FAQ: How To Build Cinder 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 much does it cost to build a cinder block retaining wall?

While some capstones can cost as little as 95 cents apiece, the average cost of a cinder block is $1 to $3 each. The total cost of building a cinder block wall ranges between $9 and $12 per square foot with labor, so an 8 x 15-foot wall would cost between $1,080 and $1,440.

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.

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.

How do you estimate a cinder block wall?

After you have found the square footage of both your wall and your block, determining the number of blocks you need is as simple as dividing the wall square footage by the block square footage. If you’re using a standard 16″ x 8″ x 8″ block, find the number of blocks needed by dividing the wall square footage by 0.89.

Can I build my own retaining wall?

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. Interlocking blocks fit together and add extra security to the wall.

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.

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.

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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.

How deep should a 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 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).

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.

What slope requires a retaining wall?

The wall should lean into the hill at a minimum of 1 inch for every 12 inches of height in order to maintain a safe load on the wall. This can also help with the drainage when the soil becomes saturated.

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