Around the Yard

Retaining Walls

By: Danny Lipford

Usually the only solution for managing a hilly lot is the construction of a retaining wall. While these walls can be constructed from many materials, by far the most durable are masonry (brick, block, or stone).

While the idea is to retain the soil behind the wall, you don’t want to retain water there. Consider adding gravel at the base of the wall on the uphill side and leaving weep holes every few feet in the base of the wall. This will allow ground water to drain down and through the wall instead of building up pressure behind it.

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  • Frustrated Fred Says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 9:57 am

    My wife and I decided to build a small retaining wall along the length of our flower bed. We are struggling with getting the first layer level. We work with one brick at a time and we are using the paver gravel instead of pea gravel. It’s almost impossible to get the brick level by adding or subtracting using a small amount of the gravel. Is there a trick to leveling? Can we use sand on top of the gravel since it has more flexablity when leveling? I thought we could try building a small gravel base to get close to where the brick would be level and use sand to do the minute small amounts to level the brick. It seems one gravel stone can throw off the level.
    Thanks for any help and saving us from pulling our hair out.


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