranty and is new right...but cost 20 % more and we still have $14,000 in back taxes to pay..So we are soo behind and did not qualify for any hurricane loans...

My other concern was that although the big fat pilings look awesome,, the space to put a boat is so small because we share a corner with the neighbor and when we both have a boat in the water, it is really tight. The fat diameter of the larger round piling seems like overkill. I am ok with a smaller profile as opposed to having the chunkier pilings if they can give us the same protection or other enforcements are incorporated...My hope is that the 2nd row 5 ft back will also be made as a retention wall?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Trex is a deck material. It is not intended to be placed in the ground.
Whether you can use large pilings is a matter of measurement and the possibility of encroaching on your neighbors property. To be certain that you are building on your property and not someone elses you need to have the property lines marked by a civil engineer.
There is a front property line somewhere. It might even be in the water.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

OH? My father was thinking that the dock part that hits the water could be made with vinyl. SO he is mistaken? The last 2 in this article are not for putting inside salt water or for building the retaining horizontal planks for the retaining wall?


http://www.boatingmag.com/dock-talk

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Title of the article is "For Comparison's Sake: Deck Material".
Key word is Deck.
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9508
Experience: #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Ahhhh,,,, you caught that....i saw dock in the description so i wasn;t clear....Well that settles it. We have no choice but to use wood. Plastic for the top is ok, but not for the part that goes inside the water. What about metal? My father suggested metal? Is that cheaper? THat is kind of another question but i will tip accordingly

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

http://longislandmarinelumberpilingfoundation.com/recycled.php


 


here is the recycled plastic lumber that is water friendly..,can you tell me if it is ok? ALso, the builder has this design in mind.. to keep a neet look on the outside since it is a tight space so the boat has more room..

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
You can use the plastic lumber, but it is almost 3 times the cost of standards pressure treated lumber.
As for the drawing he has everything bassackwards. get rid of the blue boards. They are not needed. Take the rest and spin it around so the pilings are towards the water. Less material and you still have the same thickness.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
That's what I told him. He said he was going to screw in some long screws into each plank into the 6x6. And that the vertical planks would go down 2 ft and the pilings 4 ft. Everyone here has the outside planks verticle
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
The pilings need to go down at least 6' because the soil is not considered stable in a marine environment, unless it is solid rock of course. Putting the boards on the outside like that is .....well, just plain ignorant. The force of the soil will push them right off the pilings no matter what type and size screws he uses.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Is there a guide for building docks like this available on the Internet? Will jetting get the piling down 6ft? I need a diagram or a protocal to use to direct this person. Would the verticle planks as a whole, as opposed to horizontal, make the dock stronger? I need to prove the horizontal is the way to go, or have a step by step guide to go by.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Sorry my mistake. Give me a bit and I will do another drawing to show how it should be built.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The other people have verticle planks and those are all jetted down as well.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

Ok. Give me a few more minuets to do the drawing.Actually if you could give me till the morning it will allow me to be more detailed.

 

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Have you built docks before? I am using my brothers friend because there's a 2 year waiting list in my area for licensed dock builders and I need to get back home knowing this is done. I hope he gives me a contract and guarantee? ... I'm going to sleep.
I have to pay for the jetting machine, all the materials and $600 per day labor of 5 days. Does it would fair? Materials are 3,200.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

AW NUTZ! Had this all typed up and ....oops! Built more than a few. Napa Valley Marina Dock Service. 1-1/2 years. Not a lot of experience but enough to know how not to build a dock. Ran the pile driver the last few months I was there. Home builder for better than 15 years. Built many retaining walls. Masonry and wood. Also about 5 years of getting my back side paddled for getting muddy crawling all over the old docks on the Napa River. ;-) Absolutely get it in writing! $600.00 per day isn't unreasonable. When I run a 3 man crew framing houses I get $800.00 per day plus materials. Materials seems a bit high but that is expected seeings as everything has to be resistant to the elements. Have a good rest. I'm not far behind you.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ooh that's a nice place to build docks. As long as the same rules haven't been perfected then why are the planks run horizontally? The verticles all go down 2 ft below the ground where as the horizontal would possibly bend in the middle with the pilings 6 ft apart? It's a 40 ft dock I think. And I wish we just repaird half but we thought its a good idea to raise it a bit like the neighbor on the left.
Would I demand a contract now even if we are trading off the boat? The delivery and rental is coming Monday and payment due for those things at that time. I asked him to write it down and he said he already told me what's needed and he told me to call around to get "fill" because he gave us a price as a friend so he can't do all the leg work.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

hey there,,, what happened? I'm in suspence now..

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Sorry. Got called in to work the door at a local bar last night and had a concrete pour today. Makes for a long day believe me. Especially with the full moon! 3 fights and one very drunk girl that swore she was in love with me.
If I was 20 years younger......Maybe. I'm too old to train another, and I love my wife very much.
I was mistaken when I said that the boards should be horizontal. This is because I work primarily with land based situations and I neglected to shift that one aspect over to marine application
In land based retaining walls you can set the lowest board right at the base of the dirt. This cant be done in marine applications so the boards must be vertical and then embedded into the earth to give them stability. Additionally the wet conditions will cause a longer board to bow as you mentioned.
I apologize for the error.
How you deal with your contractor is really up to you. How much do you trust him? Is he taking the boat right away or only after the work is completed to your satisfaction. What else is he not doing (like not getting the back fill)? At this point you are trusting him with a lot! No written contract means that you have very little recourse if he defaults on the job. If that happens then you end up paying for the job all over again.
I really just don't want this to turn into a nightmare/moneypit for you.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

i asked some other experts some other questions while you were gone, and it has been quite a relief to learn that he is doing it more or less ok. Except for his using screws instead of bolts. And i learned that putting the pilings toward the dirt on the inside instead of outside the planks cause less drag on the bulkhead as a whole. I was a bit doubtful of your horizontal planks recommendation because they can't go that far down like vertical.

Speaking of concrete,,, can we use concrete demolition to dump into the fill or will that leach out silica and other contaminants..

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Concrete "brick a brack" is a no no in the eyes of the EPA. But then what their eyes don't see......
Eels?? Ick! Striper! Mmmmmm
Here is a great video seried by David Lupberger. Well worth the time to watch . Might scare you though.
http://www.homeadvisor.com/rfs/popup/consumerVideosPopup.jsp
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Well what about the flat surface vs the pilings in the front.


Will the videos explain how to do business with a new friend? This is a totally different situation.


The guy is only charging for labor and not making any money for running around. We might trade our boat. He might be making a few hundred here and there on the materials,, not sure, but as long as no corners are cut that could otherwise give us better durability, i am ok with him being paid well...I don't like deals,, my bro does.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

No the videos are just for contractors not friends.

 

 

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

so basically, no way to escape the discomfort of challenging a friend in this project.... Undecided


In regards XXXXX XXXXX drawing; that is for designing with the piling facing outward, then the timber,,,(just one timber?) and the tonge and groove planks inside.


BUT, does this act as a retention wall?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
I suppose not.
Yes, and yes.

You can use 2 if you like. Or even 3, but that would be over kill.
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9508
Experience: #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.

is my concern that the timbers will get waterlogged and weight down onto the planks and it will be a constant weight bearing toward the canal onto the Tongue and groove 2 x 10 planks? Are they weaker than solid planks? And did you notice that the yard slopes up? and is it necessary to throw gravel first inside the ditch near the planks and piling base? What are your thoughts about the flat profile?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
No the pilings bear the weight of the horizontal board. No weight is placed on the T&G boards.
Actually the yard is sloping down. That is why it is sinking.
Some railroad rock would be best to start with then some 1" rock and then soil. That will allow for maximum drainage and less erosion.
About 1' or RR rock then 1-1/2' of 1" then top it off.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I just rated before you replied. But not finished because my computer just crashed so now I'm on my iPhone.
You haven't commented yet about the pilings being outward vs inward toward the dirt. The conundrum is if we can get away with not using pilings on the outside because the force of water flow might not be strong enough to warrant this. And so a smooth exterior will let the water flow easily across the planks and not cause movement of soil on the floor at the base of piling?
make it easier to keep a boat in the spot without it being too tight .
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
You can not place the pilings on the inside and expect them to last as long as they should. The weight of the back fill alone will cause the dock to be pushed off of the pilings. It doesn't matter what you attach the wood together with it WILL fail if the pilings are on the inside.
Look at your neighbors set ups. are any of them on the inside? No. Why? Because it is not done that way.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

one other expert said that because our flow of water isn';t strong, the pilings can go inside if you want a smooth look on the outside. The 2 boats would fit easier without the pilings in the way. Another opinion was that the water moving in and out flows over the flat surface and doesn't disturb the bottom of the pilings as they would if the pilings are on the outside the planks.
Can you check out that thread that I started when you were gone?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
it is not the water that this concern is about. the concern is holding back the weight of the back fill. nothing more.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


So a flat profile like this could never work on the property?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
The first drawing no. Second drawing is perfect.
What are the red lines? Metal bars going through the wood and bolted on the water side?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Those are iron rods and they are called a "Dead man".....

Those are Iron rods that get screwed or drilled into the pilings and are laid 6 ft apart inside the dirt and reach back into a timber that is buried underground and parallel to the sea wall 8 ft..

 

 

 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Awsome!
Thought they were but wanted to confirm. They will be a good addition.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

They were always part of the design... that is why I was asking if it is ok to have the face of the seawall flat. I see them sometimes flat..

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
What you may see is a facade if they are built right.
Build it like in the drawing and you will have a dock that will last the time it should.
Best, Smitty
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


I don't understand?


"What you may see is a façade if they are built right."


 


 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
The actual framing of the dock is hidden by the boards you see. The piers and cross boards are probably just like the plan above with an additional layer placed in front just for good looks.
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.


can you draw me a diagram of a well made flat face bulk head?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.


OH.. I get it... The flat faced sea walls are made like my second diagram and the front has more planks flat just for looks? or are they also incorporated in a way to act as more support? I was tucking in 3 seniors so I am so stressed out overseeing this is being done right. Another expert says the diagram with the outside facing planks "should" be fine because there is no fast moving water...I wish there were no should.. ;o

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
The speed of the water has absolutely nothing to do with the way the dock is built (Unless it is a fast flowing river). The concern here is the pressure that the soil puts on the boards.
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9508
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.


So if we follow the second design and put another row of planks on the front, can that be done and not be so heavy? or what would that require? Another expert is saying that the first diagram is sufficient. So I am trying to figure this out.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

No disrespect to my fellow expert but it is apparent that he has never worked in a marine environment or delt with many soils issues. Sand will leach out from between the boards if it is always wet. Sand is a great fill if the soil is relatively dry. Try this. Get a hand full of sand and place it in your hand and submerge it into a bowl of water. Do the same with the other hand filled with pebbles. swish them both around just a little and see which lasts longer. As for the side the pilings are on I have said it before and I will say it again. They MUST be on the water side. The wall will be useless as a retaining wall if they are on the inside. I don't care what kind of nuts or bolts you use the wall will fail prematurely. Oh yea, about using lag bolts...No no, no, no, no!!! The wood will retreat from the threads and out they come!

As for soil retention behind the dock. If you use the dead man it must be placed in soil that is not subsiding. e.g; ("guestimating" from the pictures) about 10' under the deck. Mind you Charles is correct about having a soils engineer determine where to place the deadman. Another option is to use augers to act as the deadman (http://longislandmarinelumberpilingfoundation.com/helical.php). Still yet a soils engineer should be consulted with as to the proper placement. If consulting a soils engineer creates a hardship at this time go ahead and let the guy build it as planned. It will last a good while and in the mean time you can save up to have it done correctly in 5 years or so, but for the life of pete do not put the piers on the inside or use sand as backfill. Both are recipes for disaster.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.


RELIEF.. I hate conflicts... that is what I needed to here to clear things...And dirt fill is what the contractor said to get, either free from somewhere, (hopefully not contaminated) or to buy it by the truck load....and he said he is NOT putting gravel or rocks at the bottom..He is not happy that I am hounding him about lugs vs bolts and insists he is using what everyone else that builds seawalls around here is using.


Also; what does subsiding about 10 ft under the deck mean? Please clarify


 


 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Ill draw you a picture.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Can we do both? Smooth facing outside and pilings behind them and then a horizontal timber and the next row of planks facing inside? That will be double the fasteners and 50 more planks of wood. How much is a soil engineer? Approx

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
You can if you want. It wont make the structure any more durable in the long run.
Soils engineers run about 2500.00 to 5000.00. depends on the type of annalisys they have to perform. If cores are needed, or other tests the price goes up.
graphic
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

this is going to be really hard for me to challenge the contractor. I flip flopped...


How long do you think it should take?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Sorry no clue. Depends on the crews skill.
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.

 

I will have to print this and use it for my fuel...meaning feeling entitled to have these concerns and negotiate them//... Awesome diagram btw and thank you so much for putting up with me.... I was doing this practically the whole day... at first I didn't understand your first design with the horizontal planks,, and I was trying to convince him to use horizontal planks.. so he was trying to be patient with me. I hope you can comment on Charles input if it is wrong. it would be a shame for someone to do the wrong thing..

The estimate was 5 days

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
You are more than welcome to. Putting up with you is no problem at all. Your questions are what I am here for.
As for Charles he is a great expert and I am happy to to work with him on the site. If you see something that he has said and are not comfortable about it just post your concern here and I will address it for you.
Again I apologize for the mistake on the horizontal boards. Been many years since I worked on the Napa River. Wish I was there now with a pole in the water. Love fishing on the 'Fishermans Barn' bank. Roaring campfire and a bottle of Jack just in case it gets nasty.
Im headed to bed. Gotta be up at 6 and ready to pour concrete by 7.
Best, Smitty
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


I like to know if Charles feels the inside design is adequate because perhaps the dead man is being used every 6 ft?

Also, you mentioned river rock and then 1 " rocks for drainage? But there is always a low tide of about 2 ft....I don't think it ever completelyt drains... Do I still need river rocks at the base. I was told no, that it won't and is not necessary in the Contractors opinion.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
I am sorry but I cant speak to what Charles is thinking.
You don't have to have the railroad rock but it will allow for water flow in and out of the structure while preventing the soil from being washed away.
Remember the sand and pebbles in your hand analogy? The same apples with soil.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Not sure what my brain was thinking when I mentioned what Charles feels...lol... I think I don't like that there are 2 opinions...There has to be one right answers or it is simply a matter of doing it "good enough" for the conditions that exist here.


 


But anyway...THe project has begun and I finally drummed up the courage to share my thoughts about possibly making the dead men ties go further back,,,, and he said he can not dig up the yard back any further because the tractor goes too close to the deck.... and it is not necessary...


Oh well.. I haven't the nerve to debate him or fight it or to insist.


It feels awful to not go the extra step.


 


/: I


 


But the extra order and invoice was added this morning for the carriage bolts, at least and the pilings are in on the outside facing the water... So that is a relief.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Pictures!! Please!
How far down did he sink the pilings?
What size pilings?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

it visually doesn't look like it went that far...

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

You better ask! Minimum 4'! 6' is best.

When I ran the pile driver we were sinking telephone poles up to 18'.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

7 ft 4 in is what I was able to put down into the water of the tape measure and it is a 12 ft timber of 6x6...so that is good right?..just made it,,,4.6

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
4' is a bare minimum and you have a soils problem you are trying to resolve. that warrants a little deeper in my opinion.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


8 ft 2 inches out on the other beam....

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

Well you have my thoughts on this. Unfortunately I cant make him drive them any deeper. If it were me doing the job I would drive them as deep as possible while still being able to mount the rest of the dock to them.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.


could it be that the ground moved away temporarily and they will fill it in around the sides of the beams? So the pressure of the jets pushed the some dirt out of the way?

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Doubtful. Like I said. If it were me I would drive them as deep as possible.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can it still be done? Maybe they are not set yet and there will still be some adjusting? while the piling is in there? Can't post photos from iPhone
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
I don't know if it can or not. It depends on what equipment the contractor has. available.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Maybe they are not set yet and there will still be some adjusting
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Possibly, I don't know. you would have to ask the contractor if they are where they will remain.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


What I learned is that getting well informed doesn't mean the job will get done right. Depends what forces someone is up against. I was able to find out info and not take action timely and adequately once I had that info.

.

Anyway, He said there's not enough room to add longer dead men because it will be too difficult to maneuver the tractor so close to the deck to set the deadman ties and the timbers back further. I think it can be done, but perhaps it has to be dug out by hand? Manualy? but it would hold up the job or take much longer and he has another job lined up so that is why I think he is doing this as a favor to my brother while he has a slot available. bulk head contractors are swamped and booked for 2 years.SO he is charging for labor only and materials is my cost. Just to get something done fast so we don't lose more ground. Do you think there is adequate room to maneuver the tractor to dig up dirt to bury the timbers further back? or do all that other stuff from the diagram? I could not bring myself to ask him. If it could be done, I would hire someone else if I could,that wasn't so negative.

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
My only concern with the deadman is that it be placed in soil that is not moving. If it is placed in the soil that is moving it isn't going to do a hell of a lot of good.
So far it does look good though. I wouldnt have used 6x6's for the horizontals though. 4x6 would have been more than sufficient.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do the 6x6 horizontal make it too heavy? That's my intuition for some reason. If I stopped them from continuing, would I be better off?
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
No the weight of the 6x6's will not affect the structure adversely
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do the 6x6 horizontal make it too heavy? That's my intuition for some reason. If I stopped them from continuing, would I be better off? I asked if he can use longer dead men on the far right and left sides of the sun deck where the span of dirt is most and he said "what's the point of having it only on the ends"
The diagram you made showed the dead man going back 20 ft or so and on a diagonal, ... How spaced and how many would be used ? And how far apart?
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.

That drawing was only to illustrate that you need to place the deadman (or other type of restraint) in soil that is not moving. You need a soils engineer to test the ground and recommend the correct placement of the restraint system. Without a soils analysis I can only guess as to where the stable soil is. Same goes for your contractor.

Having done many retaining walls I would venture an experienced "guess" that the soil is stable about 6' down under the center of the deck.

NOTE: I am not an engineer! I can not say this is correct. It is ONLY a guesstamate.

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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can they continue and I hire someone else to put the dead men deeper into stable ground at another time since they have a window? Or is the job a one day thing? What would be under the sun deck and how would the dead man get pushed so far down in a diagonal? A large drill? If he has a window for this job
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Sorry for not replying sooner. Had to go out of town.
Go ahead and let him install the deadman as planned. You can always retrofit if needed.
Found this website. The system is perfect in your situation. If the new bulkhead starts to fail you can have it retrofitted with this system.
http://www.southernfloridafoundationrepair.com/golf-course-bulkheads.html
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


It looks like what he is doing .......

 

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 8 months ago.
Then that is great!
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