How To Build a Steel Retaining Wall (VIDEO)

A homebuilder from Texas talks steel retaining walls

Jordan Smith knows about building steel retaining walls. Watch this video to see how he does it.

Jordan Smith

Jordan is a home builder in Austin Texas.  He currently works with Matt Risinger on “The Build Show” and leads the steel and carpentry crews for Risinger Homes. He and his wife, Veronica, have 4 kids and enjoy designing, building, and remodeling together as a family. When he is not busy building or filming, Jordan can be found sitting alone, outside of his house in his pickup, scrolling though Instagram, while his family waits for him to come in for dinner.

Laying a rock base with a Bobcat | Construction Pro TipsConstruction Pro Tips

Retaining Wall Pro Tip: Lay a crushed stone base

These experts prefer crushed stone for the base rather than naturally occurring gravel dug from a pit. Crushed stone is a little more expensive. However, it provides better drainage, and because of the sharper angles on the stone, it requires less compacting, and once it’s compacted, it stays that way.

Joe and Jake have found that crushed stone sized between 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. is best suited to handle the heaving forces created by the harsh freeze/thaw cycles here in Minnesota. Avoid rounded stones like pea gravel or river rock; they don’t form strong interlocking bonds like angular stone.

Leave the stone no more than 1/2 in. higher than you want the final height to be, and then make a couple passes with a hand tamper or plate compactor. You’ll notice the stone is almost 100 percent compacted as soon as it’s laid in the trench. The same type of stone will be used for backfilling, which also eliminates the need for hauling in multiple materials.

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