How To Build A Retaining Wall

Posted on: 12 January 2016

When considering ways to develop your residential landscape design, don't only think about the level of land you've been given. You can add another dimension to your landscape easily by building a retaining wall, creating a raised space to grow vegetables or flowers. Retaining walls are relatively easy to build with the correct materials and tools and can add excellent value to your garden.


To begin with this project you'll need to clear a space of dirt. If you're planning on building your wall where grass currently sits, then you'll have to remove the grass using a shovel, but if the space is already dirt then you can begin by marking the area you plan on building in and digging your trench for the first blocks.

Mark the area with spray paint and string to avoid making any mistakes while building. Using a shovel, dig a trench that is half the height of the blocks you plan to use and twice the width. This trench will also allow you take a look at the space your planning to install the retaining wall. When the trench is dug, fill in its base with paver base and tamp it down with a tamper so the base is level. You are now ready to start building your wall.

Build the wall

Retaining wall blocks typically come with a locking flange on one of the bottom sides to allow you to angle the wall and make installation easy. For the first row of the wall you'll need to knock off the flange using a hammer and a chisel so that the base of your wall is totally level with the ground. Lay your first row of the wall and continue to check that it is level. If you discover that one of the bricks is not level then use some of your paver base to lift it on the necessary side. Work your way around until the first row is set.

For the second row you'll need to cut the first brick in order to stagger the joints on your wall. Use a masonry blade on a circular saw to cut the block and place it on top of the bottom row firmly. As the blocks are heavy they don't require any adhesive or nails to secure them. Continue on with the remaining rows of your wall using the same method.

When your wall is built, you can then fill in the space with soil and compost and start planting. For more information, contact companies like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors.