Are you looking to renovate your backyard and add curb appeal? Planning to take up gardening seriously and need ample space to do it? Or maybe wanting to have a bigger lawn without buying extra land?
Then you need a retaining wall!
A retaining wall serves a dual purpose of functionality by providing you with more usable flat land, and visual appeal by adding structure to your property.
There are many factors you need to consider before building a retaining wall, such as the slope of your land, the type of soil in your property, and the climate in your area. But if you are living in a typical residential area without much complexities that need to be taken into consideration, building a retaining wall can be easy.
You can even do it yourself!
If you want to know how to build a small retaining wall, keep reading.
First things first…
Before you get started, make sure to do these things:
Note: most local regulations allow you to build a 3-foot retaining wall by yourself, but some restrict this to 30 inches.
In this article, we will teach you how to build a 2-feet retaining wall using stones and the dry stack method.
Step 1: Sort the stones.
Do this by size and shapes. The big, flat ones will be used as a sturdy base for the wall, while the wide, smooth stones will be used as capstones at the top of the wall.
Chisel off peaks and rough parts of the stones as needed, to make them fit more snugly against each other.
Step 2: Mark the wall.
Using a string and some stakes, mark the location of the wall, with the stakes and string representing the front of the wall.
Remember that you should allot ample width for the wall, which should be half of the desired height.
Step 3: Dig a trench.
Do this by digging 12 inches deep along the entire length and width of the wall. Remove litter, roots, and weeds on the excavated area, and make sure the trench is flat and even by using a level.
Dig a further 6 to 12 inch wide area behind the back end of the wall to serve as drainage. Clear off and level this trench as well.
Step 4: Add the wall base.
First, add landscape fabric on top of the remaining slope of soil. Make sure that it is fully covered.
Next, fill the trench with gravel, making it around 5 inches deep once pressed down and leveled.
Add 1 more inch of coarse sand. Press down and level this as well.
Step 5: Place the first row of stones.
Add big, flat stones on top of the wall base, making them adjacent to each other. Fill spaces with sand. Use a hammer and a level to make sure that the resulting row is flat and even.
Step 6: Place the second row.
This should be offset from the first row following a bricklaying pattern, as well as set back from the front end by ½ inches.
Insert small rocks in between small spaces to minimize wobbling and increase stability.
Step 7: Backfill.
Pour gravel on the entire area behind the rows of stone. Make sure that this is compact and level.
Step 8: Place more rows of stone.
Follow the steps for placing the second row of stones, and do this until you reach the desired height.
Use long stones at regular intervals. These should reach into the soil at the back of the wall in order to add more support and strength.
Backfill with gravel after each row.
Step 9: Finish the wall.
Fold back the landscape fabric onto the gravel before adding the last row and backfill.
Add the final row of stone and gravel.
Backfill the top part with soil. This should be at least 6 inches thick if you want to use it for planting.
Here in Retaining Walls Wichita, we can provide you a customized plan that suits your budget. We will deliver professional results that will make your land safe and functional.
CONTACT US TODAY for a FREE ESTIMATE!