Often asked: How To Build A Simple Retaining Wall?

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.)

What is the cheapest material to build a 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.

Can I build a retaining wall myself?

While retaining walls taller than four feet should be engineered by professionals, you may be able to DIY a solution for a tall slope by creating two or more shorter “tiered” retaining walls as opposed to a single tall wall.

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How do you build a small retaining wall?

Build the Retaining Wall

  1. Step 1: Prepare the First Row.
  2. Step 2: Level the First Block.
  3. Step 3: Lay the First Row.
  4. Step 4: Adjust for Level.
  5. Step 5: Prepare for the Second Row.
  6. Step 6: Cut a Block to Start the Second Row.
  7. Step 7: Begin Laying the Second Row.
  8. Step 8: Add Landscape Fabric.

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.

What is the best retaining wall?

Concrete and Masonry Retaining Walls



Poured concrete is the strongest and most durable choice for retaining walls. It may also be carved and formed to look like mortared stone depending on your taste.

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.

Do I need a concrete footing for a retaining wall?

No, you do not need a concrete footing, it will actually adhere the wall from being able to naturally shift. It is best to use a coarse stone aggregate for the Retaining Wall footing.

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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How much does it cost to build 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.

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.

Do you need landscape fabric behind retaining wall?

Whether the wall is made from stones, bricks or wood, it is important to provide a barrier between the building blocks and the soil. Landscape fabric is thin and sturdy and is a simple way to preserve a retaining wall’s construction.

How many blocks do I need for a retaining wall?

To estimate how many blocks you’ll need per row, divide the total length of the wall by the length of the block. To figure out how many rows you’ll need, divide the ideal wall height by the height of the block. Make sure to account for the first row being half-buried.

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