Building a retaining wall with bricks is not that difficult. You just need to take your time and make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand before you begin. The first step is to pick out what kind of bricks you want to use, then measure twice before cutting once (or more or less), prepare the groundwork by digging up some dirt and laying down gravel as a base layer for your brick wall, which will help prevent it from collapsing inwards due to erosion over time.
The next step is choosing what kind of base material you want under your bricks – I prefer concrete because it’s easy to work with but if this isn’t an option then gravel works well too! After that comes building up layers of paver sand until there’s enough room so that when laid horizontally each brick can rest on its side without touching another one adjacent above or below itself (this helps keep them level).
Once everything has been laid out properly all that remains are adding mortar between joints with trowels made specifically for this purpose – we recommend using a rubber float instead since they’re better at smoothing over uneven surfaces than metal ones might be.”
Pick your materials.
- Choose bricks that are the same size and shape.
- Choose bricks that are the same color.
- Choose bricks that are the same thickness.
- Choose bricks that are the same quality (optional).
- Choose bricks that are the same weight (optional).
6, 7 & 8: Optional steps for choosing your materials
Plan your space.
As you begin to plan your space, there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind. The first is that your wall has to be straight. You don’t want it leaning at all! Next, make sure the top of your wall is level (when looked at from above). This will help ensure that water drains away from the house instead of pooling against it. Again with regard to drainage, plumbness (or verticality) may also be important if you live in an area with heavy rainfall or melting snow—these situations could cause flooding if not adequately drained by a properly built retaining wall. And finally, one more thing: remember that when looking at your space from above (as we discussed above), what might appear as a straight line from one side of a yard might actually turn into an angle when viewed from another angle; thusly one must take care of all angles involved before beginning construction on any particular side of their yard!
Measure twice, cut once (more or less).
When you’re building a retaining wall, it’s important to measure twice and cut once (more or less). Don’t cut too much off at once, because that’s going to make your life difficult. And don’t cut too little off at one time, because if you do that then you’ll have to do all of it over again.
If the wall is going up on an angle, make sure not only that you measure twice but also take into account how long each piece needs to be so that they all fit together properly when installed.
Do the groundwork.
Do the groundwork. Before you can build a retaining wall, you’ll need to do some heavy lifting:
- Dig a trench and level the ground to create your base. The depth of your trench will depend on how tall your retaining wall will be, but four inches should be sufficient for most projects. Don’t forget about drainage! If there’s no drainpipe nearby, consider installing one before leveling out your foundation (instructions here). Then, when it’s time to fill in this ditch with dirt, use compacted gravel instead of regular soil—this will keep water from seeping through cracks and leaking into neighboring homes or yards. You might also want to add some drainage pipes if your foundation is too shallow or if rainstorms are prone to flooding nearby properties; these pipes come in both plastic and metal varieties depending on what kind of material they’re installed into (earthen versus concrete).
Don’t forget about roots! Be sure that all roots have been cleared away so they don’t interfere with drainage later down the road; if any are left behind during construction work then these could cause major problems later down the road when trying building overtop of them without taking proper precautions first like using extra support beams underneath where needed so nothing collapses underneath them due these unforeseen circumstances happening later on down
Dig a trench.
Dig a trench. A trench is a hole that you dig in the ground, and it’s used to bury all sorts of things. If you want to build a retaining wall, you need to dig a trench for the foundation. If you want your retaining wall to be tall and sturdy, then make sure that your trench is deep enough so that it can support the weight of all those bricks wedged into the dirt at its bottom. You can also use trenches as drainage systems and water lines or even sewer lines if that’s what makes sense for your project!
Choose base material.
Choose a gravel that is larger than the brick. The ideal gravel will be around the same size as your brick, with one to two centimeters extra room on each side. It should have a bit of variation in shape and texture but not so much that it looks like you’re trying to make an artsy statement with your retaining wall.
Choosing a material that’s too smooth or rough can cause problems when installing your bricks. If it’s too smooth, they might slip right out of place if they get wet; too rough means they won’t stay put in place at all because there isn’t enough friction between them and their base material. You also want to avoid choosing something that’s too hard; this could cause damage to any nearby plants or lawns if people walk on top of them often enough over time (which would happen if it were located near an outdoor patio).
Prepare the gravel base.
- Prepare the gravel base. Mix the cement and gravel with a trowel, then spread it on top of your prepared base. Use a level to make sure that your gravel base is level, and use a rake to smooth out any bumps or dips in the surface.
Lay down a weed barrier fabric.
The first step to building a retaining wall is laying down a weed barrier fabric. Weed barrier fabric is made of thin plastic that’s used to prevent weeds from growing. It can be purchased in rolls or by the yard at home improvement stores and will help protect the ground from weeds while you’re working on your project.
Lay the first course of bricks.
You’ve done the prep work and now it’s time to build your wall.
Start with the first course of bricks, laying them in a row as level and straight as possible. Make sure that each brick is spaced evenly apart so that each row will appear straight when finished. Check that they’re also centered between vertical lines you’ve drawn on either side of them (and level with those lines). This will ensure that your wall looks even all the way down its length once completed, which is key to achieving good results with this style of brick retaining wall construction.
You’ll need to make sure that each brick is level with the ground before you start laying them, since these are gravity-driven structures and any unevenness could cause problems later on in an attempt to keep everything together against weathering forces acting upon it over time (and potentially leading up through rainwater runoff). Once again: if something isn’t right at this stage then changes can’t be made after putting down several rows worth of bricks!
Fill in gaps with paver sand.
With a paver float, level out the sand in your gaps. This will make it easier to add new pavers later on.
Once you’ve finished filling in gaps with paver sand and leveled it out, use an edging tool to adjust the edge of any bricks that are sticking up too high or low.
Lay the second course of bricks on top of the first course to make sure they fit properly.
Now that you have laid the first course of bricks, it’s time to lay the second course on top. Before placing each brick in its final location, check to make sure it fits properly by using a level and a straightedge to ensure that your wall is perfectly level and straight. Even if you were careful with this during laying down your first course, there may be some variation from one side of your wall to another due to settling in the ground or other factors. This will help even things out for you once you’ve finished building your retaining wall.
To further ensure that everything looks good at this point in construction, use a trowel or other tool (like an old credit card) to run along each line between bricks on both sides of each row—this will allow any excess mortar between pavers to fall away easily so that they line up properly with their neighbors when they’re set into place. This step also helps keep those rows looking nice and neat as well as preventing unwanted gaps between adjacent pavers from forming later on down the road!
Fill up cracks in pavers with more sand as you lay each row so that the pavers don’t move around when you’re moving them into place. You might also want to take advantage of this time to adjust the levelness between courses by adding more gravel or sand to level out any dips in elevation between pavers before you finish laying down one row and start laying another row above it.
Now that you’ve laid down all of your pavers, fill in any remaining cracks with sand and tamp them down with a tamper. Once you’re sure that there are no more gaps or cracks between pavers, use a trowel to level out the sand so that each paver is sitting flat on top of one another. If you want to make sure it’s perfectly level, use a level tool (if you have one) to measure the elevation difference from row-to-row before moving onto the next step.