Retaining walls are an attractive and practical way to prevent soil erosion. They can also be used to create raised planting beds and to level areas of your property. The following steps will show you how to build a beautiful retaining wall that will serve these purposes and add character to your landscape.
Know what you’re doing before you do it.
Before you start laying retaining wall blocks, it’s important to know what you’re doing. A lot of factors can affect the outcome of your project.
Some things to consider include:
- * The size and scope of the project – how many blocks you need and how much space they cover
- * Environmental conditions – weather, temperature and humidity levels during construction
- * Materials used for construction – local building codes for structural integrity; local regulations for environmental impact; materials availability (especially in remote areas or with limited access)
- Local building codes – construction practices are often different between regions and countries due to varying geological conditions
Make your measurements.
Measure the length of the wall, and then measure its height. Measure the depth of your wall, and then measure its width. Now you should have four measurements: length, height, depth and width.
Now that you know these four dimensions—length, height, depth and width—you’re ready to start laying out your blocks by calculating how many blocks are needed for each section of your wall.
Get the right gear for the job.
You will need the following gear:
- Tamping tool (to compact the dirt)
- Level. A torpedo level is best for this job.
Dig a trench.
Digging a trench is the first step in laying retaining wall blocks. Follow these tips to make sure you’re digging the right depth and width:
- Make sure your trench is deep enough to hold all of your blocks, plus any extra material for stability. You might need to check with local building codes if you live in an area where there are strict regulations regarding how much material must be left behind after construction.
- Dig out a wide area so that you have room to place each block precisely where it needs to be placed on top of one another, which will ensure good drainage (in other words, no water pooling up behind your retaining wall). If possible, try not to disturb existing landscaping or tree roots during this process; if they’re already damaged by digging near them then there’s nothing more we can do about that now but try not
to harm them further during installation by making sure all surfaces are level when laying down each layer of block at exact 90 degree angles relative each other along their topside edges parallel aligned perfectly horizontal level parallel straight across horizontally even spaced vertically leveled perfectly perpendicular square shaped flat surface side-by-side evenly spaced directly adjacent touching adjacent lying together touching adjacent lying together stacked next one over directly above one another directly below same height same depth same length
Tamp the base layer.
- Tamp the soil. This includes driving a tamper into the base layer until it’s compacted, or using a hand tamper to compress the dirt. This step is essential for building an effective retaining wall.
Place concrete footing tubes in the trench and fill with concrete, but give yourself extra room to maneuver.
After you’ve placed the concrete blocks in the trench and leveled them, you need to add footing tubes to hold them in place. Before finding out how to lay retaining wall blocks, it’s important to understand what footing tubes are and what they’re used for.
Footing tubes are simply hollow pipes made from concrete that are inserted into holes in your yard or garden bed before the wall is built. They’re used to stabilize retaining walls by providing a stable base upon which you can lay your block.
Once all of your footing tubes have been placed, fill each one with water until it’s about three-quarters full (this will make it easier for you when filling with concrete). Then mix up some quick-setting concrete and pour it into each tube until they’re completely filled up—but don’t worry if there’s extra space left over at this point; we’ll get back down there later on.
Work quickly to build your retaining wall before the concrete sets up completely.
Building a retaining wall is one of the most satisfying DIY projects you can take on, but it’s also important to remember that concrete sets up quickly. You don’t want your project to be half-finished in the dark or rain, so start working at an early hour and keep building until the sun goes down.
If you’re working on a hot day, consider cooling yourself off with some water spray bottles or ice packs placed strategically around your work area. This will help keep you refreshed while you build up those muscles.
Level each row as you go along.
Use a level or laser level to check each row as you go. To do this, lay a string line across the top of each block so that it intersects with the edge of the blocks in front and behind it. If they’re not level, get out your level and adjust them until they are.
Slope the back of each block in the direction of the slope you are creating to help hold it in place.
- Slope the back of each block in the direction of the slope you are creating to help hold it in place.
- Cut every other block in half and stack them side by side for a flush end cap.
Use smaller blocks on top to finish off your project and make a nice finish line.
The last thing you want is for your retaining wall to look unfinished or shoddy, so make sure that you use smaller blocks on top to finish off the project and make a nice finish line. Use smaller blocks to make the project look nicer, more professional and more attractive.
Retaining walls can be built by any homeowner.
Retaining walls are a great way to add value to your property and can be built by any homeowner. They come in a variety of sizes and materials, making them perfect for any situation, from small gardens to large property additions.
If you’re looking to create an at-home project like this one, these tips will help you lay retaining wall blocks. Remember that when in doubt about any part of the process, it’s always best to consult with someone who knows what they’re doing.