In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to build a retaining wall using concrete blocks.
Steps to Building a Retaining Wall
- Dig into hillside 2 ft. back from face of retaining wall.
- Stretch a level line between wood stakes to establish the wall height.
- Dig out dirt along base of wall to accommodate 6 inches of crushed stone.
- Add 6 inches of stone, then compact it with a hand tamper.
- Add 2 inches of stone dust to create setting bed for base course of blocks; tamp stone dust.
- Set and level base blocks; pound each block into stone dust with a rubber mallet.
- Use level to align base course with the mason's line.
- Backfill behind the base course with crushed stone.
- Set the blocks in the second course.
- Install a filter fabric behind the wall.
- Apply adhesive to adhere the corner block to the base course.
- Continue setting blocks, making sure the grooves fit over the tongues on the blocks below.
- Use guillotine splitter to cut rough edge on a cap block to create a corner cap.
- Set and glue down the corner cap with both rough edges exposed; allow the block to extend 1 inch over the wall.
- Set the remaining cap blocks using masonry adhesive.
- Backfill the wall with crushed stone.
- Fold down the filter fabric, then add 6 inches of loam.