Often asked: How To Build A Cement Block Retaining Wall?

Can I use cinder block for retaining wall?

A cinder block retaining wall is only as straight and solid as the base it’s built on. For a 4-ft. tall wall, excavate a trench deep enough to accommodate 4 to 6 in.

How thick should a concrete retaining wall be?

Base thickness = 1/8 of the height of the wall but not less than 12 inches. Stem thickness = 6 inches + ¼ inch for each foot of wall height.

How deep should the footing be for a retaining wall?

Concrete retaining wall footing size



The depth to the bottom of the base slab should be kept at a minimum of two feet. However, it should always be below the seasonal frost line, and that often is much deeper in northern climates.

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.)

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What is the cheapest retaining wall to build?

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.

Should you fill cinder blocks with concrete?

Whenever you are working with cinder block, you can strengthen them significantly by filling them with concrete. This is something that is not difficult to do and will strengthen your cinder blocks quite a bit. You may also find that if you have cinder blocks that are cracked, concrete can help.

Do I need rebar in a retaining wall?

A retaining wall must provide a way to release the water that builds up in the slope behind it. Retaining walls must be stronger than freestanding walls. Insert rebar in the footing when you pour it; this should be done at every three blocks or at intervals specified by your local codes.

What blocks are best for retaining wall?

Masonry. With sufficient drainage, stone, brick, or concrete-block walls are strong and long lasting. You can buy these materials at stone yards and home centers, but you’ll likely need a mason to install them.

Does a 2 foot retaining wall need drainage?

Although there are exceptions, most retaining walls require gravel backfill, soil compaction, pipe or toe drains, and weep holes. Together, these four features will provide adequate drainage for most designs. Only a few types of walls will not require all of them.

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Are poured concrete walls better than block?

Poured concrete wall foundations are arguably stronger than cinder blocks. Poured walls have a better lateral strength, which means they are able to resist more pressure from the water and the soil from the outside. Poured walls tend to be the preferred choice of new construction builders.

How long will a concrete retaining wall last?

Concrete is a popular material choice for a variety of hardscaping structures due to its cost-effectiveness and durability. A concrete retaining wall can be expected to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years.

Does a 3 foot retaining wall need drainage?

Drainage. 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.

At what height does a retaining wall need to be engineered?

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). Will your retaining wall be terraced?

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