If you’re building a concrete block wall, you need a solid foundation to ensure the wall’s stability. You should follow specific steps when making your foundation, including excavating the area and filling it with something to stabilize the blocks as they dry. Make sure you’re prepared before beginning construction on your project by reading through these easy steps for laying a strong concrete block foundation:
Once you have your plans, and you’ve selected your area for the wall, it’s time to start inspecting the site.
A concrete block wall can be an excellent addition to your home and property, providing a visual barrier that adds security and privacy while also giving the space a distinctive look. If you’re ready to get started on building your own concrete block wall, it’s important to make sure you have all of the right supplies and materials before beginning construction.
- Inspect Your Site: It’s essential that you survey your site before beginning any sort of excavation or construction work. In order for your project to go smoothly, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any hazards hiding in the ground underneath where you plan on building your foundation. Even if there are no obvious issues at first glance, it is still worth taking time out of one day (or even just part of one day) for an initial inspection before making any further decisions about how best proceed with plans for completing this project. Inventory Your Tools And Materials: You will need various tools such as shovels, picks or hammers depending upon terrain conditions; however these may not always be readily available due high demand during busy seasons such as springtime when homeowners begin landscaping projects after winter hibernation period has ended.
Make sure the site is level, within three inches from top to bottom.
If you’re going to build a concrete block wall, you’ll need to lay a foundation in order to ensure it’s sturdy. The foundation will give the wall support and stability. You can find a lot of building and construction materials online, so you won’t need to go looking for them in person. You can use a laser level or plumb bob (or even just your eye) to check the site is level, within three inches from top to bottom.
Make sure your ground is as compact as possible before beginning your work.
Before starting any work on your foundation, make sure that the ground is as compact as possible. The soil should not be too hard or too soft, but rather have a medium consistency that can be easily packed down by hand. If you do not have a tamper or plate compactor (a tool used for compacting soil), a shovel will suffice in its place.
Once your ground has been packed down properly, you are ready for the next step: laying plastic sheets over the area where you plan on building your block wall.
Measure the slope of your yard, and make sure that each row of concrete blocks is level when you begin.
The first thing you will want to do is make sure that your foundation is level. You can do this by using a level or plumb bob, depending on what kind of slope you have in your yard. If your foundation has too much of a slope, then the concrete blocks will not be able to sit flush with each other when they are stacked up high enough to support something like a porch or patio.
After making sure that the foundation is level, begin by placing one row of blocks along the edge closest to where you are going to start building from. Once you have laid down this first row of blocks, use some string and stakes (or whatever tools you have handy) so that all of your rows remain at the same height throughout construction.
Dig a hole for the concrete blocks.
- Use a shovel to dig a hole that’s sufficiently deep and wide to hold the concrete blocks.
- Make sure the hole is level, straight, and at least as deep as the height of each connected row of block (you can build up a layer of dirt between rows if needed). We recommend digging slightly deeper than this so that you can place an extra block on top of each row without worrying about having room for expansion. You could also use a string line or laser level to ensure accuracy.
Make sure your foundation hole is at least 18 inches deep.
The foundation hole needs to be deep enough to support the wall. In general, you’ll want your foundation hole at least 18 inches deep. If you have particularly poor soil or higher-than-average water tables, you may want to dig it deeper than that.
If your soil is compacted and very sandy, you can use a shovel or pickaxe to dig the hole manually; otherwise, consider renting a backhoe from a local rental company if it seems necessary to get through the ground efficiently.
Excavate for the footing by digging a trench that’s 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 1 foot longer than the foundation itself.
Excavate for the footing by digging a trench that’s 12 inches wide, 8 inches deep and 1 foot longer than the foundation itself. Make sure your trench is level and straight, otherwise you’ll have to tear up all of your work. Once you’ve finished digging it, use a tamper to pack down the sides of your trench so they’re flat.
Fill the trench with paver base or gravel to create a bed for the footing to sit on.
Fill the trench with paver base or gravel to create a bed for the footing to sit on. To do this, you’ll need about 3-4 inches of material at the bottom of your trench. Don’t use concrete blocks, dirt, sand or rocks to fill in this area. In fact, don’t use any kind of wood either–you want all materials that can compress easily so that they won’t compress too much later on when you’re building your wall (it’s also worth mentioning here that boards will absorb moisture from wet soil which could cause them to swell and warp). You can also avoid clay because it tends not hold up well under pressure and often cracks over time due to heavy loads being placed upon it.
Place scraps of 2×4 in every corner of your foundation, creating a square or rectangle that matches the dimensions of your wall.
- Place 2×4 scraps in every corner of your foundation, creating a square or rectangle that matches the dimensions of the wall you are building.
- Make sure these 2x4s are level with each other and with the ground, as well as being level with your desired height for your wall.
- Use this rough framework to figure out how many blocks will be needed for your wall—you will need one row of blocks for every 2″ (5 cm) of height.
Cover the bottom center of your two-by-fours with scrap wood or a piece of mason board to add stability while you’re building up to grade level.
- Cover the bottom center of your two-by-fours with scrap wood or a piece of mason board to add stability while you’re building up to grade level.
- Use a scrap piece of wood that’s at least 1/2″ thick.
- Place your four posts down in the ground and make sure they are level, within three inches from top to bottom.
Fill in around them with extra sand or gravel until they’re level with one another on both sides of each corner post.
- Fill in around them with extra sand or gravel until they’re level with one another on both sides of each corner post.
- Use an extra piece of wood to keep the posts level, and use a level to make sure that they are level with one another on both sides.
- Fill in around the corner posts with extra sand or gravel, and use an extra piece of wood to keep the posts level, making sure that they are level with one another on both sides.
These steps will help you lay a sturdy foundation for any concrete block wall you plan to build
When building a concrete block wall, the foundation is crucial to ensuring the wall will be sturdy and stable. Without a strong foundation, your wall may end up leaning or shifting over time as it settles into the ground. Here’s how to build a solid foundation for your concrete block wall:
- Ensure that your site is level by using a spirit level or laser level tool.
- If you have any drainage issues, make sure you’ve cleared them up before laying your new walls. This will help ensure that the moisture doesn’t seep through into your basement during heavy rains or snowmelt.
- Ensure that each row of blocks is level when building begins by placing them on top of small pieces of wood so they don’t fall over while they’re being set into place (this also helps with leveling).
Keep in mind that your wall may require a different approach than this, depending on the specifics of your project. If you’re dealing with a difficult slope or poor soil conditions, you’ll need to make adjustments to ensure that your foundation is as sturdy as possible. Every wall is unique, but these are the best tips for laying a solid foundation regardless of what kind of concrete block wall you’re building.
If you’re planning on how to build a concrete block wall and need professional assistance with planning, pouring or finishing this type of project, contact us today.