A stacked block retaining wall is a great way to add beauty to your property, and it also serves an important function by keeping dirt and debris from settling on one side of the structure. The wide variety of blocks available can be used for building nearly any type of retaining wall so that you can match or complement the rest of your home’s aesthetic. This article will help you learn how to build a stacked block retaining wall in just nine steps.
Choose your wall blocks.
- Choose your wall blocks.
- Type of block is important to consider, as each type has its own benefits. For example, you may opt for a sand-filled block or one that has been coated with an inert waterproofing agent. Consider whether it will be exposed to water on a regular basis—if so, consider using a waterproofed material such as concrete masonry unit (CMU). Common types of CMU include limestone and granite; however, many other materials are available depending on the look you’re trying to achieve.
- Size plays into this as well—the larger the block size and thickness of material used to make them up (think inches), the more expensive they’ll be per piece. You also need to know how many pieces you need in order to calculate costs; this will vary depending on how tall or wide your wall will be overall when finished with stacked stone retaining walls installed adjacent one another in multiple rows across parallel tracks at different heights which create steps leading down towards another track below where additional stairs can be added for lower access points around water bodies such as lakes or ponds nearby where kids might play safely without risking falling from their boats onto rocks if anchored correctly enough near shoreline areas where waves don’t wash over them too heavily during stormy seasons such as spring flooding due mainly caused by melting snow runoff from higher elevations up north where most snow falls during winter months heretofore unknown until now thanks science!
Choose your building materials.
As you begin to plan your stacked block retaining wall, it’s important to know what materials are required for the project. This will depend on a number of factors including:
- The size and scope of your project
- Your budget
- The style you want to achieve
Excavate the area where the wall will be built, allowing 6 inches on all sides for a base.
- Excavate the area where the wall will be built, allowing 6 inches on all sides for a base.
- Level the bottom of your excavation with a straight 2 x 4.
- Compact your gravel base with a plate compactor. Run the machine perpendicular to where you want it to set and use small rocks as weight if you have them around.
- Lay out your first block and keep it level with 1/8-inch spacers between blocks at each joint if possible (if not, then aim for 1/16-inch). Use a leveler tool or plumb bob to make sure that your first row is perfectly straight before laying down more blocks in it. Once you have completed this row, continue adding rows until reaching ground level.
Lay down gravel and pack it into place.
- Lay down gravel and pack it into place.
- Use a tamper or plate compactor to pack the gravel down, as well as a rake to level out the surface and make sure everything is flat and smooth.
Level the gravel base out and make sure it is flat.
How you go about leveling and compacting the gravel base is up to you. A simple and effective method is to use a 4-foot level to check for level, then use a plate compactor to compact the gravel.
To make sure your wall is completely flat, measure from corner-to-corner at multiple points along each side of your wall. If any measurements are off by more than 1/8 inch (3mm), rework those areas until they are perfectly flat.
Use a plate compactor to compact the base.
To compact the base, use a plate compactor. Make sure that the foundation is flat and level before proceeding to step 4.
Begin stacking blocks at one end of the wall, making sure they are straight and level with each other.
Begin stacking blocks at one end of the wall, making sure they are straight and level with each other. It is important to begin your stacked block retaining wall with a perfectly straight line.
After you have placed your first row of blocks, stand back and make sure that each block is level with the previous one. If any bricks appear to be lopsided or not flat against the ground, remove them and place them back down in their proper place on top of those that are flush against each other for maximum stability.
Next, stagger each new row so that there are no vertical seams between walls. This will prevent leaks from developing over time due to water seeping between bricks if there is only one seam holding all three walls together instead of three individual seams for every single layer of bricks used for construction (this would also increase costs).
Finish off by placing some dirt overtop these stacked layers until they are completely covered up—this serves as both an aesthetic choice as well as an added layer of protection against erosion caused by rain runoff during storms or even windblown debris hitting directly into them while walking around outside.
Continue stacking blocks until you reach the top of the retaining wall. It is important to continue stacking in a straight line and making sure each layer is level with the one below it so that each block is level when the retaining wall is finished.
Now, continue stacking blocks until you reach the top of your retaining wall. It is important to continue stacking in a straight line and making sure each layer is level with the one below it so that each block is level when the retaining wall is finished.
Each block must be level. If there are any vertical seams between walls, cut finishing blocks as needed to finish off your retaining wall.
Once you have reached the desired height for your retaining wall, cut finishing block(s) to fit as needed using a circular saw or masonry blade on a reciprocating saw. Stagger them as you did for the first course so there are no vertical seams between walls and finish off your retaining wall!
At this point, your wall should be starting to look like a full-fledged, sturdy retaining wall. But if you want it to be perfect, there are still some steps that need to be taken.
- Cut finishing block(s) to fit as needed using a circular saw or masonry blade on a reciprocating saw. Stagger them as you did for the first course so there are no vertical seams between walls and finish off your retaining wall.
- Level the gravel with an edger or plate compactor (available at most home improvement stores). Be sure not to disturb plants or other landscaping in the process. Stagger blocks for each course so there’s no vertical seam; otherwise, your finished product will look sloppy.
Build your own stacked block retaining wall.
Build your own stacked block retaining wall!
Building a retaining wall is a lot easier than it looks. A good foundation will keep the structure stable and prevent it from tipping outwards when pressure is applied at its base by soil behind it. Here’s what you need:
- Stacked blocks (which can be purchased at your local home improvement store)
- Base material for compacting the ground beneath your new wall, such as gravel or crushed stone (you should let this settle for at least 24 hours before proceeding)
- A plate compactor—this could be rented from a construction supply store, or if you have access to one yourself, use it! You will also want to rent a circular saw so that cutting down your blocks is easier – just don’t forget to wear protective clothing like gloves and goggles during this step since there may be sharp pieces flying around when those saw blades start spinning up there near someone’s eyesight area).
Now that you have all the tools and supplies, you can start building your very own retaining wall. As we mentioned earlier, this can be a fun project for the whole family to enjoy! If you want some more ideas about how to beautify your home with stacked block retaining walls or other projects like them, check out our blog for more DIY tips and advice. We also offer landscape design services if you are looking for a professional touch that will make all of your neighbors green with envy (in more ways than one).
We hope this helped get you started on making your dream home a reality.