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Concrete Block Retaining Walls

Shashank Nakate Nov 28, 2018
The construction of concrete block retaining walls is easy, and thus, it suitable for those who want to carry out the construction work all by themselves.
A retaining wall is used for many different tasks, such as preventing soil erosion, creating tree borders, leveling patios, giving steep hills a terraced form, etc. Its advantages are that they are long-lasting, easy to install, widely available, reasonably priced, and available in different patterns and colors.
You just make sure your building materials are of good quality. For this purpose, a brief about concrete block retaining walls is given below.

Getting Started

One should first decide how many blocks would be sufficient for building a wall. It should be kept in mind that the curved walls require more blocks than the straighter ones.
In order to cut the blocks accurately, a line needs to be marked around them with the help of a 3½ inch brick chisel and a sledgehammer. The chisel should be placed exactly at the center of the marked line and the sledgehammer should be struck sharply.
To build a retaining wall that is 4 feet in height, a trench accommodating a 4 - 6 inch compacted base and 1 inch leveling sand should be dug. A shovel should be used to dig the trench. The leveling sand and the compacted base covers the first layer of concrete blocks to the half of its height.
The next step placed above the basal layer should course back to ¾ inch. The vertical joints should overlap at least 4 inches. Rows of blocks should be secured to each other with pins. The back portion should be filled with crushed rock and the top portion (6 inches) with a cap of native soil. It keeps the surface water from entering the trench.


The blocks have a lip on the bottom. These lips help in locking the blocks together and form a step-like structure. The cavity is filled with soil. It pushes the blocks forward and strengthens the joints between the lips and blocks that lie below them.


The blocks should be strong enough to meet the demands of difficult terrains. The walls should be flexible, versatile, and must cater to the unique needs of every new project site.


The blocks interlock with each other and do not require mortar. They are easy to assemble and could be dismantled easily if the need arises. The walls help in creating a system of terraces, which is also pleasant in its appearance. They provide an opportunity to create landscapes.
The different types of walls use different materials for their construction. Building them with the help of concrete is a better option over using other materials. They are thus a good choice to create a pleasant landscape and a strong construction.