If you’re planning to build a wall or retaining wall, concrete blocks are a great choice. They’re durable, easy to use and they offer some design freedom. Once you’ve settled on the type of block you want, get your blocks delivered and set up your tools before you start building. To create a good foundation for your wall, flatten out the soil where it will go, and then stack the concrete blocks one row at a time in a staggered pattern. Keep stacking until your wall is as high as it needs to be.
Step 1: Prepare the concrete mix
There are several ways to mix concrete. You can use sand and gravel in addition to cement, or you can add water directly to the dry ingredients. It’s important to remember that each of these methods will result in a slightly different concrete mixture. For example, adding too much water will make the mixture too runny and cause it to be weak; adding too much sand or gravel will make it harden faster than expected; not enough sand and gravel may result in cracks after drying; adding extra cement causes stronger blocks but takes longer to dry; etcetera, etcetera…
Step 2: Set the first row of blocks
- Place the first row of blocks where you want them to be.
- Use a level to make sure that each block is level with either the previous row, or the ground, or both. If you are building on a sloped site, use shims between blocks to get them level.
- To ensure that your wall is straight and level, use a plumb bob as a guide for placing each block in line with its neighbors and vertical with gravity. The plumb bob should be placed at the top of one end of the wall being built.
Step 3: Add grout to all the seams
Step 3: Add grout to all the seams
As you can see, there are many gaps between the concrete blocks that need to be filled. A mortar is best used for this purpose and helps to make a stronger wall. You’ll want to fill the small gaps with mortar in order to prevent water from seeping through and getting into your basement.
You can buy a variety of mortars at a hardware store or home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot that come in different colors and consistencies; however, we recommend using mortar out of a bucket instead because it’s less expensive than pre-packaged options.
Before you start applying any grout onto your walls, make sure you have protective clothing on such as rubber gloves and a dust mask so that none gets on your skin or lungs (it can irritate them).
Step 4: Place the second course of concrete blocks
Once the first course is in place, you can begin laying the second course. The key to keeping your wall straight and level is to check that each block is perfectly level before setting it into place. You can use your line level for this or even use a plumb bob if you need more precision. It’s also important that each block is straight vertically so that they don’t lean out from the wall, as well as aligned horizontally so that all blocks are parallel with one another and none are offset from where they should be.
Once your second course is laid out and placed correctly, fill any gaps between blocks with mortar (this will be covered more below). Then move onto placing the third course of concrete blocks on top of those already in place. Again make sure each block is level and aligned properly with its neighbors before setting it down into position; if necessary adjust with shims placed underneath until everything aligns correctly
Step 5: Finish grouting and brushing out the joints.
- The final step is to brush out the joints and grout them. Grout is a mixture of cement, sand and water that you apply in thin layers to fill in any gaps between the blocks. This will make your wall stronger as well as give it a cleaner appearance.
- Brush out each joint with a stiff brush until it’s smooth enough that you can see your reflection in it if you hold up a mirror at an angle (you won’t be able to do this on every block).
- Apply grout sparingly but consistently over the entire length of each joint using a trowel or small sponge applicator tool—try not to leave any dry spots, because those will show through later when they are covered with another layer of mortar or paint. If there are any bare spots that need filling before applying another layer of mortar or painting them over, add more grout after letting it dry for 24 hours so that everything stays consistent throughout your project
Once you know how to build a wall from concrete blocks, you can easily build your own walls
The first step to building your own wall is determining the placement of the concrete blocks. You want to make sure that there is enough space between them so that you can easily clean them, and also that there is enough room on either side of your house for windows. If you want to go for a more ornate look, try laying out some pattern in your block placement
Next comes actually putting up all those concrete blocks. If you’ve ever built anything with bricks before then this will be easy—just make sure each block fits snugly into its place by tapping it lightly from below until it snaps into place (you can always tap harder if needed). Once everything has been stacked up, it’s time to finish things off with some grout around each individual brick.
You have now learned how to build a wall from concrete blocks. But what if you’re not ready for brick or stone? You can still build your own walls with this method. The steps are very similar, but instead of laying the first course of bricks on top of each other in an alternating pattern, you lay them side by side to create an interlocking pattern (like a puzzle). Next, add grout between each piece and brush out any excess until it looks smooth. Brush over any areas that were left without being covered by mortar so that they don’t stick out from under the finished product.