Building a retaining wall is the perfect option for leveling off a steep slope or creating a garden enclosure that looks nice. Once a retaining wall has been built, they are easy to maintain and will serve their purpose well. The best part is that to build a retaining wall, you do not need to be a masonry expert.
An excellent option is to visit your local home improvement store where you can purchase interlock blocks. With these, you simply stack and lock, which eliminates the need for mortar. The great thing is that because they interlock so easily, if you mess up or change your mind, you can simply unlock the blocks and do over. Keep in mind that the locking blocks do not use mortar or rebar for reinforcement so they are the perfect choice for terraces that have low walls.
The way these blocks work is they lock together, creating a step effect. Once the hole behind the wall is filled with dirt, the blocks push forward, which works to strengthen the joints. If you are thinking about using the locking blocks for your retaining wall, the following will help you get started:
One important key is to remember that you must have a level foundation for the wall to be a success. This means the foundation course has to be below the ground to ensure the soil will help hold it into place. To get started, you will measure the wall area and then using stakes and string, mark off the area. Next, using a flat-pointed shovel, you will start at the lowest point and dig a trench, which will be for the foundation course. Then, using a hand tamper, tamp the soil in the trench to pack it down tightly.
- When determining the number of interlocking blocks to purchase, keep in mind any curves, which require more blocks than that of a straight wall
- These blocks are heavy so when delivered to your home, be sure they are set on pallets in the yard area. By having, the blocks set on a normal driveway could cause damage.
- If you need to cut the blocks, you can use a brick chisel and score a line, and then use a sledgehammer to split them.
After you have laid the bricks, you can use the soft end of the sledgehammer to tap the blocks into place, making sure they are all even. For the cavity, you want to line it with a special plastic landscape fabric that is porous. This will keep the soil from seeping down into the spaces between each of the blocks. Once the wall is up, you will be proud of the work you did and enjoy the great look.