1. Plan the wall. This driveway runs along a slope, which is difficult to plant and erodes after rainstorms. A retaining wall will control water runoff and make the house's entrance more attractive. Use a hose to outline the wall position.
2. Dig a trench at the base of the slope. Make the trench 1/2 inch deep for every course of block and no less than 2 inches deep.
3. Add rock. Spread several inches of crushed rock into the trench and compact it using a 4x4 or a plate compactor. Once the base is compacted, begin installing the base course.
4. Prep the stones. This stone has a locking lip. For the base course, knock the lip off with the back of a hammer, or just press the stone into the ground with the lip intact.
5. Set the first course. Make sure it is level. For curves, leave a slight space between the units. Backfill after each course is completed.
6. Offset the stones when stacking. This ensures the integrity and strength of the wall. The interlocking design of the stones also adds strength.
7. Add courses. We built our wall to stairstep from ground level to 3 feet high. If your stones do not interlock, periodically set a double-length stone crosswise to tie into the hillside for extra support.
8. Landscape. The finished wall frames the landscaped hillside, which will fill in. An accent lantern adds interest. If you construct the wall back several feet from the driveway, you may have room for plantings along the wall's base.