Build a Long-Lasting Retaining Wall
Anyone with a strong back can stack up a bunch of blocks and build a pretty stone retaining wall. But it takes skill and planning to construct an attractive wall that can also handle immense pressure, shrug off the forces of gravity, stand for decades and laugh in the face of Mother Nature.
That’s the kind of wall we wanted to learn how to build, so we went to work with some hardworking hardscaping pros. They showed us that it’s all about a solid base, proper drainage and the right materials for the job. They also shared a few handy tips they’ve picked up over the years.
Make the trench wide, deep and level
Size the trench so there’s enough room for the block and at least 8-in. of space behind it. Excavate deep enough to completely bury at least one full course, including space for 6 to 8-in. of base material. Establish a level trench to ensure an even layer of base material. That will help prevent the wall from tipping after freeze/thaw cycles. Our experts use a laser level and a story pole to determine the depth of the trench.