A retaining wall is a structure that prevents soil erosion and landslides. It also provides support for the ground behind it. There are many different types of retaining walls, but they all have two main parts: a base and a top. The base is usually made of concrete or stone, while the top is usually made of bricks or stones.
Retaining walls come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have some common components. They all need to be sturdy enough to hold back the pressure of the soil behind them, which means they need to be properly anchored into bedrock or other stable earth materials like concrete blocks or steel rebar rods. Brick retaining walls are a great addition to any yard, but they can be difficult to install.
How to build a brick retaining wall?
A brick retaining wall is a structure that holds soil in place. It’s made of bricks, which are stacked on top of each other to form a retaining wall. A well-built brick retaining wall can last for generations and save you from having to replace it every few years.
Here’s how to build a brick retaining wall:
- Start by measuring the length and width of the area where you want your new brick retaining wall to go (yards).
- Calculate how many bricks will be needed based on those measurements (yards) by multiplying them together (yards x yards = total amount).
- Purchase enough bricks so that they will equal this number (total amount).
Step 1: Mark the excavation area
- Use a tape measure to mark the area for excavation, which will be about 2/3 of the width of your wall’s base (to allow for a 10-12 inch toe) and twice as long as you’d like it to be on a straight section of ground. Mark it with stakes and string so that you can see where to dig, then use a shovel to dig out the area along those lines.
- If your slope is fairly steep or if you want an especially secure-looking wall, use a line level to make sure that your excavated area is level—this is particularly important at corners because they’re where walls tend to sit unevenly when built on slopes due to uneven soil conditions below them.
Step 2: Dig and excavate at the sloping site
Dig the soil out and excavate the area. Use a spade to remove the soil. You should be working in sections, so don’t dig too much at once or you’ll find that your wall won’t line up with your first section of wall. Once you’ve dug out and removed enough soil, use a trowel to level out the area where you want your retaining wall to be. When it’s level, move on to digging for another section until all of your walls are finished!
Step 3: Place and level the base course
The next step is to place and level the base course. Make sure that you have a level on hand to check if the bricks are all in line as you place them, and use a string level to ensure that each course is level with the ground.
Once you have completed this step and your wall is completely built, go ahead and add some patio edging around it for added flair!
Step 4: Add the front course of bricks
Now you can begin to add the front course of bricks.
Most masons will tell you that the long edge of each brick should face down the slope. This helps keep water from flowing out from between rows. If your retaining wall is built on flat ground, however, it’s OK to lay them with their short edges facing down in order to make it easier for you to place them.
Whatever method you choose, use a level as a guide: if any row appears crooked or off-kilter after installation, remove one brick and start over again so its placement aligns correctly with other rows behind it (this may require removing three or four bricks if they are laid at different heights). By doing this repeatedly until every row is perfectly straight and even along its length—not just level but parallel—you’ll create an attractive curb appeal that keeps water where it pleases: outside your yard!
Step 5: Add the second layer of bricks
When you are finished with the first layer of bricks, it’s time to start building the second one. You can add this layer by setting it at a 45-degree angle and making sure that it is flush with both sides of the first layer of bricks. Once you’ve done this, take care when setting in place so that you don’t accidentally knock any off. If there are any spaces between your two layers, use mortar or concrete to help fill them in before continuing with your third layer.
Step 6: Cut the bricks using a masonry chisel
For this step, you will need the following tools:
- A masonry chisel. It’s a flat blade that cuts brick like cutting a loaf of bread. Use it to make sure your brick is cut at the correct angle for its position in your retaining wall.
- A hammer. You may have heard that a chisel can be used without one, but we think it’s best not to take any chances when you’re working with sharp edges like these! If you don’t have one lying around your garage or tool shed, pick up a small plastic one from Lowe’s or Home Depot; they’re cheap enough and light enough to carry around easily while still being effective at breaking up stone and concrete surfaces with ease (and safety).
If you want to get fancy with it, there are other options available:
- Brick chisels—these come in different sizes depending on how big of an area needs work and what kind of materials are being used; they’re also available in various materials including steel alloyed with other elements such as nickel or chromium which makes them harder so they last longer before needing replacement; these tools allow for more precision when desired by giving greater control over where each indentation goes since there isn’t much room between each tip’s pointy end compared with standard hammers which tend toward bigger heads overall due their weight distribution across all sides versus just one side here so less material needs removed per hole drilled (which could mean fewer trips out back!).
Step 7: Backfill and level
- Backfill and level the soil
Once you have built your retaining wall, it is time to backfill the area. Use a shovel and a rake to remove any dirt that may be on top of or around your wall so that you can fill in any gaps with soil. Once you have filled these gaps and leveled the soil, fill in next to the wall with a layer of gravel or other material that will help slope it gradually towards its intended purpose (like running water). You can also create access points into this area by digging out small spaces under or beside your retaining wall as needed for plants or other landscaping purposes.
Step 8: Create drainage areas at the back of your structure.
To create the drainage area, use a trowel to dig out a trench that is deep enough to hold water and wide enough to drain it. If your wall is long enough, you can create two or even three trenches.
A step-by-step building process to help you install a brick retaining wall
The following step-by-step guide will help you to build a brick retaining wall on a slope.
- Follow the instructions. It’s important to read your plans and follow them closely so that you create the right structure for your site. If you don’t, there’s a risk of not complying with building regulations or other legal requirements, which could result in fines or even having your work torn down by officials. You’ll also want to make sure that everything is level and plumb (vertical), which will ensure that it stays solid once complete.
- Use the right tools for the job – Whether they’re power tools like drills or shovels; hand tools such as hammers and chisels; or safety equipment like goggles and gloves, using them properly can help make sure that you stay safe while working on your project
Well, that’s our guide! We hope it was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.