Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

When you’re building a retaining wall, you’re trying to keep soil from washing away. You can do this by building a barrier that prevents the soil from moving. The barrier can be made of a variety of materials, but river rock is one of the most popular.

River rock is an inexpensive material that is easy to work with and will fill in gaps between other materials. It’s also durable enough to last for years without needing replacement.

River rock retaining walls are usually constructed using concrete blocks or bricks as the base layer. The next layer up should be made from smaller rocks that fit into the spaces between larger ones on the bottom layer. This will help hold everything together when it comes time for it all to dry and settle into place.

The last layer should be smaller stones again so they can be pushed into any remaining gaps between larger ones on lower layers. Once all layers have dried completely (usually overnight), they can be covered with soil or mulch depending on what kind of look you want for your garden area.

I’ve always loved the look of stone walls in other people’s yards, and they’ve always inspired me to build my own. I’m glad I did too because my new river rock retaining wall turned out better than I ever expected. Building a retaining wall is a great way to keep your yard looking beautiful while also keeping it safe from erosion. In this article, we’ll go over what’s involved in building your own stone retaining wall, including steps and materials needed as well as how much it costs. We’ll also talk about the benefits of building one so that you can decide if this project is right for you.

What is A River Rock Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a structure that supports the earth. It’s used to hold soil in place and prevent erosion, landslides, and flooding. Retaining walls can be made of wood, concrete, or stone but in this article, we’ll focus on river rock retaining walls.

A river rock retaining wall is usually built along the edge of a slope. The stones are stacked into columns so they form an even line between two points on your property (like at the edge of a cliff). This creates a barrier against erosion and land movement caused by rainwater overflow from heavy storms – preventing damage to your property as well as protecting people who live nearby from potentially dangerous conditions such as flooding due to high rainfall levels during storms.

Reasons for Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

There are many reasons to build a river rock retaining wall. Some of the most popular include:

  • Maintaining the integrity of your yard. Retaining walls prevent soil erosion, which helps keep your yard looking tidy and well-maintained.
  • Separating flower beds from footpaths. A retaining wall is an attractive way to separate flower beds from walking paths or driveways, allowing for easy access between them without disturbing the plants growing in the bed itself.
  • Adding value to your home. Retaining walls add aesthetic value to any home, whether it’s made up entirely of natural stones or crafted from artificial materials such as concrete blocks or bricks laid horizontally instead of vertically like traditional retaining walls do (these types often require less maintenance).
  • Seating area/sunbathing spot/garden path marker – Depending on how tall you make yours and where it’s placed within your landscape design scheme, these can serve multiple purposes. For example: if there’s enough room between trees below then why not turn one side into seats? Or if there isn’t enough sunlight reaching deep into those shady corners under large bushes then maybe create some extra light by placing some lights behind them at night so they’ll grow bigger leaves than they would otherwise have grown during daylight hours when they’re shaded by neighboring trees down below.

How long will Building A River Rock Retaining Wall last

Building a river rock retaining wall is an excellent way to add some interest and character to your landscaping. However, there are many factors that will determine how long it lasts. The first thing that you should consider is whether or not you want to build the retaining wall yourself or hire someone else to do the work for you. If you decide on the latter option, then there are several things that need to be considered:

How long does it take? – Depending on your budget, this could either be very short (one day) or very long (a couple of weeks). A good rule of thumb though would be around 2-3 days per 100 feet if you’re doing everything yourself but again this depends on several factors such as weather conditions during construction time, etc…

Steps involved in Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

  • Excavate the area where your river rock wall will be built.
  • Build a foundation for your stone retaining wall.
  • Build the bottom level of your stone retaining wall with larger stones, and then fill in with smaller river rocks as you go up (this allows for drainage).
  • Finish building your stone retaining wall upwards by laying smaller stones on top of each other, but don’t overfill them with mortar, or else they won’t hold together well.

Step 1: Excavate the Area Where the Wall Will Be Built

Excavate the area where your wall will be built. If you are using a backhoe, make sure you have a permit and that the area is flat and level. You can use shovels or hire someone to do it for you.

Step 2: Lay the Foundation for Your River Rock Wall

  • Level ground is crucial to building an attractive, lasting rock retaining wall. The foundation of your wall should be level and straight, with no major dips or bumps that would make the rock wall uneven.
  • You’ll also need to ensure that your foundation is strong enough to hold up a substantial weight like a retaining wall. If there is any question about whether the soil beneath your future stone retaining wall could hold up a heavy load, consult with a professional before proceeding with construction.
  • Make sure that you’re digging down at least as deep as the height of your finished river rock retaining wall will be (usually about 3 feet). This will give you plenty of space for drainage when it rains and help prevent erosion over time by keeping water from washing away soil under and around the foundation

Step 3: Build the Bottom Level of Your Stone Wall

Step 3: Build the Bottom Level of Your Stone Wall

Now that you have a base and a frame, it’s time to start building the actual stone wall. The best way to do this is by placing a layer of river rock at the bottom of your retaining wall.

To hold the stones together, use mortar (a mixture of sand, cement, and water). Mortar should be slightly wet when applied so it does not stick too much to itself once dry. To prevent mortar from drying too quickly, use damp sawdust or water as an additive in your mix. Do not add too much water though you don’t want it running down onto your lawn.

Mix up about two buckets’ worth of mortar using this ratio: one part sand for one part cement for two parts clean water (or more if needed). With this recipe one part of sand per 1/2 cup of dry mix, you should be able to make enough mortar for 30 linear feet of the wall; with our larger project, we made more than 10 times that amount.

Step 4: Build Stairs in Your Stone Wall (if Applicable)

  • If you want to build a staircase in your stone wall, you can do so in the center of the wall. If you’re planning to build something like a spiral staircase or stone stairway, we recommend using this method.
  • Build your first level of stone across from where you want your stairs to start. The top step should be about three inches lower than the bottom step so that there is enough space for air circulation between them and for water drainage at the end of each step.
  • Using mortar mix (or cement), attach each layer together as shown below:

Step 5: Finish Building Your Stone Wall Upwards

Once you’ve laid the first layer of stones, it’s time to start building upwards. The wall should be at least two feet tall and sturdy enough to hold back the earth. It should be strong enough to withstand heavy rains and snowfall in addition to any other weather conditions that may come its way down the road.

If you’re building on a sloped surface, make sure that your foundation is level so that your stone retaining wall stays upright throughout its lifetime (you don’t want it sliding down).

Costs of Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

The cost of building a retaining wall will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, there are some materials that you’ll need regardless of what type of retaining wall you’re building. Materials like river rocks, cement, and mortar will cost around $2 per gallon and can range up to $10 per gallon depending on where you buy them. If you’re looking for something less expensive than river rock, consider using concrete blocks instead; they’re also easier to install since they don’t require mortar or grout to hold them together.

How much your project costs will be determined by how much material is required for each section of the wall the bigger your retaining wall is going to be, the more material it’s going to take. The materials needed for smaller sections might cost about $20-$30 but if your entire yard needs landscaping work done then expect this number to go up significantly.

Materials for Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

Materials for Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

Materials you will need:

  • River rock (or similar)
  • Mortar or concrete
  • Brick or concrete blocks
  • Cement

Benefits of Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

Benefits of Building A River Rock Retaining Wall

  • Prevents erosion. Because they are comprised of large stones that have a high surface area, river rock retaining walls help to keep the soil in place and prevent it from washing away with rain. This can be especially helpful if your property is prone to flooding or erosion due to heavy rains, or if you live near a body of water like a stream or river that often floods during heavy rainstorms.
  • Separates plants from footpaths as well as creates natural barriers to privacy. You could also use your retaining wall as a way to separate your front yard from other areas on your property such as backyards or driveways; this will not only keep weeds out but also improve curb appeal. If you’re looking for some extra privacy on your property, consider building two separate walls that meet at a corner with one side higher than another (the higher one) so nobody sees what’s behind it except those who walk up next door(s) steps (or driveway).

Building a stone wall will help keep your yard free of erosion and separate flowers from footpaths.

Building a stone wall will help keep your yard free of erosion and separate flowers from footpaths. River rock retaining walls are easy to build and can be used for a variety of purposes. They are great for separating flower gardens from footpaths, creating a barrier around the home, or simply adding some color to an otherwise bland landscape. River rock retaining walls can also be used as part of a larger landscaping project that includes planting flowers, shrubs, and trees around a newly constructed wall.

Final words

If you’re looking to build a new stone wall in your yard, this article can help guide you through the process. It covers everything from planning and digging the area where the wall will be built, to building stairs if necessary. If you need any extra tips or assistance during construction then contact your local contractor who specializes in retaining walls as they will have years of experience under their belt.

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