Vinyl Seawalls are a great way to stop erosion and add visual beauty to a property.
This will help guide you through the steps of doing a DIY Seawall project. You can use this guide as a basis to help you better understand to seawall construction process. Keep in mind this is a very labor intensive job but can be done with minimal tools.
Step 1 – Seawall Design
The steps listed are for projects that I have completed in Michigan. Other states will vary with fees and permits. The DEQ here in Michigan handles the seawall permits. But you may also need a soil and erosion permit from the county. First determine the length of the seawall that you want to construct. The vinyl seawall pictured is 100′ in length. Next you’ll need to fill out a permit, get pictures and a drawing of the proposed seawall.
Step 2 – DIY Seawall Construction
After You have the permits in hand you can start the seawall build. I have a series of seawall construction pictures to help you better understand the process. You may want to consult a professional to assist in the process. Here is the before picture of the area that I will construct the vinyl seawall. I will leave the old wall in place to help with the construction of the new wall.
Basically you fasten a 2×6 treated board to the old seawall 1′ away for backfill. you can see in the picture that I use any scrap lumber or whatever to fasten the 2 x 6 as those boards only serve to level and straighten the 2×6 so that the vinyl sheet piling will go in straight and level. If you dont have an old wall to fasten to, you’ll have to use 4×4’s to build a structure as a guide. I have tried to put them in without a guide and it’s very hard to get them straight. I also attach a board of anything to the bottom of the old wall to ensure that the sheets go in plumb.
Step 3 – Jetting in the sheet piling
Being in sand makes it much easier to install your vinyl seawall. I use a trash pump that sucks water from the canal and blows it out the end of a firehose with a 8′ pipe attached to the end. The pressure of the water jets the sand out of the way and the vinyl seawall sheets slid right in. Just make sure that the sheets are going in level and plumb. That’s where the fence like structure comes in. I place my foot at the bottom of the sheet to hold it against the guide as it slids in.
Finishing up your DIY Vinyl Seawall
I attach a 2×12 treated cap and a 2×6 front board level with the 2×6 guide to sandwich the sheets together. I drill holes through the top boards as seen in the seawall design picture to attach a 12′ galvenised tieback so the wall won’t move. This is very critical. Make sure that you consult the manufacturers recomendation for this. Backfill and enjoy.
You can save roughly half the cost of the vinyl seawall construction job by doing it yourself. A contractors cost would be about $100 – $150 per lineal foot. You can do it yourself for around $50 – $75 per ft. This job took me 4 days. Here are some completed seawall pictures.