I'm trying to enclose my yard with a fence to keep my young kids from wandering away, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with my back alley. It's pretty bad (see the 1st and 2nd photos). What I'd really like is a nice retaining wall with a fence on it (like in the 3rd photo).
I'm pretty sure that I don't have the concrete skills to do what you see in the 3rd photo. I've laid concrete a few times before (most ambitiously for a slab underneath a shed), but never a retaining wall and never anything with substantial forms. And being unemployed right now I don't have the money to hire a contractor to do it either.
Also, it seems like this would actually be quite difficult - more so than most concrete retaining walls, just because of the drainage ditch - I have no idea what kind of footers I would put under such a retaining wall or how far down they would have to go. Most sites advise generous drainage around a retaining wall, but how would you make sure that water drained from the wall's backfill out to the drainage ditch and not the other way around?
I could just put up a post-in-concrete fence up and be done with it, but what do you all think?