How To Build A Footer For A Retaining Wall

It’s time to think about building a retaining wall in your yard. If you are like most homeowners, this probably doesn’t sound like a particularly exciting project. In fact, it likely sounds intimidating, given the effort and expense involved in such an undertaking. However, taking on this type of project is a great way to make your yard more functional and beautiful. You can build up a slope to level out your lawn or create an area for planting vegetables or flowers that would otherwise be inaccessible. Just remember: the key to success with any DIY project is preparation!

This is a guide for building a footer for a retaining wall.

A retaining wall is a wall that holds back earth or other material. They are used to support and secure an embankment, terrace, or hillslope and keep it from collapsing downslope.

Footers are the part of the foundation that rest on the ground to support a structure above it. Typically they are built into the ground with concrete, steel or timber pilings driven into the soil with a hammer drill.

The footer for your retaining wall should be built before you begin building your retaining wall.

Dig down about 18 inches for the footer and make sure it is below the frost line. Then, tamp under the area where you are going to place your concrete.

  • Dig the footing down about 18 inches. Make sure it is below the frost line.
  • Tamp around where you are going to place your concrete. Try not to tamp too much or too little, and try to tamp in a few different places if possible so that you get an even spread around the base of your wall.

Mark off where you will place your first layer of concrete with stakes and string.

In order to correctly place your concrete, you need to mark off where the footer will be. This can be done with stakes and string or by laying out a line of wire that is 1 inch above the ground. You will also want to make sure that your stakes are at least 2 inches into the ground. The first layer of concrete should go on top of this stake line because it will help keep even pressure on all sides when you pour in more layers later on. In order for your footer to be sturdy and secure, use rebar every 2 feet around it (make sure each piece is secured with stakes and wire). Next, add gravel, paver stones and dirt until you reach about 3-4 inches high above ground level before pouring in another layer of concrete

Add in your reinforcing bar and make sure it is placed properly by following local building codes. You can also use a vibrating plate to pack the concrete tightly around your rebar.

If you are building a retaining wall, you will need to install reinforcing bar (rebar). This is a steel rod that is used to reinforce concrete. The purpose of the rebar is to hold back the earth and make sure it does not collapse onto your home or structure. Rebar is made of low-carbon steel and comes in many different sizes, lengths, and strengths. You can buy pre-cut pieces of rebar from any hardware store or online retailer but if you want to build more complex structures such as stairs or steps for your new retaining wall then it’s better to cut your own length of rebar yourself at home using a hacksaw blade with teeth on one side only designed specifically for cutting through hardened steel rods like this one:

It’s important not only because they look unprofessional but also because they could mean trouble later down the road when something goes wrong with their construction process like an uneven surface which could lead them eventually falling apart over time due to structural flaws caused by these issues early on after being built which could cost thousands upon thousands worth repairing later down that road.”

Put in your first layer of concrete and allow it to set in an area that is sheltered from wind and rain. You will want the top of your footer to be level with the ground once it is finished.

  • When mixing the concrete, you will want to add water slowly and mix thoroughly until the mixture is consistent. You do not want to add too much water or else your concrete will be weak and crumbly; but you also do not want it too dry as this can cause cracks in your wall once it has set.
  • Once you have poured some of your first batch into each hole in the wall, use a trowel or shovel to smooth out any bumps that might be left behind when pouring each layer of concrete into place on top of another section so everything is even with one another when finished placing all three layers onto one side before turning around towards other sides where they need setups as well (which means adding more holes) – make sure there’s enough space between them so they aren’t touching otherwise they’ll crack later down road due lack space needed between each layer being applied.”

Take measurements of how high you want your retaining wall to be, allowing room for gravel and pavers.

  • Measure the height of your retaining wall and allow for gravel, pavers and a layer of soil.
  • Calculate the height of your footer.
  • Calculate the height of your wall.
  • Calculate the total height of your wall and footer by adding these measurements together (the sum will be slightly higher than what you calculated in step 2).

Lay down rebar that has been bent so as to create a grid at least 8 inches square and cut it 3 inches longer than your wall on each side. Anchor it along the bottom of your footer using rebar chairs or spacers. For extra strength, anchor it along the sides as well..

Now that you have determined the amount of rebar you need and have cut it to the proper length, it’s time to lay out your grid. To do this, use your measuring tape or level and mark a grid at least 8 inches square with stakes at every other stake point. Make sure that there is at least 3 inches of space between each stake point in order for enough room for anchoring later on.

Once you’ve done this, bend each piece of rebar by placing it horizontally across two chairs (or anything else sturdy) while standing on them lightly so they can be bent easily without breaking. Once all pieces are bent correctly, place them along the bottom line of your footer.


So hopefully this guide gives you an idea of how to construct your own retaining wall footer! Retaining walls are a great way to improve the look of your yard, but make sure not to underestimate the work that goes into them. Be careful when working around concrete as it can be very dangerous if handled improperly. Remember that always follow local building codes and recommendations from experts when undertaking any large construction project such as this one.

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