Building a Retaining Wall

Step by Steps instructions for Building a Retaining Wall

By Mark J. Donovan

Does your yard have a significant slope on it? Is the slope so steep that it is difficult to enjoy your yard? A great solution to this problem is to build a retaining wall.

Creating a Plan for the Retaining wall

Building a retaining wall starts with creating a landscaping plan for your yard. The plan should show how you want to use the yard and where the retaining wall should go. The plan should also show the required height of the retaining wall. You will also need to rent a laser transit and a bobcat tractor with a backhoe, or similar heavy equipment, to ease in the earth movement.

To determine the required height of the retaining wall you should a laser transit to determine the height of the wall.

Building the Retaining Wall

Using the bobcat tractor cut into the sloped hill and level the earth with the backhoe of the bobcat.

Next use the tractor’s backhoe apparatus to dig a footing for the retaining walls foundation. Make sure the footing is below the frost grade for your area.

Once you have completed the footing hole, fill it with crushed stone and compact it with the backhoe or a plate compactor. This will ensure a stable footing base to support the retaining wall.

Using concrete landscaping blocks, place a row of them along the top of the footing. Use a level or a string to ensure they are level along the entire length of the retaining wall.

Apply a second row of concrete landscaping blocks, making sure to stagger them relative to the lower row. Stagger them such that the middle of the upper block sits above the seam of the two lower blocks.

Once you have a couple of rows in place, install a 4” perforated PVC pipe behind the blocks. Lay the pipe into a bed of crushed stone as this will help to ensure proper drainage behind the retaining wall.

Continue to install additional rows of concrete landscaping blocks to the desired height of the retaining wall.

Once you have completed the installation of concrete landscaping blocks, backfill the retaining wall with earth material.

Apply topsoil to the filled in area behind the retaining wall and grass seed. With that you have completed building a retaining wall.

Building a retaining wall.

Building a retaining wall is a fairly straight forward project, however it can be back breaking work so make sure to rent the heavy equipment. You will save yourself a lot of time and a lot of muscle ache.

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