We’ll be honest: there’s nothing easy about making a retaining wall out of concrete blocks, especially if you’re doing it yourself. But if you want a healthy and functional garden, then you need to make sure that your retaining wall is solid. In this post, we’re going to walk you through the steps of making your own retaining wall using concrete blocks. After all, if you do it right, then this is one time-consuming project that will last decades.
Select blocks of the same size and type for your retaining wall.
When you’re building a retaining wall, it’s important to choose blocks that are the same type, color, material and thickness. Although retaining walls can be made from any type of material (including wood), they are commonly made with concrete or bricks.
Depending on the size of your project and budget, you may need to purchase special equipment like cranes or loaders to move larger stones or rocks into place.
Install a 4-inch layer of gravel or crushed rock behind the wall.
Drainage: A 4-inch layer of gravel or crushed rock will help prevent erosion by allowing water to flow freely away from the wall, preventing a buildup of excess water that would cause the base soil to erode.
Erosion: In addition to preventing erosion due to excess water, this layer also helps protect against wind and rain erosion by providing an additional barrier between the ground and your retaining wall.
Water seeping through the wall: A 4-inch layer will also act as an effective barrier against seeping water that may run down the side of your retaining wall into its foundation. This can lead to moisture buildup inside your house or basement if not addressed properly.
Lay your first course of blocks.
Lay your first course of blocks.
When laying the first course, begin by placing the blocks on edge with their long side facing outward and the other end resting against a corner or wall. Take care to make sure that each row is level and parallel to one another; this will ensure that you don’t run into any problems later on when it comes time for backfilling or planting. Make sure that all gaps between blocks are uniform so as not to create weak spots in your retaining wall.
Dig a trench for your first course, and lay the first course in it.
First, dig a trench for your first course. Make sure you have a level surface to start from and do a dry run before you start laying. If the first course is not level, it will affect all subsequent courses. Next, place each block in the trench with one edge of the block sitting on top of the soil that was removed during digging and the other edge resting on top of another block below it (see diagram).
You can use pressure-treated wood (known as PT wood) or non-pressure treated lumber for this project; however, because PT wood has been treated with chemicals that prevent decay and rot, it may require additional steps to ensure safety when exposed to rain or water over an extended period of time depending on how long your retaining wall will be used for – such as painting every few years with waterproof paints made specifically for retaining walls like this one here at Home Depot”
Lay each block snugly against the previous one.
- Keep the blocks level vertically. A level is a tool that allows you to check if a surface is perfectly level, or horizontal. Use it to ensure that each block is level horizontally, parallel with one another:
- With the first block in place on top of the base, use your level to make sure it’s sitting straight up and down (perpendicular to the ground). Then lay down some more blocks at right angles to this first one until they reach your desired height.
- Keeping them parallel ensures that each new layer won’t be crooked or slanted—which would make for an ugly retaining wall. Making sure all of these layers are uniform will also create an attractive effect.
Use level to ensure that each block is level horizontally and keep them parallel to one another.
- Use a level or straightedge to ensure that each block is level horizontally and keep them parallel to one another.
- A spirit level can also be used for this purpose.
Make sure the gap between blocks is uniform which makes laid walls look more attractive.
Make sure the gap between blocks is uniform. This makes laid walls look more attractive. Make sure the gap is not too large or small; it should be just right. When laying, remember to keep a consistent distance between all of your blocks, and not too close together or far apart from each other.
Add earth around and behind the blocks to secure wall.
You’ll want to make sure that the earth you add is well-drained and not too wet, or else it could cause your retaining wall to settle unevenly. You can do this by using a trowel to add earth around the block and rake it back behind them. Make sure that you add 1 inch of earth behind each block so that they are fully supported by the ground.
Retaining walls can be a great way to make better use of space in your garden while also making use of often overlooked and underused parts of your property.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already have some idea of what a retaining wall is. You might have seen them on TV or in magazines, perhaps on properties belonging to celebrities or other people with money to burn. However, if you don’t know what they are exactly and how they can be used in your garden, here’s the lowdown:
Retaining walls are structures that help keep soil from falling away from the land onto which it was originally built. They do this by holding back earth behind them as it rises up the slope at an angle towards higher ground elsewhere. These walls can be built out of bricks or concrete blocks—or even stone if you’ve got plenty of money to spend—but we’ll focus on using concrete blocks because they’re cheap and easy to find anywhere around town (or online).
That’s it. Now you know how to make a retaining wall with blocks! It’s time to embark on the project of your dreams. If you’re worried about building a retaining wall, don’t be. Follow this simple step-by-step guide and you’ll have no problem creating a beautiful structure that will last for years to come—just remember to install proper drainage behind any masonry wall before backfilling it or else you could end up with some serious problems down the road.