Straight Vs Angled Spotting Scope: Choosing a Spotting Scope Body Style

The topic of Straight vs. Angled Spotting Scope is a discussion that has been and will be disputed for a long time. It is hard enough just choosing which brand of scope you will buy, then you have to decide the body style: Angled or Straight Spotting Scope. Here we will discuss which scope body style is best for you by looking at what is best for certain situations.

If you ask around or read forums on the topic of straight vs. angled spotting scope body styles, you will find that people have strong opinions on which is best. I would be willing to bet that the one they think is best will usually be the body style they got used to first. If their first scope was angled, then that is probably the body style they will prefer and vice versa. That being said, it is advised that you get used to the body style that fits most of your activities best.

Angled Body

Angled body scopes are best in several different situations. Here are the pros and cons of an angled scope over a straight scope.

Pros:

1. Good option if there are going to be several people using it as it is easier to accommodate people of different heights, as you just lower your eye to the eyepiece.
2. Best for situations when standing as it requires less height of a tripod
3. Some say angled spotters are more comfortable for long hours of glassing.

Cons:
1. Not good for spotting while sitting in a vehicle using a window mount.
2. Angled scopes are harder for beginners to find game due to the angle.
3. Does not pack into a backpack as well as a straight body style
4. Due to the angle, the eyepiece is very exposed to the elements, mainly rain, snow, dust.

Straight Body

Straight body spotters are best in several different situations. Here are the pros and cons of a straight scope over an angled scope.

Pros:

1. A straight body is easier for finding the intended object making it especially better for beginners
2. A straight body is the best choice for using a window mount from the seat of a vehicle.
3. Takes up less room in a backpack due to its streamlined shape.
4. Straight body spotting scopes are slightly less expensive than angled body spotting scopes.
5. The eyepiece is 100% vertical making harder for dirt, dust, rain, snow, etc…

Cons:

1. Taller tripod needed for viewing in a standing position
2. More height adjustment needed when several viewers are using a straight spotter.
3. Less comfortable than angled body spotting scope for long glassing sessions due to neck positioning.

Authors Preference: Straight or Angled Spotting Scope

Like I said at the beginning of this article as to straight vs. angled spotting scopes, most people will prefer what they learn and become comfortable on first. Due to the fact that I do a lot of backcountry glassing, packing my spotter in my backpack, as well as a lot of glassing from the comfort of my vehicle, the decision for me was simple to buy a straight body over an angled scope.

Although I believe a straight body scope is best for my situation, I do know the value of an angled scope. My father has a Swarovski 20-60X80mm Angled Spotting Scope that stays in the house or on the porch for viewing wildlife from the house. There are several users a lot of the time and it gets a lot of use, so the angled is the best bet for this situation. I have since become comfortable using angled or straight spotting scope body styles.

Decide and Go Glassing

I hope this has helped you to determine which scope style is best for your situation, a straight or angled scope. For the most part, whichever option you go with you should be able to get used to it. The best thing you can do is figure out what points above best pertain to you, buy whichever will be best for your style of use, and go give it a try. Be very careful with your new scope in case you decide you would like the other body style more; most places will let you return the scope if you are unhappy with it.

If you are in the market for a spotting scope, you should consider taking a look at the best spotting scopes for each price range here: https://ballachy.com/blogs/reviews/best-spotting-scope  .

Lawyers: Are They Contractors or Employees?

Most people don’t know whether to classify lawyers as contractors or employees. In certain instances, the distinction is quite clear. For example, when a lawyer is hired for consulting services and paid a flat fee or contingent fee, then it is obviously an independent contract engagement. The distinction between a contracted lawyer and one that is engaged as an employee counts a lot in matters to do with taxation.

A lawyers of distinction 2019 that independently offers his/ her services on a contractual basis is exposed to the following benefits:

· No income tax is withheld.

· No employment taxes are levied.

· No agency liability is incurred for acts committed by employees of the law firm; the employer is exempted from any liability arising out of his or her employees’ legal malpractice.

· There are no Federal or State laws imposed to discriminate against the lawyer and protect employees only.

· There are no retirement, pension, fringe benefits, and such related systems.

Given the disadvantages that accompany employee lawyers, many people question why they even seek formal employment in the first place. In most instances, it is not a matter of choice.

For all intents and purposes, all state organizations and related agencies/ agents, assume all people working in a firm to be employees unless proven otherwise. This statement holds true for the IRS, state labor commissioner, employment development department, insurance companies, and the unemployment insurance authority.

There are various screening tests that can be done in order to identify the employment status of a worker. Most of the tests center on the level of control exercised over the worker. With cases of fraud on the rise, the IRS is doing everything in its wake to ensure that lawyers become liable for their taxation dues. The IRS is doing this by actively cooperating with different State departments and Federal agencies.

Lawyers are usually prime targets in this IRS venture and in certain instances, they get caught. There are precedent laws, developed over time, to bring out the distinction between a contractual engagement and a formal employee engagement.

When in catch 22 situations, most lawyers invoke Section 530 relief. This provision is a get-out-of-jail-free card that can be used when issues to do with employment tax liabilities pop up. However, for Section 530 relief to apply, there are certain requirements that the lawyer must have fulfilled:

· Consistent treatment of workers as independent contractors.

· Filing all forms 1099 for the workers.

· Have sufficient reason for not engaging the workers as employees. The degree of reasonableness is tied to judicial precedents, IRS rulings, past IRS audits, or a long-standing practice adopted by a significant portion of the relevant industry.

In order to successfully win a legal dispute touching on employment status, a practicing law firm must issue good and clear work contracts and be consistent in all it work ventures. This is the only sure way of avoiding income tax problems with the IRS.

Essential Oils For a Beautiful Garden

I became interested in essential oils because of the love of good fragrance. Soon I learned that there was more to these oils than good clean smell. So, buy edens garden essential oils.

*There are the amazing health benefits of these oils. These oils are the true essence of the plant and can help with things like headaches, burns, upset stomachs.

*Are you aware that there are oils that you can use in cooking? Try adding a drop of herbal oil to that recipe instead of the herb in a bottle.

*My newest discovery – essential oils in the garden. Oils can help rid the garden of pests and weeds as well as make a healthy compost.

Spring is the time to rekindle our relationship with the garden. Whatever you’re growing it’s important, whenever possible, to keep harsh chemicals away from your plants. Harsh chemicals harm the environment and can be harmful to your family and pets.

Here are some tips that can help you grow a beautiful garden with green essential oils.

1. For an effective bug repellent, fill a 24-oz spray bottle with water and add 2 – 3 drops of oregano, basil or thyme essential oil. To add zip to this green bug repellent, blend a clove of garlic and add to the solution with 2-tsp. insecticidal soap (add soap last). Spray this solution on or near infected plants.

2. Apply cinnamon essential oil as an herbicide to get rid of weeds. Take care to apply only to the weeds.

3. If you grow lavender, add the cuttings to the compost heap. It’s a wonderful compost material and soil amendment.

Understanding Lacrosse – Knowing Your Different Types of Lacrosse Sticks

Lacrosse sticks are sports equipment used in lacrosse, consisting of two parts, the handle, and the head, which are normally bought separately. Called a shaft, the handle of a lacrosse stick is a hollow, polygonal tube made from Kevlar, titanium, or aluminum. The exposed end of a handle is known as the butt and plugged with rubber or wrapped in tape. Used to cradle, throw, and catch the ball, the head of a lacrosse stick features a pouch. Depending on what you require, there are different types of lacrosse sticks for you to choose from. There are sticks with wooden or plastic heads, with sizes depending on whether the user is male or female and standards set by different lacrosse organizations like the International Lacrosse Federation, the NCAA, and US Lacrosse.

Different types of lacrosse sticks

Here are the different types of sticks you can choose from:

Men’s: Stick heads used by men need to be between four to 10 inches wide according to ILF regulations and then 6.5 to 10 inches wide according to the NCAA and the US Lacrosse. If you’re a goalie, your lacrosse stick can measure up to 15 inches on the widest point (ILF) or 10 to 12 inches (NCAA and US Lacrosse). Sidewalls for men’s lacrosse sticks shouldn’t exceed a height of two inches and can have pockets made from mesh, nylon, or strung leather.

Women’s: Women’s lacrosse sticks, on the other hand, should have heads that are seven to nine inches wide according to US Lacrosse regulations, with the goalie’s reaching up to 12 inches wide. While their pockets are shallower than men’s sticks, women’s sticks feature more colorful heads.

Children’s: Made from plastic, these sticks are light yet durable and easy to break-in. Along with mesh netting, they also have pointed mouths for accurate throws and easy picking up of the ball.

Important information

Complete information on the different types of lacrosse sticks is available at [ https://fidgetsguide.com/best-lacrosse-sticks/ ]

WHAT IS CLICKFUNNELS & WHAT DOES IT DO?

ClickFunnels is essentially a landing page builder on steroids. The biggest selling point is that it’s easy to use.

It does have some drawbacks, which I’m going to cover later on, but overall it’s an excellent tool that you can use to build landing pages, sales funnels with upsell/downsell functionality and even membership groups. It’s packed with pre-made templates that you can customize however you see fit.

ClickFunnels integrates with Stripe, Paypal, and other types of payment processors, making it extremely easy to integrate if you take payments online for your services. It also allows for custom code to be inserted pretty much anywhere in a given page, which allows for you to truly customize your landing page, and even provide other checkout options like PayPal for your customers. You can also provide different price points and pricing options for your customers, built right into the landing pages.

ClickFunnels is a tool, just like any other software. You can earn money online in many different ways, and Clickfunnels can help you reach your goals, but ONLY if you put in the work. ClickFunnels is not a get rich quick scheme – it’s a tool to help you reach your customers and sell more products.

They even back up their software with a 14-day free trial.

WHY NOT JUST USE WORDPRESS?


First and foremost, WordPress is awesome. If you are running a strictly content based website, then WordPress should be your go-to content management system, and there’s no reason for you to work through ClickFunnels.

Therefore, if you aren’t selling something online or aren’t in need of a membership platform for any reason, then just stick with WordPress as your default CMS.

BUT – I do think that ClickFunnels has a full suite of options for any niche site builder and that you should consider it if you are thinking that you are going to start outsourcing some of your work. If you are running an Amazon FBA business, having a ClickFunnels subscription may be worth considering; especially if you run paid traffic to your products on your own e-commerce site.

For content based on the Niche website, I’ve been able to set up a membership site for my contractors so they can log in and see what I expect out of them when they work on my sites. It’s a crucial part of my business. While I could set up a password protected page for them on my site if I chose, I personally like having a separate site that provides easy to use instructions that cover ALL of my online properties, and not just one specific website.

If you sell any sort of product both physical and digital (software, membership site, etc) then I think ClickFunnels is worth taking a look for its advanced selling features. click here for more information.

Baby Grand Piano Review – Overview of Features and Popular Models

GM-11 Grand Piano

The reasons why baby grand pianos are well-liked by most musicians are their qualities which include sound and artistic beauty. Though they aren’t as large as a grand piano, they still have the capability to generate a full sound. As a result, they are often compared to an upright piano and other piano types as well. It is becoming a favorite alternative due to its amazing characteristics that any individual could really fall in love with.

The most distinct characteristic of this model piano is its dimensions. It ranges from 4 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall while the width measures 6 feet and above. But every buyer should be aware that the cost is dependent upon the materials used. Also, keep in mind that it is recommended to look for a piano that has dimensions not less than 4 feet 8 inches in height.

The sound of every musical instrument is important. Despite of its smaller size, a baby grand has strings which are longer than those of an upright type of piano. This results in a more precise vibration coming from the lengthier strings. It is common knowledge that the length of the strings plays a vital role to the sound quality and tone created by a piano.

Another quality that a baby grand piano possesses is its decorative function at home. They are characterized as the petite or “baby” version of the larger model pianos which can serve in daily use in every home. It has the ability to fit into most living rooms also. Though purchasing a piano can demand a big investment, buying a baby grand piano will definitely assure you that you are getting a great value. This is simply because a baby grand piano can last for a longer period of time even without costly maintenance as long as you keep them in an area where there is moderate temperature.

Of course, if you are to buy your own baby grand piano, you also have to be knowledgeable when it comes to its specific types which can be classified according to their color and leg styles. Most can be purchased in black. However, there are models that are being offered in ebony, mahogany, white, and walnut. Moreover, the majority of grand pianos are available in leg styles such as Queen Anne, Straight, and Victorian. These leg styles are more stylish and elegant when used as home decorations.

If you consider all the features that a baby grand piano has, it may trigger you to buy one right away. A baby grand [http://piano-bench.org] possesses characteristics that every buyer will love since they are more practical and could provide you the best possible quality of sound.

Counseling Navient Settlement – Finding the Best Debt Settlement Strategy to Pay Back Student Loans

Credit card companies can offer many types of cards depending on what you intend to do with it, some are low interest and some have no limit, they can vary for more reasons but the main one is the reasons you need a loan. Some of the most common credit cards are the ones for education, the so-called student credit cards. Student loans are available for you and can help you pursue your dream and finish college. Some education taxes can be pretty high and not everyone can afford them, a student loan will get you the money you need to pay for college but you have to know that you will need to pay it back plus the additional interest. The point is that you take a loan thinking that you will get a job during college and you will afford to pay back the loan. It is very hard to get a job with the recession, especially if you are a student and you can only work part-time and with flexible hours. This caused many to fall back on payments and eventually end up in debt.

It is very important for the population of a country to have a good education so that they can work more efficient, so the government has decided to help consumers pay back student loans.

You are by now in deep debt and you haven’t paid back the creditors in quite a while. You can go online and find information about debt relief options. The best one available right now is debt settlement. You can counsel debt settlement and get some of your debt cleared just by a simple process in which the debt settlement company explains your inability to pay to the creditors. Paying the rest is not very difficult because you choose how much you deposit each month and the total target doesn’t increase from interest or penalties, so it is reachable in 2-3 years; time until you will finish college and start new with a diploma and no debt to worry about. Be sure to not make a bad decision like filing for bankruptcy because you have your whole life ahead of you and this would only make it harder for you in the future.

Debt settlement is a viable alternative to filing bankruptcy. Most consumers are able to eliminate at least 60% of their unsecured debt while avoiding many of the negative consequences of filing bankruptcy. If you are over $10k in unsecured debt you will be eligible for debt settlement. To locate legitimate debt settlement companies in your state check out the following link:

You can find out more

The Amazing Range Of Sex Toys

The variety of sex toys is surprising. Sex toys vary from purely male or purely female sex toys to toys that can be used by both sexes. There are also some sex toys that can also be classified as sex aids or marital aids.

The Purpose Of Sex Toys

Some sex toys aid the man’s erection, stimulate the female genitals to become more sensitive or provide a different feel to ‘normal’ sex. Other sex toys provide an ‘environment’ for variations in sex, for example, so-called orgy bed sheets. Sometimes they are used to help a person who has difficulty with unaided sex to achieve sexual satisfaction. However, most sex toys provide a new way to directly stimulate the male or female genitals to achieve sexual satisfaction.

Using sex toys can provide new experiences and variations in sexual experience. It can also provide a fantasy element for enhancing or revitalizing a relationship.

The usual expectation is that a sex toy provides direct stimulation of the genitals in foreplay and/or during sexual intercourse or as a means to obtain orgasm through only the stimulation provided by the sex toy.

Types of Sex Toys

Vibrating Sex Toys

Probably the most well-known sex toys are ‘vibrators’ which, as the name suggests, provide stimulation of the genitals using vibration. They are mainly used to stimulate the clitoris, but may also be used to stimulate any other part of the female body or that of a man’s.

The simplest of these are pencil or wand shaped (though normally thicker than a pencil). They often have an internal battery (or two) which powers a small electric motor. Sometimes the battery pack and controller are external and connected to the vibrator by a wire. This motor is fitted with a small, out of balance, weight attached to the shaft. As this weight rotates it throws the motor and vibrator into a small circular movement which causes the vibration you feel.

With a vibrator that has a controller, as the power is increased the speed of the motor increases and with it both the rate and strength of vibration. Both the strength and rate of vibration effects how stimulating you find the sex toy. The best effect may not be as strong and as fast as possible. The optimum settings may well change as your degree of excitement builds. To get the best results it is worth buying a vibrator which is controllable.

Different vibrators will have different characteristics and you may well find you prefer one combination much more than another and your preference may even vary depending on which part of your body you are stimulating.

More recently electronic vibrator controllers have appeared which provide not only the static control of power/speed but also allow you to select patterns of power pulses and surges. These can be very effective.

There are also other vibrating sex toys such as butterfly stimulators and vibrating penis rings.

Other Powered Sex Toys

There are some sex toys that use other ways to provide mechanical stimulation. These usually depend on a motor that makes the sex toy continually change its shape which provides a sort of rotational movement or makes it move back and forth. The back and forth movements are sometimes powered by an air pump rather than a motor. The movements have been used to create, for example, mechanical licking tongues, vibrators that ‘penetrate’ the vagina and mouth simulators to give a man a ‘blow job’.

On a bigger scale and much more expensive, there are ‘sex machines’ that incorporate thrusting and vibrating dildos.

Combination Sex Toys

So far we have covered vibrating, moving and thrusting sex toys. As you may have guessed these are all offered in a bewildering array of combinations.

A common combination in many ‘Rabbit Style’ vibrators is clitoral stimulation using vibrations and vaginal stimulation using movement and sometimes a thrusting motion as well.

Many sex toys add varying textures to their surfaces; a dildo or vibrator may have ridges or soft spikes or a rippled shape.

Sensation Change Sex Toys

Some sex toys rather than provide vibrating or moving stimulation, change the feel of sex.

For instance, there are a variety of sleeves to put over the penis to provide different sensations for both partners while engaged in penetrative sex.

There are rings that squeeze the base of the penis and/or tighten the scrotum that assistss the man’s erection and also changes his sensations. There are penis extenders and thickeners which may give a man’s partner greater sensations during penetration.

There are a wide variety of lubricants that can significantly change the feel of sex.

There are PVC and Polyurethane bed sheets that are water and oil proof that can be used for slippery or messy sex.

Why Use A Sex Toy?

A good question is: why do people use a sex toy? Surely fingers, tongues, penises, clitorises and vaginas etc all provide great sexual stimulation and enjoyment.

Well, apart from therapeutic uses (eg erection assistance), sex toys can drive the imagination (being taken by a machine), provide variety (new ways to do old things), vary the stimulating effects in otherwise normal sex (penis sleeves) and some can provide experiences not possible with ‘normal body parts’ (particularly vibrating sex toys and electro-stimulation).

Where To Start

If you have not tried a sex toy before and don’t yet have an idea of what you might like, try one of the simpler vibrators first. Most probably you will enjoy the experience and then start to wonder what other delights can be found with more sophisticated vibrators and other sex toys.

If you then find you do enjoy sex toys try out a few others and find what suits you. Above all, have fun trying them out!

Garden Walls and Fences Add Definition and Charm

Gardening is a great hobby. There is nothing quite like spending long days outdoors, digging in the earth, planting seeds by hand and watching your garden come to life. If you have a home garden that is rather new and consists of nothing more than a rectangular plot in your yard, you should consider adding a garden wall to give your garden character and charm.

Building a wall around your Garden Edging Blocks can be a simple affair or it can be a well planned out job that is rather involved. If you have a limited budget, perhaps you would like to build your own wall out of flat flagstones. This involves digging a six-inch trench along the edges of the garden and then filling that trench with the largest, flattest stones to form the base of the wall. Then you only need to stack the medium-sized stones to make the body of the wall. Use the smallest stones as fillers to tuck into the crevices. This type of wall adds an incredible amount of charm to any garden and provides the area with a very natural looking border.

Another budget-minded border you can use to define your garden is garden fencing. Most home and garden centers carry garden fencing that is ideal for installing around the edges of both flower and vegetable gardens. This type of fencing is normally made of wood or metal and there are a great many styles and varieties available. Garden fencing can be as simple or as ornate as you wish. It is very easy to put in the fencing yourself using common household tools.

If you love the looks of masonry brick, then you can make a brick garden wall in virtually any shape that you desire. Brick walls stand up to extreme exposure to the elements such as rain, snow, freezing temperatures, and direct sunlight. Using salvaged brick for the wall will give your garden old-world charm and used brick is normally much less expensive than new brick.

Garden walls not only look great and give your garden a lot of definition but they also serve as garden protection. Neighborhood children, dogs, and cats will remain outside of your garden if you erect a wall around it.

Walls add structure and style to gardens. You do not need any experience whatsoever to construct your own wall, but you do need to have a strong back. If you live in a city you may want to check with your local building inspector to see if your town has building codes you must adhere to before going ahead with the construction.

How to Build a Landscape Retaining Wall

I will discuss here the ins and outs of building a landscape retaining walls of various materials. In many areas, a building permit is required for retaining walls so check with your local building department before you start the work. In my Township only walls over 48″ high require a permit but best to check in any case.

There are many, many types of retainingwalls quotes Canberra materials available today. Fieldstone, railroad ties, pressure-treated ties, brick, inter-locking masonry block that resembles stone, brick, and so on. The different types require slightly different methods of installation but all have some of the same basic concepts. You must start with good solid soil underneath. Do not attempt to build on top of topsoil, wet loam or other soft and pliable ground material. Your wall will simply move with the earth and self destruct over time. If you are dealing with topsoil or soft ground, it will be necessary to excavate and remove this soil to a foot or two below ground level, placement of a good sub-base gravel or item material, compaction and then build your wall on top of that. A good sub-base will provide you with years of good looking retaining walls with very little maintenance work. In my area, a wall-less than 4′ high is considered a landscaping item. Over 4′ in height, the building departments want a permit and drawings. CHECK with them before you build your wall. Multiple levels of retaining walls can create great garden spaces. Seating areas and flower gardens can be created in this way as well.

TOOLS REQUIRED: 
The wheelbarrow, sledgehammer, tape measure, pencils, string line, level, 60 penny spikes, 3 /4″ electric drill, wood bits, extension cords, 7 1/4″ electric saw, cheap carbide blades, pointed and square shovels. You will also need extra loose suitable material to backfill your wall as you go. 3/4″ gravel works the best. Several 2′ pieces of either #4 or #5 rebar cut 24″ long. Pin bars, picks, electric demo hammers all can be great assets in making the job easier.

WOOD TIE WALLS 
Whether you use 6 x 6 pressure treated ties, railroad ties or other dimensional lumber, they all start with at least one tie below finished grade. Placing one tie below grade will help anchor the bottom of the wall and keep it from sliding out once the backfill material is placed behind it. The first or base tie is the most critical. It should be level, align nicely with the others for the length of the wall and be secured firmly. Once you have set the bottom or base tie in place., using your 3/4″ drill with an appropriate sized wood bit for the rebar you have, drill a hole at least every 4 feet along the length of the ties starting at one end and always ending with a hole at both ends. Using your sledgehammer, drive a piece of the 2′ rebar down into the earth until it is level with the top of the tie. This will securely hold the first tie in place. Now place the second level of ties upon the first. Make sure you stagger the joints so no two end joints line up vertically. This is important for wall strength. I also want you to set the 2nd tie back from the front of the bottom tie about 1/4-3/8 inches. This is called “battering”. As each subsequent tie is added, each one will set back the same amount causing a slight backward slope of the face of the wall. In effect, it is leaning the wall back into the earth behind it. Once the second row is in place, using your drill, drill pilot holes of sufficient size to allow the installation of your 60 penny spikes. DO NOT try to drive these spikes through a pressure treated tie. You will only bend the spike or crack the tie. Removal of these spikes when they are half driven into the wood is almost impossible. They are also fairly expensive so you don’t want to waste them. Starting at one end, space the spikes 3-4 feet apart, always ending with one on each end of each tie. Once again, as the backfill is placed behind the wall, the pressure will be trying to topple your wall forward. This built-in “lean” will keep your wall nice and solid. Once you have the second tie in place, go ahead and backfill behind the first two ties and in front of the bottom tie. Take some time to clean up and rocks or other debris that remains underfoot. This will make a safer work area as you proceed upward with the building of your wall.

Depending on the finished height of your wall, you may have to install what are called “dead-men” every few feet along the length of the wall, every few courses. These are a piece of the tie turned at a 90-degree angle to the wall with a cross piece nailed on the anchor as an additional anchor behind the wall. A piece 3′ long piece with a 2′ cross end piece in the shape of a T, placed behind the wall with the end of the long leg nailed to the wall between ties is what is required. When backfilled, this becomes a sold anchoring device for the wall. The pressure now not only has to try and push your battered ties over forward but has to pull the anchor out of the solid ground. If done correctly, this is not likely to happen. The outside face of the wall will appear to have a six-inch piece of wood every few feet but this is, of course, the butt end of the anchor piece.

As you proceed upward with each course of your ties, you will backfill each course, lightly tamping the stone to prevent excessive settlement and remove any air pockets in the earth behind the wall caused by the excavation. DO NOT be tempted to throw large rocks behind the wall to make the backfilling work go quicker. Frost’s action will push on the large stones and could cause your wall to fail. 3/4″ gravel drains quickly, keeping water that can freeze/thaw away from the back of your wall and small gravel presents a lesser area for the frost to push upon. If your working in a normally wet area, you may want to install a perforated PVC drain pipe behind the first tie taking the end(s) to daylight. If you do use a drainage pipe, cover the pipe with a filter fabric material to prevent silt from washing into the pipe and plugging it. Simply place a small of amount of stone over the pipe, place the fabric over the stone and continue with your ties and backfill gravel as described above.

Depending upon what you want to see when you are finished with the wall, you may either carry the gravel right up to the finished grade level with the lawn behind the wall or if you want grass or plantings along the wall, you must decide when to stop back filling with the stone. Planting flowers behind the wall is fine but avoid the temptation to use any plants or shrubs with deep root systems. The roots will act upon the wall, pushing against it from behind. If you are going to place topsoil behind the wall for plantings, install a filter fabric at least two ties down from the top of the wall to prevent the soil from silting down into the gravel below.

PRE-CAST MASONRY RETAINING WALLS

Additional tools required: 
In addition to the tool list given above, you will need a gas powered 12″ cutoff saw with masonry blades. Blades wear out quickly so get several of them. A chipping chisel, a brick set and 5 pound lump hammer are also required.

There are several pre-cast concrete masonry units on the market today that are made for building retaining walls. Visit various retailers to see the different costs per piece and availability in your area. Basically the prep work is the same for a wood tie wall. You want to first course of block to sit below the finished grade as an anchor. A solid sub-base of stone, stone dust or concrete is required and must be tamped into place before starting to avoid settlement of the wall. This base must be as level as possible as an out-of-level start will show badly as the wall goes higher and can cause wall failure. Make sure the row is nice and straight or the curve is a smooth gradual one.

Most if not all of these pre-cast units have a lip and groove configuration that allows you to sit one piece upon the other automatically battering the wall as you go. No guesswork. Some also have pins that are pushed down into the block below, further holding the individual pieces in place. All of these walls require a backfill of stone. Many also have large holes in the block which must be filled with stone further aiding in the drainage of water from behind the wall. If these walls are kept less than 4′ in height, most do not require a dead man assembly. Ask your salesperson if they carry a pre-made dead man. It will save lots of work.

ANCHORING YOUR WALL: 
Pre-cast blocks require a mesh netting called “Geo-Grid” to be installed on the top of the first course and usually every two or three courses thereafter. This netting comes in rolls and can be cut with a utility knife. Rule of thumb says the netting projects back into the hillside the same distance the wall is tall. Four-foot wall, 4-foot wide netting but many walls require engineering and may require additional netting. The netting is placed on top of the first course within 1″ of the front edge of the blocks below. The 2nd course of blocks is then set. After the 2nd course is complete and connector pins installed between the blocks, the netting is the stretched backwards into the hillside leaving no wrinkles in the fabric. A layer of good soil/stone is then placed on top of the netting and compacted into place up to the top of the 2nd course. The netting will hold the wall in place by the sheer weight of the soil you placed behind it. This process continues up to the height of your wall.

All the manufacturers I have seen can provide a finished cap piece for their walls. This provides a neat clean appearance to your finished walls. If the wall is low enough, it also provides a great place to sit and check out the garden behind. Top caps are installed using an adhesive and caulking gun. Adhesive generally cannot be installed below 40 degrees. Check the adhesive tube for instructions for use.

All blocks come in straight pieces. You may remove some of the rear of the block to make an inside curve or space the backs apart to make an outside curve. In any case, the fronts are always held tightly together. (NOTE: On an inside curve, the geo-grid must NOT overlap itself. This can cause the blocks to slide on the double layer and cause the wall to fail. Cut away the portion that overlaps on one of the layers).

There are many brands and types of masonry wall units available and all vary slightly in their installation methods. Make sure you read your instructions before you start. Some brands use plastic pins to anchor each course to the one below, some use steel dowels. Most require filling of the units with clean gravel. Take your time. The wall must last forever.

Drainage pipe installed in stone behind wall.

It is a good idea and may be required by your building department to install drainage piping at the base of your wall to carry away surface and ground water. Freezing water can push a wall over or badly damage it. Perforated plastic pipe can be used and today flexible plastic pipe comes in rolls making it very easy to do curved walls and have less or no joints.

Also available is fabric covered piping. If you do not use the pipe with fabric already on it, after the plain pipe is installed and stone placed on top of it, you must install filter fabric to prevent silt from blocking the holes in the pipe over time. Make sure the ends of the pipe exit to daylight to allow free flowing of any ground water. As your wall progress’s, it is required that the first 1 foot space behind the wall is filled with clean stone to allow water to travel down behind the wall to the drainage pipe. The soil behind that portion can be existing soil as long as it can be compacted properly. The stone is brought up to approximately 1 foot below finished grade and then topsoil can be placed for the last foot. This prevents surface water from entering behind the wall. If your wall is quite long you may have to install additional holes through your wall for additional drainage exits using plastic tee fittings. Notch the wall block carefully and place the tee in the slot you cut. The next course of block will hold the tee fitting in place.

HANDRAILS 
In my area, walls above 30″ require a handrail to prevent anyone from walking over the edge of the wall from above. If your wall is going to have a sidewalk on top, a handrail is a must. Check with your local building department to see if one is needed. There are special details required to install a handrail behind the walls. Check with your supplier.

Before you start your project, surf the internet a little using “images” in your search engine to see the hundreds of styles of walls design ideas, etc. that are available. Maybe it will give you a good idea for your project.