Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home

Little Lagoon Bulkhead Work

July 30 & 31, 2008

Shepler's Marine

House pilings, pier restoration, boat docks, boat houses, boat lifts, bulkheads, decks built.
Home 251-965-3319
Cell 251-978-0125
Fax 251-965-6656

We had all these extra very heavy, cornice blocks. Dac-Art now makes them more hollow and with slightly different dimensions. We knew that they did not want them back at the Dac-Art plant. We also knew that we didn't want to spend money disposing of them. Mike had the great idea of using them along the wood bulkhead small sea-wall on Little Lagoon. I had long wanted some sort of sidewalk down there. The salt water splashes up and over the wall and kills the grass and then we have erosion.

Dan arranged for Robert Shepler of Shepler's Marine to come out and dig a trench behind our wood bulkhead and place these huge concrete cornices end-to-end. Now, an interesting thing about Robert is that he used to have a really long pony-tail. He cut it off and donated his hair to the organization who makes wigs for kids with cancer. We think he looks handsome with his short summer "do" now.

shepler marine in gulf shores alabama

The funny thing was that the first block that they set, just happened to be upside down. None of us noticed because it did not have imbedded metal lift handles or rings. Turning it around gave us a larger flat surface for our 'sidewalk'. They switched it around and made quick work of digging out and setting about 2/3 rds of the cornices to go the 100+ feet across the waterfront. Since we set these things behind the bulkhead, and not out in the water, we didn't have to bother getting any permits from Corp of Engineers.

concrete bulkhead section lowering a concrete section by backhoe
placign concrete blocks against wood bulkhead leveling concrete blocks for seawall
waterfront sea wall bulkhead made of concrete blocks weep holes in teh concrete block bulk head

We have space between the blocks which is good because we normally get a trickle of ground water running out to the lagoon. One of these days when he have some time, we will grind off the metal handles and rings to make for a safe standing surface.

You can see on the end how the cornice blocks have the sloped side facing my yard with dirt pushed up underneath them. This way they will not have a tendency to want to fall out into the water.

packing dirt up to and under the bulkhead wall

Meanwhile, I have to water the loose dirt each day for a while and hope that the St. Augustine clumps and bit s take root and spread to cover the bare dirt.

concrete block bulkhead

Robert Shepler and his men, Charles, Eddy, Bobby and Robert were done by mid-afternoon on the second day. While the back-hoe was here, they also removed some concrete spills from the tight west property side yard.

Robert placed them right along the driveway to make it as simple as possible to get them hauled off. Mike told me that the reason that they were there in the first place was that one time the concrete pump truck line has a hard chunk of concrete stuck in it and they had to disassemble the thing and clear it out and meanwhile the pumper guy just dumped the contents of the pump tube over the side of the wall. Construction makes for messes you don't count on in the beginning. I hate these big plops of concrete because they kill the grass underneath... totally.

spills from concrete pump truck
Concrete modular guesthouse and main house

Remember to always stick a piece of scrap rebar in the concrete when it is wet so you have some way to lift it to get it out of your way later.

Robert made quick work of this job and he had to bring every cornice thru the opening between our guest house and the new house. Remember to always allow access on your property, especially if you have waterfront.

On the first day, Robert brought the cornices half way down and set them between the buildings as you can see here.  We were getting delivery of a 20 ft storage container first thing in the morning and we needed the cornices out of the way.