How to Build a Retaining Wall

Surrounding our homes and businesses, and often barely acknowledged, retaining walls can be a crucial part of any property. Whether they’re being used for boundary purposes, decorative reasons or even to keep soil and water at bay, they must be laid properly in order to function as well as they can. Here, the team from iMix are going to detail the various steps required in order to install a retaining wall on your property.

1. Area measurement

The first step is to measure out the area that you want your wall to cover. The easiest way to do this is by driving stakes into the ground, equidistant from each other. Tie string between each stake so you have a guide for when you start digging.

2. Dig out the wall area

When digging the area of your wall, you should look to dig below the ‘frost line’ – usually around a foot below the surface. If you’re building on a surface, it’s vital that the bottom of the hole you’re digging is flat.

3. Measure and cut pieces of plywood

The plywood will help you complete the top edge more easily if you make the top edge of the plywood the same height as your wall. These plywood pieces will make a form for the whole wall.

4. Add rebar

Although rebar is mentioned in the heading, you can also use strong wire for this purpose. Before attaching the walls, add the rebar or wire, put the wall form into the space you have dug, and secure it with stakes. As concrete is so heavy, the form will be bearing a lot of weight, so the rebar will help keep it secure. The form needs to be supported vertically, horizontally and between the two sides of the wall.

5. Mix the concrete

You might have already determined what concrete mix you need, or you might be unsure of the qualities and types required. In either case, contacting a professional concrete company will save you time and a lot of hassle when compared to mixing your own – iMix can mix the perfect batch of concrete ahead of time or on your site to ensure it is exactly what you need.

6. Pour the concrete

For large projects, a concrete lorry with pumping facilities is recommended, as it saves you time and labour of going back and forth to the mixer to pour concrete into the appropriate areas. Speed is important, here, as you want to pour the concrete evenly across different areas to prevent any section of the wall drying too far in advance of another.

7. Even the top of the concrete

Make sure the top of the concrete is smooth and even. You can do this easily, just using a trowel.

8. Curing

The concrete needs to dry, but it’s important that it doesn’t dry too quickly, as this can cause more cracks. Keep the wall forms in for at least two days before removing them, and add water to the wall to slow the drying process.

10. All Done

Remove the forms from the wall, and there you have it – your new retaining wall, cured, dried and ready to use!

Installing a retaining wall on your property requires some work, but once it’s done, you’ll soon see the benefits of your efforts, whether you’ve installed your wall for decorative purposes or otherwise. In order to ensure you have the highest quality concrete for your needs,get in touch with iMix today. We’re leading providers of ready mixed and volumetric concrete for domestic and commercial customers alike, and we’re always happy to lend our services to jobs of all sizes.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

2 thoughts on “How to Build a Retaining Wall

  1. Luckily, we don’t need any extra walls but this is very informative and makes it look like it isn’t that hard to do. I still wouldn’t try it though #thatfridaylinky

  2. Hi!
    Great post, very proper and useful! I was looking for this kind of step-by-step guideline about building a retaining wall. I am thinking of starting my project next summer, so just planning ahead! Now it is time for me to start with the first step and measure the area, the rest can come later.
    Thank you for the tips!

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.