How To Build A Concrete Footing For A Retaining Wall

Building retaining walls can serve as decorative pieces in your yard or garden, and they’re also functional, preventing erosion. Fortunately, installing a retaining wall isn’t difficult to do even if you don’t have much experience with DIY projects. Here’s what you need to know about building a concrete footing for your retaining wall:

Step 01: Put on your safety goggles.

The first step in building a concrete footing for your retaining wall is to put on your safety goggles.

You might be thinking that this is just for construction workers, but you’d be wrong! Safety goggles are an important part of any DIY project, especially when it involves heavy lifting and moving materials.

It’s also important to note that safety goggles are inexpensive and easy to find at most hardware stores—you’ll want to make sure you get them before starting any type of construction project.

The second step in building a concrete footing is making sure your form (the empty container) is strong enough to hold the weight of what you’re trying to build. If you’re using a bucket or something else with no bottom, make sure there isn’t anything inside it that could leak out while pouring cement into the mold; otherwise, it may weaken over time leading up towards failure under pressure during use later down line when placing loads onto top surface area area location point section side edge bottom edge top corner different side top right place left back -top front bottom left front.

Step 02: Dig a hole for the footing.

Once you’ve determined where and how wide your concrete footing will be, it’s time to dig the hole. This can be done with a shovel, pickaxe or other digging tool. Be sure that the hole is deep enough to allow for at least 3-4 inches of concrete below ground level, as well as 6 inches above ground level. The width of your foundation will depend on how big or small you want your retaining wall to be and how much soil needs to be removed from around its perimeter so that it doesn’t slide down hill during heavy rains or snow meltings (this is known as erosion).

Accordingly, if you have lots of extra space around where you plan on building this wall then try making sure that there are no large rocks sitting around nearby because they might prevent your foundation from being able keep its shape once filled up with dirt/concrete mixture later down the line.

Step 03: Tamp down the base of the hole to make it firm.

Now that you have the base of your footing in place, it’s time to tamp down the concrete. The best way to do this is by using a tamper. Simply press down on the tamper with both hands and twist back and forth as needed so that all of the dirt has been compressed into a firm foundation for your wall’s posts. If necessary, add additional concrete mix until you’ve built up a strong base.

Step 04: Place a wooden form into the hole so that its top is level with the ground surface.

  • Place the wooden form in the hole and adjust it so that its top is level with the ground surface.
  • Use a level to make sure the form is sitting straight.
  • If you don’t have a level, you can use your eye as a guide by making sure that each side of your footing is at least slightly lower than any other side (the exact amount doesn’t matter). This slight difference will ensure that water drains away from your footing rather than pooling around it.

Step 05: Put some concrete mix in a wheelbarrow and add water, according to manufacturer’s directions, then mix well.

  • Add concrete mix to the wheelbarrow.
  • Pour water into the mix, according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Mix well until you can’t see any dry powder or chunks of concrete left in the mixture. It should be a consistent color and texture throughout.
  • Scoop some into your form using a shovel and smooth it out with a trowel until your form is full and level on all sides.

Step 06: Pour wet concrete into the form to no more than six inches deep at a time, then use a trowel to smooth out the surface before it dries.

Your concrete footing should be wet, but not so wet that it’s running off the form. The top edge of your finished concrete footing should be level with the ground surface and level with the top of your form.

The inside edges are next to be smoothed out, making sure they’re straight and even. Try to get them as smooth as possible by using either a shovel or your hands–this ensures that you won’t have any cracks or gaps in your footing once it sets up. Finally, make sure there are no large lumps or bumps on top (these will become giant holes when you go to put down pavers). You can use a trowel to even out any imperfections in this step if necessary–just be careful not to remove too much material at once.

Step 07: Repeat until concrete has filled form and extends one inch above ground surface.

To create a concrete footing for your retaining wall, follow these steps:

  • Step 01: Dig a hole that is at least twice as wide and deep as the height of your wall. Depending on soil conditions and other factors, you may need to dig deeper.
  • Step 02: Tamp down the base of this hole with care so that it will support the weight of your retaining wall without caving in or settling over time.
  • Step 03: Place a wooden form into this prepared base; fill it with concrete mix, water according to manufacturer’s directions, then mix well until it reaches an even consistency throughout. This will ensure that all parts of your project are strong enough to support themselves once they’re complete—and also help prevent cracks or other damage over time (especially if used outdoors).

Step 08: Let concrete dry for 24 hours before building your retaining wall.

Let the concrete dry for 24 hours before building your retaining wall.

You must use a garden hose to wash off excess water, a broom to remove excess water, or a sponge to remove excess water before building your retaining wall.

Building your own retaining wall is easy when you follow these steps

  • Concrete is easy to work with
  • Concrete is easy to get
  • Concrete is easy to mix
  • Concrete is easy to pour
  • Concrete is easy to smooth or level the surface
  • You can finish your retaining wall with stone, brick, or tile if you want


We hope this post has provided you with excellent DIY guidance for how to build a concrete footing for your retaining wall.

Leave a Comment