Apr 4, 2005, 11:19 AM
Post #1 of 5
Hi, We're in the middle of a project here, building a new wall. Well we were supposed to be building a new wall but now it appears we are modifying an older one.
I better start from the beginning.
Our house is built on terraces down the face of a cliff. Our current front wall extends 20' or so upwards towards the street but only protrudes 2' above street level. We pulled permits and got the show on the road, so to speak. We hired a Master Mason for $1200mxp per week and $900mxp for his 3 helpers. We had been advised that if we contracted with a price for the JOB that when problems arose (and we know the will) they would slow down or stop work rather than try to re-negotiate the money. So we hired them by the week, so far they show up at 6am and leave at 6pm, 6 days a week.
Ok, so the plan was to setback the new wall (towards the street) leaving a terraced planter mid-wall so we wouldn't look like we were behind Sam's Club. LOL
All the other walls on the street extend to the curb and ours was the only one with a miniature sidewalk of about 20" width. The workers busted the sidewalk out and were digging the holes for the foundation of the columns when the building inspectors show up. They said that the new wall had to go on top of the old wall and that we had to rebuild the sidewalk. I took photos and went downtown to show that there were no other sidewalks on the street, that ours went nowhere, and even at that you had to step into the street mid-walk to go around the cities 2 poles. They informed us that there were supposed to be sidewalks but that over the years property owners had ridden rough-shod over them to the point of their extinction in some places. That no longer would they allow that to happen, our sidewalk had to go back in.
Ok, so this changes the wall a bunch, now we have a curved 50 year old rock wall of 20' in height, that we are supposed to build a 2.5 meter steel reinforced concrete and concrete block wall on top of. Now it must include a 1 meter planter on which will be 2/3 of the way to the top of what will now be a 28' tall wall. So the mason says in typical Mexican style "No Problema".
No engineer has looked at this project and the farther into it we get the more nervous I get. They've formed the rebar supports for the columns, moved the footer holes which now come half way into the wall, a meter down, and have set them in concrete. I'm looking at this thing and really worrying about wind loads, and the weight of the new structure's effect on the integrity of the older wall.
Should I be worried, or should I have faith that the masons know their stuff?
Compórtate bien, y si no puedes, invítame!