How to Build a Small Retaining Wall with Pavers

Garden Bed with Retaining Wall

Interlocking pavers can make beautiful retaining walls that enhance your landscape’s looks and function. However, it’s easy to make mistakes when building the wall. You need to carefully plan and execute the build, or you could end up with a wall that crumbles and fails in a year or so. Here’s how to build a small retaining wall with pavers properly. 

Tools and Materials You’ll Need 

Here are the tools and materials you need to gather before you start:

  • Interlocking pavers 
  • Sand and/or crushed gravel 
  • A level, at least 4-feet long 
  • Spray paint 
  • 8-foot 2×4 lumber  
  • Rubber mallet 
  • Construction adhesive 
  • Perforated drainpipe 
  • A tamper, whether hand-powered or gas 

How to Build a Small Retaining Wall 

Here’s how to build your own small retaining wall with pavers: 

  1. Excavate and level: Using the spray paint, mark out the wall according to your plans. Dig out the base of the wall to a depth of 12 inches. On an uneven slope, start on the down-slope side until you reach 12-inches and then dig out the deeper side to the same depth. Check that this hole is level.
  2. Backfill: Add a perforated drain pipe behind where the wall will be, allowing water there to drain out to the front. 
  3. Tamp and level the base: Tamp the ground at the bottom of the hole and ensure it is level again. Pour in three inches of crushed gravel or coarse sand. This layer allows the wall to drain properly.
  4. Lay the bottom pavers: These bottom pavers are the most important. If you don’t lay them right, the rest of the wall will fail. So, lay them out according to your pattern and carefully level each one. Use a mallet to adjust. Double-check the overall level of the base before continuing. Add crushed gravel on either side to help the stones stay in place as you build.
  5. Stack the pavers: Now you can stack on the pavers for the next level. Start with a half block to offset the pattern. You can add the construction adhesive to secure the pavers in place permanently. Continue stacking until you reach the desired height.
  6. Add capstones: Most wall designs have capstones that add some contrasting colour and texture to the wall. Add these last and secure them with the construction adhesive. 

 Retaining Wall

Choose Lane’s Landscaping for Your Pavers   

See our collection of interlocking pavers to find the right ones for the wall design you have in mind. If you have questions, our experts are just a call away. Getting your landscaping ready for the spring and summer season is as easy as contacting the experts at Lane’s Landscaping. 

Sources: 

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/install-small-retaining-wall-uneven-slope-31355.html 

https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/outdoor/retaining-walls/build-a-retaining-wall/?slide=slide_98f336f5-ffbc-4f00-9160-ed908df3f663#slide_98f336f5-ffbc-4f00-9160-ed908df3f663