How To Build A Block Retaining Wall On A Hill

A retaining wall is a great way to protect the sides of a hill from erosion, and it also adds an attractive element to your land. Building one on top of a hill adds an extra dimension of difficulty, but it’s easy to do if you follow some simple steps.

Use concrete or masonry bits to drill holes into the dirt every 3 inches along the edge of the wall.

Use a concrete or masonry bit to drill holes into the dirt every 3 inches along the edge of the wall. The holes should be at least 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart, depending on what type of block you are using.

Dig out the trench for your first row of blocks.

You’ll need to dig out a trench that is at least 2″ wider than your block and deep enough to hold the block with its top set back 3/4″. To do this, you have a few options:

  • Use a shovel or mechanical digger. The latter, if available, will make quick work of any digging necessary. But be careful: If you’re digging with a machine like this, remember that even though it’s going to eat through most material quite rapidly, it can still cause serious injuries if used incorrectly.
  • Use a plumb bob (a weighted string attached to an anchor point) to determine where your trench should go so that it remains straight as possible when you set up your first row of blocks; make sure there’s enough room for laying out all of them before filling in the rest of your trench; then use levels on both sides of each foundation block so that they’re level with each other and flush with one end against dirt or rock below ground level at each end point

Lay the first row of blocks in a trench.

You’ll need to dig at least a 2-foot trench around the base of your wall, but it’s best if you work in stages and build up the height of your retaining wall as you go. Start by laying blocks in a trench.

Next, level them with a level and use a masonry bit fitted into an electric drill to drill holes along their edges so that they’re more stable when you tap them into place (this will also help prevent cracking).

Using a hammer, tap each block into position until it sits flush with its neighbors. After that, use a shovel to dig out any dirt left behind from digging up the first row.

Mix and pour a few bags of mortar into a plastic wheelbarrow.

First, you’ll need to mix the mortar. This is a two-step process. Start by adding water to the dry mix in a wheelbarrow until it forms a thick soup, then add more dry mix until you have something like cookie dough consistency. You may want to wear gloves while mixing these materials together because they can be messy and your hands can get dirty if not wearing gloves.

Once your mortar is mixed, pour it into the holes that you drilled along each side of each block using a masonry bit that matches the size of your block (1/4″ for most blocks). Use a level or straight edge tool to make sure your blocks are straight before filling them with mortar.

Apply mortar to your blocks.

  • Use a trowel to spread the mortar evenly along the length, top, and bottom of each block.
  • Carefully place your next block on top of the first one in line, making sure that it is level with all others.
  • Drill holes into the sides of all corners where two blocks meet. You should have four holes per corner—one on either side of both ends at an angle pointing down toward you (and back up again). This will help strengthen your wall and keep it from falling apart over time due to weathering or weight from above pulling on it too hard.
  • Use a masonry bit to drill holes so there’s room for water drainage behind each block near its top edge; this prevents erosion caused by standing water pooling up during rainy seasons (especially important if you live near saltwater). The same principle applies when working with concrete: Water damage can cause cracks in your retaining walls over time because they tend not hold moisture well when exposed directly underneath sun exposure all day long.

Build each row at a time by adding more blocks, pouring more mortar and leveling it off.

When building a block retaining wall, it is important to use a level at all times during the project.

The first thing you should do when building your wall is to check if all of the blocks are level before adding mortar. If they aren’t, tap them down with a hammer until they are flat and even.

When placing each new row of blocks, check them against the previous row every few inches in case there are any discrepancies in height or spacing between rows that need to be corrected before continuing with construction.

Make sure that both sides of each block are completely flush with each other so there is no space between them; otherwise your retaining wall will not look uniform when finished.

Cut your blocks if needed and use a masonry bit to drill holes along their edges.

To make sure your blocks are even and will line up, you’ll need to cut them down to size. You can use a hacksaw or circular saw with a masonry blade on it if you want to get fancy.

If you’re planning on building high walls, it’s likely that the block retaining wall will be taller than 4 feet (1.2 meters). If this is the case, I’d recommend using an electric angle grinder with diamond-tipped blades—this will make quick work of cutting through concrete in seconds flat.

Once all your blocks are cut down to size based off of whatever measurements they need to be for where they’re going in your wall, it’s time to drill holes along their edges every 3 inches or so. This will allow us approximately 1 square inch (6 mm) of space between each block so that we can fill those empty spaces with cement later on…

Finish off the top of your wall with ornamental stones if necessary.

If you want to add an ornamental stone finish, you can do so by simply drilling holes in the blocks of your wall and applying stones to the top. You’ll need a masonry bit for this step. First, drill holes in the stones at random points throughout the surface of your wall. Make sure that they’re deep enough so that mortar doesn’t fall through when applied later on. Next, apply mortar mixed with sand or peat moss around each hole before placing an appropriately sized decorative stone over it. Once all stones are secured in place using this method, fill any remaining gaps with more mortar mixed with sand or peat moss until all spaces between each block have been filled completely

Backfill with gravel, dirt and grass seed or sod if desired.

Backfilling is the process of filling in the trench with gravel, dirt, and grass seed or sod if desired. This is necessary to prevent erosion and ensure that your retaining wall will be successful.

If possible, it’s a good idea to backfill at least six inches (15 cm) below grade level after you’ve filled in all of your blocks with mortar. You can use a shovel or backhoe for this job if you have access to one; otherwise, hiring someone else may be helpful if you don’t know how to use heavy machinery safely on steep terrain like hillsides.

Building a retaining wall is not too difficult as long as you know how to do it properly

If you want to build a retaining wall, here are some things that you should know:

  • You need to know what you are doing. It’s important to understand how hard it will be for your project and how much work it will require.
  • You need to know how to use the right tools for this job. Retaining walls can be difficult because of their size and shape, which means that there are certain tools that work better than others when building them.
  • You should also know how to mix mortar properly so that it doesn’t end up being too runny or too dry when applied on the blocks of your retaining wall structure (this applies only if you’re using concrete blocks). If this happens then over time cracks may appear in between each block creating gaps where water could potentially leak through into nearby structures below ground level such as houses or garages.”


You should now be ready to build a retaining wall! It’s not too difficult as long as you take the time and have all of the tools. We hope that our article has helped you in some way, and we wish you good luck with your project.

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