How to Go About Installing a Retaining Wall?

Adding a retaining wall to the yard can instantly transform it into an outdoor oasis and provide valuable soil erosion benefits. While building a retaining wall can be challenging, it’s a bit simpler than many people realize. Although a generous amount of sweat equity is required, the results will pay off for years to come in the enjoyment of your outdoor masterpiece.

Gathering Needed Supplies Making plans for installing a retaining wall requires a few considerations upfront, the largest of which is the budget. Making the budget at the beginning of the project will save many headaches down the road. Material needed will include marking paint, paver base, landscape stakes, and mason lines. Shovels, rakes, levels, and hammers will also be necessary tools to begin this project. A tape measure will also come in handy.

Remember to Check Before You Dig

In some jurisdictions, a building permit may be required for the project, so this should be checked on before getting started. If the community has a homeowner’s association, they will provide some guidance in this area. If not, checking in with the local code enforcement office would be beneficial. This is not only useful for the long-term success of the wall, but there may be underground pipes or utility lines that need to be avoided.

Choosing the Material for the Wall

Once any required paperwork has been filed and completed, it’s time to choose the material for the actual wall. There are quite a few choices to select from, depending on the look that would be most attractive in the surrounding area. Retaining walls can be made of wood, brick, or natural stone, but most DIYers find concrete blocks the most accessible material to work with.

Purchase More Supplies than You Think You’ll Need

As a general rule, it’s best to buy a bit more material than the project requires. This eliminates extra trips to the hardware store, and any merchandise not needed can be returned to the store. Be sure to keep the receipt for all items purchased for the operation.

There are several reasons concrete retaining blocks are the standard choice for this project. The blocks are solid and heavy enough to resist the effects of shifting dirt. Since these blocks are interlocking, they present a nice “finished” look to the project upon completion. They are an economical choice, costing almost half of some of the more-expensive options.

Begin By Drawing Out the Design

Begin the process by using the marking paint to mark the area where the wall will be constructed, taking note of the length and width of the wall. Once the design is drawn, use the landscaping stakes and the mason line to establish the border of the wall. It’s now time to start digging the trench.

Ensuring a level base is vital to the longevity of the retaining wall. Remember, this wall will be holding back hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of soil and water. Starting with an uneven base is not a way to build a strong wall that will be up to that kind of a challenge.

A well-built retaining wall will add beauty to the landscape and significantly reduce soil erosion in vulnerable areas of the yard for the next 50 to 100 years.

Speak Your Mind

*