Brick Retaining Wall How To Build

Building a brick retaining wall is not as difficult as you might think. It can be built with basic tools and materials and will look great in your yard. You can use this guide to learn how to build a brick retaining wall.

A brick retaining wall is an excellent way to add structure and style to your outdoor space. Here’s how to build one.

Things You’ll Need

You’ll need a trowel, mortar and brick.

Your bricks should be laid on a level surface with the top edges of each brick meeting to form an even line. Each course of bricks should be laid crosswise to the previous course, not straight down from one end to another. This will allow for drainage between courses and help prevent cracks in your wall as it expands or contracts during temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

A brick retaining wall can be built without mortar, but it’s important to use good quality masonry cement if you plan on using this method instead of traditional mortar joints between each individual row of bricks.

Working with Bricks

  • You’ll need a wheelbarrow to move bricks, if you don’t already have one.
  • You’ll want to make sure that the foundation for your brick wall is level and solid before laying any bricks down, otherwise the wall could start to lean over time or even fall down completely.
  • Make sure that you know the dimensions of each brick before beginning construction so that they fit together properly. In general, 4-inch wide bricks are used for walls less than 12 inches tall while 6-inch wide bricks are used on walls taller than this height. These measurements can vary depending on where in the world you live; check with someone who knows more about construction if you’re unsure about these details.

Step 1

  • Prepare the site by clearing the area and leveling it. The site should be level, with no holes or depressions that can hinder your ability to pour concrete or set forms.
  • Dig footings for each post using a shovel or heavy-duty hand trowel, depending on your existing soil conditions (the type of tool you use will make a difference in how deep you need to dig). If you’re working in clay soil with poor drainage and high compaction, dig down at least 1 foot below grade — more if needed — before adding gravel underlayment to improve drainage and prevent further settling (for example: if digging is limited to one direction).
  • Pour concrete into each footing until full; make sure there are no air pockets at this point! As an extra precaution against settlement cracks forming later on due to uneven weight distribution being placed atop them once completed, cover all four sides of each pouring hole with 1/8″ thick plywood boards held securely together by metal brackets attached directly onto posts/supports via bolts so as not disturb any part of concrete surface when removing forms later on during finishing phase…”

Step 2

  • Lay out the bricks in the pattern you want using a level and straight edge for horizontal lines, and a tape measure for vertical lines. If you’re building a straight wall, use the level to check that each brick is level as well as with its neighbors.

For diagonal patterns such as brick walls, it’s especially important that all your bricks are laid on mortar—if there are any gaps between the bricks, they’ll be visible through the mortar when you’re finished laying them. To make sure they’re firmly set in place, use an old paintbrush or trowel to remove excess mortar from around each brick before placing it (just make sure not to get any on your hands or clothes).

Step 3

  • Level the first course of bricks and use a chalk line to connect them.
  • Tap each brick into place with a masonry hammer, then apply mortar between each one using a trowel.
  • Create batter boards at both ends of your wall to mark its location as you work toward building it up from the ground up.
  • Pour footers in these locations to support the weight of your retaining wall as you build it higher and higher, making sure that they’re perfectly level with each other before proceeding with this step (you’ll need help for this part). It’s important that these footers are sized properly for their intended purpose—if they’re too small, they could break under pressure; if they’re too large, there won’t be enough room for soil or cement grout later on down the line.

Step 4

The first row of bricks will be laid in the same manner as you did in Step 2, but with two important differences:

  • Make sure that the bricks are level with each other
  • Install a weep hole at the bottom where they meet your concrete foundation. This allows water to escape from behind your retaining wall and prevent it from seeping through to your house below
  • Use clay brick for long term use if your property is in an area with heavy rainfall. These types of bricks have holes in them that allow moisture to escape rather than being trapped within the material.

Step 5

After you’ve installed the first row, you’ll probably need to use a straightedge and level to make sure the bricks are straight and level. To do this, place your straightedge flat on top of the existing brick wall so that it runs parallel with the ground (or as close as possible). Then place your level on top of that and check whether or not it’s level by looking at where its bubble is compared to 0% in both directions. If either end is higher than 0%, then put some spacers under those bricks until they’re sitting properly on top of their neighbors.

Once those two things have been checked off, it’s time for another round of measuring for length! This time around we’ll be using a different method: measuring from point A alllllllllllllllllllllll the way back down again until we get back to point A… That might sound confusing but don’t worry about it too much.

Step 6

  • Build the first course of bricks. Place your bricks on top of the concrete footing, lining them up with your level as you go. Use a rubber mallet to tap the bricks into place, then check each one to make sure it’s straight and level. If any of them are off, adjust them with a brick hammer by tapping at the high or low spots until they’re all perfectly level and aligned.
  • Use a masonry saw to cut any extra-long bricks needed for your project (if you’re using only full-sized 6x6x16″ bricks for this retaining wall). You may also need to use a chisel or hammer to remove some parts of existing brick pieces in order for them all to fit together properly; be careful not to damage surrounding material when doing so.

Step 7

  • Use a level to check the bricks and make sure they’re level.
  • Use a straight edge to check the alignment of the wall, making sure it’s straight and vertical.
  • To finish off this step, pack down any loose mortar around each brick with a trowel before moving on to the next step in your project.

The key to building a great brick retaining wall is proper layout and design.

The key to building a great brick retaining wall is proper layout and design. The layout and design of the wall should be planned before the wall is built. The layout and design should be based on the size of the wall and the area it is being built to hold back.

The first step in laying out a proper brick retaining wall is to take measurements of your property, since this will determine how big your retaining wall needs to be. For example, if you want to build a brick retaining wall that will hold back 100 square feet (10 feet wide by 10 feet high) of soil from sloping away from your home’s foundation, then you need a 2-foot wide by 8-foot tall backyard landscaping project.

The next step in laying out a proper brick retaining wall is determining where exactly along its length its footings need to go—this will help determine where each course of bricks needs to start and stop at as well as whether little gaps between them will have enough room between themselves so there isn’t too much weight put up against one another when placed side by side (which would cause them all fall over). After finding these places along both sides where they’re needed most often means placing two stakes at either end so that builders can see clearly where each course starts/ends; marking off distances with tape might also work depending upon how many courses are needed overall.”},{“_id”:”57a9c88d1b0cd64f8e000054″,”treeId”:”57a9c88d1b0cd64f8e000052″,”seq”:156820,”position”:2,”parentId”:”57a9c88d1b0cd64f8e000053″,”content”:”


Building a brick retaining wall is not a difficult task and can be completed by most homeowners fairly easily. The biggest challenge will be getting the layout right and digging the trench where your wall will go. Once that is done, the actual construction of the wall is fairly simple as long as you have enough help to transport all of those bricks! Just remember that when working with bricks or concrete blocks, make sure they are secure before moving on to another section because once one falls over it can be difficult to put it back up again without damaging them.

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