How To Stack Retaining Wall Blocks

Stacking retaining wall blocks is a great way to build a retaining wall. Retaining walls are a great way to add curb appeal and increase the value of your home. They also help protect your property from erosion and other natural effects of weathering.

Retaining wall blocks are made of concrete and used in construction to help prevent soil erosion and keep the soil on the side of a hill from moving. They are also often used to prevent soil from moving downhill in an area where there is a slope.

Retaining walls are a great way to add some landscape interest and structure to your yard. They help you create the right amount of space for the plants you want, and they also help prevent erosion where water has been flowing down a hillside. Retaining walls are also very easy to build, as long as you have the right tools and materials.

The soil behind your raised beds has eroded to the point where your plants are in danger of falling out of their beds, not to mention that it just looks bad. It’s time to build a retaining wall that will reinforce the soil and help prevent erosion. Retaining walls are more than just functional, though; they also add charm and value to your property. This article will show you how to stack retaining wall blocks, so keep reading to learn how you can get this project done quickly and easily.

Dig a base trench – 12″ wide and 8″ deep

To dig the base trench, you’ll need a shovel and some elbow grease. Digging can be difficult, especially if you’re working by yourself. Be sure not to dig too deep or wide—a trench that’s too wide will cause your retaining wall blocks to lean outward; one that’s too narrow may allow rainwater to seep in between the retaining blocks and ruin them over time.

Next, place your first row of concrete blocks onto the bottom of your base trench so that they are aligned with its top edge (the bottom edge of each block should be flush with it).

Build the first course of retaining wall blocks.

  • Build the first course of retaining wall blocks. Place the first course of blocks at a level below grade, and then use stakes to hold them in place while you build up the next courses. The top of this initial course should be level with or 1/2 inch higher than the ground surface. (We’ll add dirt on top later.) If your block is longer than 8 inches, make two cuts in each block to break it into two pieces before setting it into place.

Build the second course of retaining wall blocks on top.

  • Use the same process you used for the first course, but this time build two blocks at once.
  • Build up to the desired height and then use a level to check your verticality.

Backfill soil behind the first two courses of blocks to lock them in place.

Once you’ve built two courses, fill the gap between the blocks with soil and compact it to lock the first two courses in place.

Backfill trench with gravel for drainage.

Start by backfilling the trench with gravel. Gravel is more effective than dirt in providing drainage and is less likely to clog or wash away. It will also help keep the blocks from getting stuck together, and your wall will be more stable if you use a material that drains well (such as crushed stone) instead of a heavy soil like clay.

Check for level as you build each course of blocks.

When you build each course of blocks, check for level as you go. Use a level and make sure the block is level both in the horizontal direction and vertically. If it’s not level, adjust until it is. This can be done by adjusting the height of your mortar bed or by cutting off excess mortar around the block with a jointing tool.

To check verticality, place your level on top of your first row and adjust until it reads perfectly straight up-and-down (90 degrees). Then repeat this step for every other row as you build up your wall.

Checking for plumb means making sure that all sides are exactly 90 degrees from their neighbors (vertical), with no leaning to one side or another; this will ensure that water drains away from your wall rather than collecting behind it where it could cause damage later on down the line! To do so: use two levels at once (one vertical along one side) while placing them against each other; if they don’t match then there won’t be any pressure points created where they touch each other but instead they’ll slide freely past one another without leaving any marks behind which means everything else should stay nice and dry inside despite how wet outside might get due to heavy rains during summer months such as those experienced here in Southern California every year starting around late April through early September each year when temperatures rise above 100°F/38°C daily during afternoon hours only dropping down below 70°F/21°C during nights…

Repeat until desired height is reached.

Now that you’ve built the first course of blocks, you’ll start to see how they work and what they look like. It’s important to have a system of measuring in place so that each row becomes progressively higher than the last. That way, when you reach your desired height, all that’s left is to finish off your wall with the appropriate blocks.

There are three main types of stone retaining walls: dry-stacked (without mortar), wet-stacked (with mortar) or block retaining walls (like ours). Each type has its pros and cons and is best suited for different purposes. For this guide we’ll be discussing dry-stacked walls because they’re easier to assemble and don’t require any special tools or materials.

When stacking stones on top of each other it’s imperative that they’re level; otherwise your whole structure could collapse! Use a level tool like this one from Amazon ($6) every time before putting anything into place so nothing gets ruined later down the line due to bad planning

Stacking retaining wall blocks is pretty easy, especially if you have all the tools you need beforehand

Stacking retaining wall blocks is pretty easy, especially if you have all the tools you need beforehand. You will need:

  • a shovel to dig holes for your retaining wall blocks
  • a tape measure for measuring distances between the holes and where each block goes
  • a level to make sure that your retaining wall is straight and even as it goes up
  • a wheelbarrow (or a tarp) to move the dirt from where you are digging into place as needed when building your retaining wall


In this article we have discussed how to stack retaining wall blocks. This is an easy task, but it is important to take your time and pay attention to the details in order to achieve the best results. As long as you follow our guide, you should be able to complete this project with no problems at all.

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