Basic Wall Construction

Below is an explaination of basic retaining wall construction techniques.

The product shown and described is a man made wall stone.

The wall described is a taller wall although the shorter walls are built the same way.

The use of natural stone would follow the same basic techniques.

BEFORE doing any construction ;

ALWAYS check for underground utilities.

ALWAYS check your local building codes for permits needed and regulations.

ALWAYS follow all safety standards of the product and the tools and

equipment you are using.


Cross sectional view of a wall .


 Step 1 : Footing trench.

  Dig your trench usually twice
the width of the stones you are
using. Dig your trench a minimum
of twice the height of your stone.
The trench should be deep enough
for a footing and the to be able to
keep your first row of stones below
the existing grade.
Step 2 : Footing.
  Install a compactable type gravel for
a footing/leveling pad. The thickness
of this footing is determined by the height
of the wall. The width of this footing
should be 1 1/2 to twice the depth of the
stone you are using.

 Step 3 : First row of stones.

   Install your first row of stones
true and level on top of your footing.
Take your time on this process, it is
the most important part of the wall.
If this row is not level it will play
havoc with the wall as you stack
each successive row of stones.

 Step 4: Backfill first row.

     Backfill around this first row of
stones with the same compactable
gravel you used for the footing.
Make sure to fill voids between stones.

 Step 5: Start stacking.

   Stack each successive row according to the manufacturers specifications.
Also install a layer of clean gravel
behind the stone. On shorter walls, just a filtration fabric between the dirt and the wall will suffice. Then start backfilling with dirt. You should compact the dirt fill as you progress
up the wall.

 Step 6: Geogrid layers.

    If geogrid is required. The install it
in the rows specified and to the length
specified by the manufacurer of the
stone product you are using.

 Step 7: Caps and final fill.

  Install the cap stones if that is what
the stone product specifies. Finish the
fill with dirt.

 Step 8: COMPACT.

   Remember, you should be compacting the dirt fill as you
continue up the wall.

 Step 9: Install plant material.

  Install whatever plant material you
desire. Sod or grass seed if its to be a
lawn. Other plant material if its to be
a planter bed.

 Step 10: Enjoy

Enjoy your newely built wall. You have done a good job.

Click here to see a larger pic of the finished wall.


All photos were taken by and are owned by .

Copyright 2000

Any commercial use of these photos without the express written consent of is prohibited.