Retaining walls are great for building up your yard. They’re not only functional, but they also look good and add character to your outdoor space. In this article, I’ll go over the steps involved in making a brick retaining wall, so you can get started on one yourself.
Check the level of the ground.
- Check the level of the ground. The first thing you will want to do is make sure that your lawn or garden area is level. You can do this by using a spirit level and checking with chalk, or if you have an existing retaining wall in place, you can use it as a guide for where to place new bricks. Once you have determined that the area is level and ready for brick placement, set aside some time so that when you are done laying them, they will be straight and even with each other.
Dig out the ground with a shovel or digger as needed to level.
- Dig out the ground with a shovel or digger as needed to level.
This is done by digging down around the base of your wall and filling in any low areas with more soil. You can also use this opportunity to create your own custom pattern if you want one that’s not in a brick pattern (like diamonds). This will make sure that everything is level before laying down your bricks, so they don’t start sinking into the ground later on.
- Lay a drainage layer at least 6 inches deep around all sides of the area where you’ll be building your wall, taking care to overlap it slightly where two pieces meet so there won’t be gaps for water runoff to escape through later on when it rains heavily.* Mix up some mortar according to package directions.* Cover an area about 6 feet by 12 feet with plastic or other waterproof material so nothing gets wet while waiting for things like concrete work or setting time for cement-based products like mortar (15 minutes).
Prepare the bed sand.
Start by mixing the sand and water in a wheelbarrow (or large bucket). The moisture content of the bed sand will affect how much water you need to add, so you’ll need to go off of feel here. Start with adding about two parts sand for every one part water, then stir until it feels wet but not soupy.
Then use a shovel to spread the mixture throughout your prepared area, making sure that it’s level at all times. After you’ve finished spreading it out, use a trowel or rake to smooth out any bumps or ridges in the surface of your bed (the top layer) before allowing it time to dry out naturally—about four hours should do it.
Lay out the bricks in a few different configurations until you’re happy with how they look.
It’s important to lay out the bricks in a few different configurations until you’re happy with how they look. Try to get a variety of colors and sizes, and make sure the bricks are straight and level. You should also make sure there is enough space between them for mortar, as well as making sure that they’re nice and level.
Mix your mortar in a bucket and then place some on top of your bed sand. Using a trowel, spread it out evenly but not too smooth – you want it to bond well with your bricks.
Mix your mortar in a bucket. You want it to be thick enough that you can easily spread it with a trowel, but not so thick that it’s too heavy to use. If you add too much water, your bricks may sink into the bed sand and it will be difficult to get them level.
Once you’ve mixed your mortar, place some on top of your bed sand and spread it evenly but not too smoothly – you want this layer to bond well with the brick wall. You also want this layer to be rough enough that when the next layer of brick is placed on top, they will bond well together instead of sliding around like they would if there were no joints between them at all.
Cover the area with plastic and wait for the mortar to set – usually about 24 hours.
After you’ve finished mixing and spreading the mortar, cover the area with plastic to prevent it from drying too quickly. Plastic sheeting or a tarp can be used to protect the surface of your new wall from wind and rain, as well as help retain heat. You don’t want to rush things, so allow at least 24 hours for the mortar to set before adding bricks on top. If you don’t allow enough time for your mortar to get firm enough, your bricks won’t stick properly and may fall off when wet weather hits.
Building a brick retaining wall can be done in three easy steps and will look great for years to come.
- Plan Ahead: It is important to plan ahead and make sure that your wall will be built on a level surface. If the ground is not level, it is recommended that you have it raised or lowered so the retaining wall will be level with the rest of your yard.
- Check The Ground Level: Next, check for any underground pipes or wires which may need to be relocated before building begins.
- Prepare The Bed Sand: Use equipment such as an auger and shovels to dig out a trench that goes along where you want your retaining wall (usually along a hill, slope or embankment). This trench should be at least 3 feet wide and deep enough so that when filled with soil, there will not be any gaps between bricks when stacked vertically against each other horizontally across its length; however if unsure how deep this should actually go then simply call in an expert who knows how much work goes into making sure these types of structures meet engineering requirements set forth by local code officials before being approved for construction projects like ours.
Building a brick retaining wall can be done in three easy steps and will look great for years to come! Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful brick wall in no time.