Often asked: Retaining Wall How To?

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.

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 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.
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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.

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.

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).

When should you build a retaining wall?

You Might Need a Retaining Wall If…

  1. You need a way to control downhill erosion. If mountains of erosion materials are clogging important areas on your property, adding a retaining wall is a wonderful idea.
  2. Your home is downhill from soil fault lines.
  3. Your foundation is threatened by a sliding hill.

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.

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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.

Are retaining walls expensive?

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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