What’s a retaining wall?

A retaining wall is a kind of structure whose sole purpose is to hold or retain soil, sand behind it. It can be made of many materials like concrete slabs, timber woods, rocks, stones etc. Many factors have to be considered before installing the right retaining wall for your use, such as – is it soil, sand or clay that’s to be held? Whether the land above or below the wall is sloped or leveled? And so on.

concrete retaining wall:  


It’s the perfect retaining wall if you want to prevent soil erosion or if it’s proving cumbersome to mow down the area. It can also be used for leveling a patio.

Here’s how you can build your own concrete retaining wall.

However, you must bear in mind certain aspects such as – drainage or setback (the distance from the wall to the property near which you wish to install it) before you start building one.

 Materials required:

  • Concrete mix
  • Compactable base gravel
  • Crushed gravel
  • Concrete adhesive
  • Sand

Here are some tools which will come in handy in your endeavor:

  • Measuring tape
  • Trowel
  • Hammer
  • Caulk gun
  • Chisel
  • Shovel
  • Cement mixer

After procuring the necessary things, you may proceed to build your own concrete retaining wall.

You have two options. Either build a wall using concrete blocks, or you could pour one. The latter is advisable as it’s sturdier and yields a better life span than the former.

Steps for building a poured concrete retaining wall:

Step 1: Mark your footing locations

Firstly, level the area where you wish to install the retaining wall. Take a look at the plan and then mark the locations for the footings using paint. Be very sure with your measurements before you make any markings on the ground.

Step 2: Dig the footing

Start digging your footing according to the plan. The depth of the footing depends on how high you want your retaining wall to be. It is always better to take some professional advice if you are confused or you don’t have a proper plan.


Step 3: Building the forms

You require forms to pour your concrete into. This is done by putting stakes into the footings. The spacing between the stakes determines the thickness of your retaining walls. The thickness of your wooden planks, used as forms, is also a factor.

Step 4: Placing rebar

Check with the building inspector’s office for placing the steel rebar inside the footing.

Step 5: Mixing the concrete

Refer your bag of cement for instructions and after mixing the cement, pour the contents into a wheel the barrow.

Step 6: Pouring the concrete

Roll the wheelbarrow over to the forms and pour the cement. Fill the forms completely and smooth out the cement at the top. Wait for the cement to cure before you remove the forms.

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