How To Build Retaining Wall

This article will go over how to build a retaining wall. Besides blocks, this article will also cover the use of concrete, sand, pea gravel, and peas. By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about retaining walls. Listed below are the steps you need to follow to build a retaining wall. Read on to learn how to do it yourself!


When building a retaining wall, it is essential to begin with a level surface and a porous base to facilitate drainage and build a wall with a smooth finish. The base can be a layer of gravel, sand, or a combination of both. It should be about two inches thick. Start by stacking the first row of blocks on the base, and then push down the adjoining blocks. When placing the blocks, be sure to use a level to ensure that each brick is level.

Before you start laying the blocks, you should prepare the ground by raking or scraping the soil. If the soil is sandy, a flat shovel is a good tool for leveling the surface. Next, spread a layer of base material across the base. Lay the first stone and check for levelness every few blocks. Continue to fill in the area with retaining blocks until the wall reaches the level you want.

Next, level the soil and lay the base layer, such as two inches of sand or gravel. Be sure to press down the sand or gravel firmly, but not too hard that it displaces the soil underneath. After this, you can start building the wall. Remember to leave enough space between the blocks and the soil so you can backfill it with loose gravel or porous sand.

After the base layer is prepared, you can start installing the blocks. Be sure to use a level for a precise measurement. Then, use a level to place the blocks, and line them up in the trench so the wall will have a level base and can’t fall over. This will ensure that the wall doesn’t fall down because of the weight. After all, you don’t want to spend time digging a hole in the ground.


While you may have seen a poured concrete wall on a freeway, a residential landscape should not use one. These walls are tricky to install and require specialized tools and skilled labor. Although a concrete retaining wall is the strongest material for retaining land, it may not fit the landscape design you want. Nevertheless, it can last for centuries and will look fantastic in the right location. Here are a few reasons to avoid this material in your landscape.

A concrete retaining wall can help prevent erosion and give your yard a more level appearance. A retaining wall can help you create a level patio or landscaping area, and it is inexpensive compared to other options, such as stone or brick masonry. They can be just as elegant and stylish as more expensive options. If you’re considering a concrete retaining wall, you should look for a concrete construction company that puts your needs first.

For a retaining wall to hold a load, the designer should specify the required backfill, drainage, and compaction. For taller walls, free-draining aggregate fill should be placed in shallow lifts and compacted with a vibratory plate compactor. A clayey soil cap should be placed at the base. Once the backfill is in place, it is usually drained by means of a perforated pipe wrapped in filter fabric or weep holes.

The height of the stem of a cast concrete retaining wall should not be less than twelve inches. The bottom of the base slab must be at least two feet below seasonal frost line, which is generally deeper in northern climates. The width and length of the base slab should be 50 to 70 percent of the total height of the wall. Once the height is set, you can add more or less reinforcement as needed. You will be happy with the results.


If you want to construct a retaining wall, you should start by laying down a porous base of gravel or sand. The porous base will allow for proper drainage of water and will also make it easier to level the blocks. You can use a layer of sand or gravel about 2 inches thick for this purpose. Once you have laid down the base layer, place the first row of blocks firmly into it. Check the level of the blocks in both directions.

If you’re planning to build a retaining wall on your property, you’ll need to backfill it first. You need a porous material to keep water from soaking into the walls during heavy rains. A dense soil will put enormous pressure on the wall, so a more porous backfill area will be more effective. In addition, you can leave the drainage backfill slightly below the top of the wall and fill in the rest with topsoil.

After you’ve chiseled the edges of the blocks, place them in the soil. You want to keep them evenly level and not too close together. When you’re done constructing the retaining wall, make sure to leave an extra few inches of soil on the backside of the wall. This space will be filled in later with loose gravel or porous sand. If your soil is rocky or sandy, make sure you’re able to backfill it correctly.

The base of your retaining wall is an essential component of your project. The base should be at least six inches below ground level. Taller walls require an even deeper base. The base of the retaining wall should be constructed of compacted soil or six inches of sand and gravel. A retaining wall needs a good base to keep it stable. A solid base will also prevent any shifting of the wall.

Pea gravel

Pea gravel is a versatile material that can be used to create a retaining wall. Its light weight allows it to be used as an alternative to concrete retaining walls. This material is also great for landscapes, as it allows water to filter easily through. When building a retaining wall, it’s important to choose a backfill material that will prevent hydrostatic pressure from building up behind the wall. RCP recommends 3/4-inch crushed gravel for backfill.

One advantage of pea gravel is that it is long-lasting. Because it is made from natural materials, it is resistant to shifting. The gravel will prevent bricks or stones from rotating. It is also a great option for clay soils, since it does not erode as quickly as sand. Here are some tips to build a pea gravel patio:

First, start by digging a level, 12-inch-deep trench on the slope of your property. Dig a full half-inch deeper than the final height of the retaining wall. Then, compact the gravel with a hand tamper or plate compactor to make it about 100 percent compact. Remember to use the same stone for backfilling as well. If the slope is not level, make sure the blocks are even.

Next, mark the area for the retaining wall. Before starting, measure the length and width of the space you’ll fill. Measure the area by placing stakes in the ground, if necessary. Also, call the utility companies to see if they require a permit. If you are unsure of the laws in your area, you can also call the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline to mark the locations of underground utilities. Once you have marked the area, you can start digging. Remember to dig a trench about half-way down from the surface of the ground.

Drain rock

When you are building a retaining wall, it’s important to drain water away from the site. The best way to do this is to dig a gravel bed that’s at least a foot deep and as wide as the rock wall itself. Next, you’ll need to install toe drains behind the rock wall. These are usually 4-inch pipes with perforations for water seepage. Install them parallel to the wall and behind the gravel to allow water to flow easily into a drainage pipe.

A retaining wall’s weakest section will eventually give in. It may even bulge or buck under pressure. Even if it’s a simple retaining wall, gravity will eventually take its toll. Look for signs that your wall is losing its strength, including leaning or broken sections. After all, the point of a retaining wall is to hold back water, not to erode it.

First, choose a suitable slope. Most DIYers can build walls up to three feet high, but if the wall is taller, you’ll need to get help or obtain a permit from the city. Another way to strengthen your wall is to use sloping stones. These stones should have a two-inch drop for every foot of height. This way, it will be easier to keep the wall sturdy and withstand any pressures that may come from backfilling.

Once you’ve chosen the slope, you’ll need to dig out about a dozen inches of the hillside. Use the string to mark the spot where the drainage rock will be placed. You’ll need about 12 inches of the trench to make the first course. The second level should be at least half an inch above the first level, so you can place the blocks and the drainage rock. A final layer of gravel should be about an inch away from any seams or string.

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