Installing Retaining Wall Print
Overall Skill Level: Intermediate

Setting up a retaining wall.
  • Shovel
  • Compactor
  • Stakes and String
  • Level
  • Saw or Hammer and Chisel for cutting blocks
  • Retaining Wall Blocks
  • Paver Base
  • Multi Purpose Gravel for backfill
Installing Retaining Wall
  1. Stake out & remove sod
    Begin by staking out the wall you are making. For curved sections, use a garden hose to layout the wall line. Dig a trench along this line. The width of the trench should be twice the depth of the block you are using (if your block is 8" deep, make your trench 16" wide). If you are going to use one, two or three courses of block, make the trench deep enough to bury half of the first course.
  2. Add & compact gravel
    Prepare the base by firmly compacting the soil. Place 2" of paver base and thoroughly compact paver base in the bottom of the trench. For walls over 24" in total wall height, a minimum 6" of compacted paver base must be used.
  3. Level base
    Level the surface in both directions with a level.
  4. Lay & level blocks
    Position the wall units side by side on the prepared base and level in both directions. Continue assembling additional courses by placing units in a staggered relationship to the course beneath, pulling each unit forward until securely in place.
  5. Cut stones
    To split a block use a hammer and chisel to score the block on all sides. Pound the chisel on the score line until the block splits. To build a 90º corner you will need to use a circular saw with a masonry blade. Cut a 45º angle, from a front corner to a back corner, on each of two blocks.Glue pieces together (with landscape block adhesive) so two block faces form the finished outside corner.
  6. Add multi-purpose gravel
    Place landscape fabric directly behind the wall extending from the bottom of the base course to the middle of the top course. Back fill each course with multi-purpose gravel. The multi-purpose gravel should extend 6" behind the wall. Compact the multi-purpose gravel. Organic soil or clay type soil is not recommended for back fill material.
Products, materials, techniques, tools, building codes and local regulations are subject to change; therefore, Midwest Manufacturing assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional before beginning any project.