How To Building a Retaining Wall On a Slope in 7 Simple Steps

Here a seven simple steps to building a retaining wall on a slope. Retaining walls increase the value of residential and commercial properties by providing strong property boundary markers, preventing soil erosion, and allowing you to use your landscape space more.

Today, retaining walls are widely used to create terraced planting areas. If your property is on a slope, you can build flatter areas that can be used for various purposes.

Building a retaining wall on a slope can be created using stones, pavers, bricks, concrete blocks, or even wood. These are the steps you should take if you want to finish this project on your own.

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Step by step how to building a retaining wall on a slope


When beginning to building a retaining wall on a slope, the first project is to plan the many step-ups required for the property. That process starts at the bottom, with the building of the lowest wall elevation.

Although each site is different, a 24-inch wide base trench is usually dug. For the number of buried bricks or materials required, allow six inches plus one inch for every foot of wall height.

If your wall is under four feet tall, the foundation trench should be 18 inches wide and four inches deep, plus any extra space required for buried bricks.

Suppose there is a slope beneath the commencement of the wall. In that case, an engineer is usually required to complete the initial steps. The trench must also be deep enough into the hill to bury an entire block.

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Step 1: Get the trench compact and level.

After finishing the base trench, compact and level the area. For this step of the job, a plate compactor is usually required. A successful result requires at least two passes, and it may take up to 4-6 passes to form the correct foundation.

After completing this stage, install the retaining wall drainpipe at the lowest point in the trench’s back.

Step 2: Put up the wall rock.

At least six inches of wall rock must be used to line the base trench. Once it’s in position and level, use the plate compactor at least twice more to ensure it’s strong enough for your job.

Step 3: Dig the Second Level

After digging the trench, you’ll be able to build the second level of your sloped retaining wall. Make sure this region has enough space for the buried rock and base material. Once everything is in position, condense the area to verify it is level.

Step 4: Install the Block Base Course

Place the base course of blocks on top of the base material after finishing the trench and step-up area. Check for level after each addition to ensure your work is consistent and supportive.

It is advantageous to fill the unfilled cores of concrete blocks for greater strength. When you’re finished, the blocks and base of the next step-up level should be the same.

Step 5: Level the Rock Wall Behind the Blocks

Once the blocks are in place, use the plate compactor to secure the slope supports. You’ll work tirelessly until you reach the top of your class. Please remember that each block at each step-up level must be buried entirely to achieve the required base depth. If this step is skipped, erosion could cause the wall to collapse.

Step 6: Fill in the Step Up Areas

Because of the slope, there will probably be gaps to fill with soil or other landscaping materials after the retaining wall is constructed. These materials, especially if used for flowerbeds or other features, do not need to be compacted. The idea is to produce a flat, level outcome that satisfies your specifications.

Frequently asked questions building a retaining wall on a slope (FAQ)


What exactly are retaining walls?

Retaining walls are brick or stone block walls built to prevent erosion or surface flow on angled or elevated ground. They can protect water and soil from shifting and affecting the landscape on both residential and commercial sites.

What are the advantages of building a retaining wall around my home?

Residential retaining walls are typically utilized to prevent deteriorating basements. If not controlled by a retaining wall, dirt can accumulate and block basement doors and windows with time and rain.

Both houses on and below mountain slopes benefit from retaining walls. Retaining walls keep home foundations on hills from moving. A retaining wall protects a dwelling at the bottom of a slope from being surrounded by loose ground. Varied wall locations will have different effects on your home and yard.

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What are the advantages of installing a retaining wall on my commercial property?

Commercial retaining walls provide useful and aesthetically pleasing support for commercial structures. Retaining walls keep the landscape level by managing the grade when building a new structure.

What materials are used to construct retaining walls?

Most retaining walls are interlocking brick or stone blocks, while others are made of poured concrete or wood.

How many distinct kinds of retaining walls are there?

There are several possibilities for commercial or residential retaining walls. Blocks are available in various sizes, colors, and materials. The walls’ height might range from a single foot to many feet. Inquire with Arbor Earth & Stone about creating custom retaining walls for your property.

What are ornamental retaining walls exactly?

Decorative retaining walls enhance your property’s look while protecting it from erosion and surface runoff. Various bricks, designs, and colors will be used to create a one-of-a-kind wall that will complement your home and other landscaping aspects.

What exactly are segmental retaining walls?

To build segments along your wall, use an interlocking pattern of brick or stone blocks. The blocks must be carefully positioned to guarantee a proper fit and a robust final wall. On the other hand, certain retaining walls are built of poured concrete or slatted wood.

Can you use retaining walls in landscaping?

Yes! Multiple retaining walls can be used to create a garden terrace or as a backdrop for your yard pool or patio area. Arbor Earth & Stone landscapers will find new and interesting methods to use retaining walls in your residential or commercial landscaping projects.

What if my land has a slope grade?

Using retaining walls to create a terrace design will compensate for steep grading while also adding beauty to your yard. Arbor Earth & Stone contractors have built retaining walls on steep slopes.

What is the difference between retaining walls and seawalls?

Seawalls are built to safeguard the coastline. Although they are only found around the edges of bodies of water, they prevent erosion in the same way, retaining walls do. A stone or brick retaining wall built too close to the water may fail. Inquire about the benefits of retaining walls and seawalls if you own beachfront property.

A retaining wall’s highest point is what?

The height of your retaining wall will be influenced by many factors. Some business property walls may need to be 2 feet tall, but others may need to be 40 feet tall. It is determined by the size of your property and the level of protection you desire from the wall. Our professionals will calculate the appropriate size for your retaining walls.

Will a retaining wall interfere with my view?

This is determined by the position of your wall. Because many home retaining walls are needed to support the foundation near exposed basements, a new wall will most likely obscure the view from the basement windows.

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How long does it take to building a retaining wall on a slope?

The dimensions of your land will determine the length of your retaining wall. It may be 5 feet long or the length of your entire backyard. Allow our professionals to assist you in locating a visually appealing solution right now.

Are retaining walls harmful to the environment?

Retaining walls are not harmful to the environment. Because of their groundbreaking green blocks, which are created from recycled material and are free of contaminants, Allan Block, in particular, provides environmentally beneficial retaining walls.

Should I construct a retaining wall fence?

If you have a very tall retaining wall, you should consider erecting a fence on top to keep people from slipping down. Fencing should not be required for shorter retaining walls. Fences may be used by parents who have residential retaining walls to keep their children safe while they are young.

Do retaining wall bricks come in different colors?

Retaining wall blocks come in a variety of colors and styles! See examples of our residential and commercial designs by visiting our retaining wall gallery.

What is the lifespan of retaining walls?

Retaining walls made of stone or brick are known to last for decades. Some soil and weather conditions may weaken the wall, but it should be fine if professionally built and maintained.

Should a retaining wall be installed by a professional?

For various reasons, hiring a respected contractor such as Arbor Earth & Stone is preferable. We will keep the level of your wall while considering changes in soil conditions so your wall does not appear crooked or uneven. While building a retaining wall on a slope, a sturdy foundation base must be created beneath the wall’s placement.

During the installation process, our workers can adapt to reinforcing your retaining wall. Finally, stone and brick blocks can be hefty, making them difficult to lift and place if you have never done so.

What kind of drainage system should I put in with my retaining wall?

We will work with you to determine the most effective drainage solution for your retaining walls. Some walls may necessitate the installation of drainage pipes. Still, others may merely necessitate drilling a few weep holes into the blocks.

Can retaining walls bend, or must they be straight?

The Arbor Earth & Stone contractors can build your segmented retaining wall in a curve rather than a straight line. Many property owners over straight walls prefer curved walls. This will assist you in improving the landscaping of your yard.

Do the article on how to building a retaining wall on a slope in seven simple steps help you get a rough idea to building a retaining wall on a slope? You can read retaining wall ideas on sloped backyards if you need more references to build a retaining wall. If you are interested in a sloped backyard, you can also read how to make sloped backyard ideas on a budget and how do you level a sloping lawn in seven simple ways.