Behind the Retaining Wall…


Retaining walls can’t be that difficult to build, right?  All it is is a bunch of blocks stacked on top of each other, a skill we all master as toddlers playing in our grandma’s living room.  We see them everywhere, most of the time we continue with our lives without even noticing them.  Matter of fact, most of us will never need to think about retaining walls until your spouse sees that really neat landscaping job across town and wants your back yard to look the same as that one.  Well, when that happens, remember these tips:

  1. Any residential retaining over 4′ tall in the town of Windsor has to be designed by a professional licensed engineer.
  2. Never fill the cells of a retaining wall block with compacted dirt.  The soil will soak up water, expand, and crack the block.  Always fill with washed rock, preferably 3/4″.
  3. If there is going to be vehicles driving alongside the high side of the wall, always use geo-grid reinforcement matting every other row.  Trust me.
  4. Have a plan to disperse the water that soaks through the soil behind the wall.  A sloped perforated pipe works well.
  5. Hire someone younger than you to help you.  Those blocks are heavy.