Quick Answer: How To Build A Retaining Wall Step By Step?

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.

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.)

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.

How do you make a strong retaining wall?

Here are three key principles in building any solid retaining wall:

  1. Bury the bottom course, or courses, of the retaining wall one tenth the height of the wall to prevent the soil behind from pushing the bottom out.
  2. Step back the blocks, rocks or timbers to get gravity working in your favor.
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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.

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 type of retaining wall is best?

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 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).

What does it cost to build a retaining wall?

The average cost of building a retaining wall is $5,585. Most homeowners find themselves spending between $3,190 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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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 tall can you make a retaining wall?

Gravity walls can be small (under 4-feet high) or go upwards to ten feet without reinforcement. Municipalities usually require a building permit for walls taller than 4 feet.

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