In this article, we’ll show you how to lay a retaining wall that will not only turn heads but offer lasting durability. To best accomplish this task, it is important to get the right tools, lay a proper foundation and carefully set the bricks in place.
Prepare Your Materials
First things first, you’re going to want to get your materials together. You’ll need:
-A shovel or spade
-A wheelbarrow or cart (depending on how much material you have)
-A garden hose or sprayer
-A level or straight edge (if your wall is uneven)
-Garden gloves (to protect your hands from cuts)
Dig a trench deep enough to hold your bricks and wide enough to allow you to spread gravel in the bottom.
- Dig a trench deep enough to hold your bricks and wide enough to allow you to spread gravel in the bottom. The depth of this trench depends on how deep your brick is and how many you plan on using. The width of this trench depends on how wide your brick is and how many you plan on using.
- Spread about 1/4 inch of gravel over the bottom of the trench, which will act as drainage for excess water from heavy rains.
Fill the trench with gravel, then tamp it down firmly.
To install the base, we recommend using a gravel mix. Gravel is easy to find and inexpensive, and it’s a good choice for your retaining wall project since it’s easy to install and replace if you need to replace any of it later on down the road.
Lay your first row of bricks on top of the gravel, making sure it is level.
Lay your first row of bricks on top of the gravel, making sure it is level. Use a measuring tape to ensure that each course is level with one another.
If you have a straightedge, use it to check for plumb and then mark where the second row of bricks will go. Otherwise, measure out from each corner so that the next row will line up along an edge or at a point halfway between two corners, depending on how you want your retaining wall to look.
Lay the next row of bricks, staggering your placement as you did for your first row.
Lay the next row of bricks, staggering your placement as you did for your first row. For example, if you placed the bottom left brick on the ground first and then added a brick to its right side so that it overlapped slightly with the edge of this first brick, now place a third brick so it overlaps with both of those two bricks. Repeat this process until you have completed all eight rows.
If you want to make sure that each row is staggered enough to look natural but not too random-looking (which might be better for a wall that isn’t meant to be straight), lay down every other brick in each row before filling in any gaps afterward.
Alternate adding rows until you reach your desired height.
As you add each row, alternate the placement of the bricks. For example, if you used a 4” space in your last row, use the same size spacing or even larger when adding the next row (e.g., 5” or 6”).
Keep all of your rows level and straight by using spacers between them and a string line to guide them as you build up your wall. You can also use a level as a guide for keeping each row straight.
Cover the area with a generous layer of grass or other plants for a nice finished result.
Once you have laid your bricks, cover the area with a generous layer of grass or other plants for a nice finished result.
Grass will help to hide your retainer wall and make it look more natural. It will also help to hold the entire structure together by anchoring it firmly in place.
Plants can also help prevent erosion, weeds and unwanted pests by preventing soil from washing away, as well as providing shade that discourages weed growth.
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- Use a level to make sure your wall is straight
- Use a string line to make sure your first row is straight
With some expertise and patience, you can create a beautiful retaining wall with nothing but bricks.
Before you begin building your retaining wall, there are a few important factors to consider.
- You need to make sure you have the right materials. If you’re going to be building a retaining wall with bricks, then you’ll need bricks. They should be level and straight.
- You also need the right tools for laying brick. You will need a trowel or other tool for moving and placing mortar in between the bricks (called “pointing”). And don’t forget about safety goggles and gloves.
- Finally, it’s important that you have the right skills as well as attitude when working on your project so that everything goes smoothly—and looks great when finished.
Now you have a great looking retaining wall that will not only beautify your yard, but it will also prevent erosion and flooding. The best part is that you did it yourself and saved money in the process. Congratulations on completing this project.