FAQ: How To Put In A Retaining Wall?

Can you do a retaining wall yourself?

Choose a DIY-friendly building material. Retaining walls can be made from wood, bricks, natural stones or concrete blocks. For DIYers, it’s best to use concrete retaining wall blocks, which can be interlocking and are heavy enough to stay in place without cement or other adhesive.

How do you build a retaining wall step by step?

Step by Step: How to build a retaining wall

  1. Dig a level-bottomed trench wide enough for the base stones to fit into. Compact the bottom of the trench with a hand tamper.
  2. Lay landscape fabric in the trench.
  3. Start the wall’s second layer using a staggered pattern.
  4. Make sure the wall is level.

How much does it cost to put in a retaining wall?

The average cost of building a retaining wall is $5,636. Most homeowners find themselves spending between $3,229 and $8,670. The cost of retaining wall materials ranges from $3 to $40 per square foot. Wall block prices fall between $10 and $15 per square foot, while precase, poured concrete runs $20 to $25.

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What is the easiest retaining wall to build?

For the average do-it-yourselfer, building a retaining wall is easiest when using masonry blocks that will be stacked no taller than three feet, with no mortar binding the stones or concrete members. (For a curved wall, mark instead with a garden hose or spray paint.)

Do I need drainage behind retaining wall?

Third, since most retaining walls are impervious, which means water cannot pass through the wall itself, efficient drainage is crucial. When drainage goes unaddressed hydrostatic pressure will build up behind the wall and cause damage such as bulging or cracking.

What is the cheapest type of retaining wall?

What is the cheapest retaining wall material?

  • Treated pine and is the least expensive material.
  • Hardwood is more expensive than treated pine.
  • Railway sleepers are another – slightly more expensive – option and are built to withstand ground and water contact.
  • Concrete sleepers are more expensive.

How deep do you dig for a retaining wall?

  1. Dig a base trench 24 in. ( 600 mm) wide the length of the wall.**
  2. The depth of the trench will be 6 in. ( 150 mm) plus an additional 1 in. (
  3. Compact the base trench making a minimum of two passes with a walk behind plate compactor.
  4. Foundation soils at the bottom of the base trench must be firm and solid.

How high can you build a retaining wall without a permit?

Most municipalities require a building permit and a design from a Licensed Engineer if your wall is taller than 4 feet high (measured from the bottom of the first block to the top of the last block).

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What are the types of retaining wall?

The Four Basic Types of Retaining Walls

  • Gravity Retaining Wall. The most basic of retaining walls, the gravity retaining wall uses sheer weight and mass to hold the soil at bay.
  • Cantilevered Retaining Wall.
  • Sheet Piling Retaining Wall.
  • Anchored Retaining Wall.

WHY DO Retaining walls fail?

The main cause of retaining wall failure is poor drainage. Without proper drainage, hydrostatic pressure builds up behind the retaining wall. Saturated soil is substantially heavier than dry soil, and the retaining wall may not be designed to handle such a load.

How much does a 4 foot retaining wall cost?

Retaining Wall Cost per Square Foot

Size Average cost
25 x 3-feet (75 sq.ft.) $3,750
25 x 4feet (100 sq.ft.) $5,000
40 x 4feet (160 sq.ft.) $8,000
60 x 4feet (240 sq.ft.) $12,000

What is the best material to build a retaining wall?

Timber and inter-locking-concrete-block walls are great DIY retaining wall ideas. Mortared masonry and poured concrete ones are usually best left to a mason.

What can I use instead of a retaining wall?

Reinforced soil slopes are the most cost-effective retaining wall alternatives. Often times you are using the soil that you already have on hand and do not need to bring in any additional.



  • Reinforced Soil Slopes.
  • Natural Stone Walls.
  • Wooden Timbers.
  • Gabion Walls.
  • Soil Bioengineered Walls.

How long do retaining walls last?

How long will my retaining wall last? For a permanent wall structure, the general lifespan is generally between 50 and 100 years. This does, however, depend on the conditions of the soil and groundwater at your site.

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What blocks to use for retaining wall?

Concrete blocks can be used by laying them side by side, again with mesh ties holding the two sections together, or by laying them flat to give either a 225mm wide wall, or long ways to give a 450mm wide wall. There are also proprietary products for building strong walls and one of these is the hollow concrete block.

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