How to Build Retaining Wall

If you want to contain soil or need a separator for your garden, you can build a retaining wall. Regardless of the height, the actual building process is quite straightforward.

Required Tools and Materials

Mortar
Bricks or stones
Trowel
Gravel
Hosepipe
Level
Measuring tape
String
Concrete mix
Mallet

Step 1

Decide on the dimensions of the retaining wall. Get 10% more than the material needed just to be sure.

Step 2

Decide where the wall will be built. Use the rake to remove any debris on the site. This step is necessary, so do not skip this step.

Step 3

Place the hosepipe on the area marking the end of the wall. You can also use a string instead of the pipe. Make sure when you build a retaining wall that it is within the boundaries.

Step 4

Use the shovel to dig in the area you marked. Make it at least a foot deep. Scrape off the soil when you get to the required depth.

Step 5

Put an even layer of gravel on top of it. This will keep water from turning into a problem.

Step 6

Put the bricks in place. Ensure they are fitted tight. If you are using interlocking blocks, put some gravel between the concrete holes. For bricks, you should apply the mortar under the bricks. Put mortar on top of the bricks before adding another layer.

Step 7

Make sure the blocks or bricks are aligned properly. You can use the level here. You can also use a rubber mallet to set the alignment right. Note: the gravel is not to be used with bricks or natural stones. You can use the gravel with interlocking stones only.

Step 8

Keep adding the stones or bricks until you get to the desired height. If you are using concrete blocks, make sure to add concrete in the holes.

Step 9

You can make the wall more stable by adding a plant. Put the plant on the wall foundation.

Tips and Warnings

If the wall is over three feet high, you will have to check the local building codes. Majority of the time, you will need to get permits. Besides the local authorities, you may also have to check with the homeowners’ association.

You can build a retaining wall on your own. But if the wall is large, some assistance will be needed. You should also wear gloves when you carry the stones or bricks. This will keep your hands from getting blisters.

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