How To Build A Retaining Wall On A Slope


The yard is a home’s equivalent of a blank canvas. The space may be tailored to your preferences and used for whatever you like, from work to play. Add visual appeal and functionality to your outside area by including elevated patios, flower beds, and fountains.

An additional element that may give your yard a lot of personality is a retaining wall. It provides some beautiful design choices and makes a sloping yard look more sophisticated. In addition to preventing soil erosion and making your sloped yard more useable, retaining walls serve a vital purpose. What follows is a discussion on the best practises for constructing a retaining wall on a slope that serves its purpose while also looking excellent.

Is there a simple retaining wall design that everyone can use?

Your retaining wall can be constructed from a variety of materials. Wood is used for some, as it is more reasonably priced. Stronger and more permanent materials are used for others, such as natural stones, bricks, or cement blocks. Cement blocks are the most convenient material to use when constructing a retaining wall by yourself. These blocks are substantial and hefty, so they may be set in place without the need of mortar or other adhesives. Interlocking blocks are a common feature of cement retaining walls.

Plan the placement of your wall.

Ascertain the sloped area of your yard where you want to construct the retaining wall. Then, amass a measuring tape, some garden stakes, and a generous supply of rope or twine.

  • First, choose how wide you want your retaining wall to be and mark its beginning and end points with a row of garden pegs.
  • Second, after comparing the height of the stakes to the intended wall height, a string is tied between the stakes to show the required height. Retaining walls should be no higher than 4 feet in height since this is the maximum height that can be built without anchoring the wall into the ground.

Prepare a level base for your wall.

  • If you want your retaining wall to last and be safe, the base must be constructed on a flat, even area. This might need some digging if your yard has a steep slope.
  • The first thing you need to do is get a shovel and start digging a hole large enough to hold the complete foundation of your wall. The ditch has to be as wide as two retaining wall blocks and run the whole length of the wall. When building a retaining wall, a typical issue among homeowners is how deep the ditch should be.
  • For a retaining wall that is 3 feet in height, a decent depth for your trench is around 8 inches. This allows room for gravel to be added before the blocks are set in place.

Second, compress and level the earth in the trench with a tamper.

Lay a 2×4 plank at the bottom of the trench, then place a level on top of it to verify the whole length of the trench is even out. The 2×4 may be taken out after you’re done.

Fill the crater with your base

Your retaining wall bricks shouldn’t be set down onto the dirt in the trench. After construction, buildings move due to soil erosion. Since fine gravel prevents cement blocks from settling and becoming uneven over time, it is a good base material for a retaining wall.

  1. The first thing to do is fill the trench with gravel until it’s about 3 inches deep.
  2. Second, spread the gravel out evenly throughout the trench floor using a rake.
  3. Third, compress and level the gravel by pressing it down with the tamper.

Put in place the blocks for the retaining wall.

Your moment to begin constructing your wall has come. You should plan on spending some time on this because checking to make sure the rows of blocks are even as you go might be tedious. A level, some additional gravel, and a rubber mallet should be kept close at hand.

First, place your first block in the exact centre of your trench.

  1. To proceed, involves using a level to check that the block is set down perfectly flat. If it isn’t, you may prop up the drooping section by adding gravel under the block and tapping it with a rubber mallet.
  2. Keep arranging the blocks in a single row radiating out from the centre, this time checking for levelness as you go. You may add extra gravel beneath the ones that are sagging too low, and you can tap down the ones that are a little too high.
  3. Once the first row of blocks has been put, fill the space behind them with gravel to protect the soil. The gravel that lies between the blocks can be compacted with a tamper to increase the wall’s stability.
  4. Build up another layer of blocks for the wall. Each block in the second layer should be laid at an angle, such that it fits into the space between two bricks in the first layer.
  5. Due to the asymmetrical layout of the blocks, the ones at the end of your second layer will need to be halved. You may split the blocks in two with a circular saw and a masonry blade.
  6. Do it all over again to build the retaining wall as high as you want it to be.

Backfill the space behind your retaining wall.

Fortifying and maintaining the integrity of your retaining wall is only half the battle; backfilling also aids drainage behind the wall. The weight and strain of damp soil on the rear of your retaining wall is therefore reduced.

  1. 1.      Spread gravel or sand with a shovel in the space between the ground and the wall.
  2. Second, tamp down the material as you add it.
  3. If you wish to utilise the space behind the wall for planting, overlay the top couple of inches with sod or soil.
  4. Although they are labor-intensive to set up, retaining walls greatly improve the visual appeal of a sloped yard. If you follow this plan while constructing your own retaining wall, you may do it in as little as one long weekend.