Originally Posted by xochi16
A bigger problem is the hill behind the house. The wife said when they first moved in they hired a landscaper who built a rock retaining wall, that collapsed less than a year after the build. It is a very steep incline, and is continuing to fall down.
the side yard adjacent to the deck and hill has pooling water.
How difficult would it be to take the existing doors and make them glass doors instead?
The Angle of Repose for soil, etc., is about 30°, so the closer you are to this angle the less pressure will be on the retaining wall.
If the hill is 4' high you'd then need it to be 8' from whatever you don't want to be eventually covered up.
For steeper angles and using timbers, here's one designGoogle Image Result for http://www.electronicblueprint.com.au/drawings/04/04_007-1-Timber-crib-wall.gif
The angle shown is about 70°.
Re: pooling, hardware stores sell kits with which you can turn a garden hose into a pretty accurate level. You need to find some lower place to drain the water, preferably with a buried drain pipe having a downward pitch of 1" in 10', or more. If the trench needs to be several yards or longer you can rent a trencher, or a "Ditch Witch."
Yards with slopes less than 1% [1' drop in 100'] can be a problem if the soil is not porous.
Glass is 3x denser than wood; you may want to use bolts instead of screws to fasten the hinges. Or you can use thesehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threaded_insert
with #6 or #8 machine screws.
Keep track of all home improvements: it goes into the basis for the house, for tax purposes.