Add style and support to your yard with a concrete retaining wall. You can build one in just six steps.
Concrete block is ideal for building walls to hold back the soil after you dig into a slope for a pathway, patio, or other project. Block retaining walls are generally the same as freestanding block walls with a few important differences.
A retaining wall must provide a way to release the water that builds up in the slope behind it. Without a pressure-relief system, the weight of the water in the soil would crack, or even buckle, the wall. Weep holes—lengths of 3/4-inch pipe inserted along the top of the first course—escort some of the water out. The other part of the system is a plastic drainpipe covered with gravel. As water accumulates behind the wall, it percolates through the gravel into the drainpipe, which carries it off safely.
Retaining walls must be stronger than freestanding walls. Insert rebar in the footing when you pour it—every three blocks, or at intervals specified by your local codes. As a last step, fill the cores around the rebar with mortar from the bottom to top.
Expect to spend 20-36 hours building a 3x10 foot wall. Before you begin, design the layout and pour the footing.