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Home  ⁄  Blog  ⁄  How to Build a Retaining Wall | Rock and Block

How to Build a Retaining Wall | Rock and Block

Are you looking to spice up your home’s exterior with retaining wall blocks? Let us help you improve your landscape design with wall blocks. We have listed 8 simple steps on how to build a retaining wall with landscape wall bricks.


retaining wall blocks

Step 1: Gather the Correct Tools Materials to Build Retaining Walls

To build retaining walls for your home’s exterior, you will need an extensive amount of tools and materials. Keep in mind that at Rock and Block, we are a retaining wall supplier, and we provide Belgard walls, paver retaining wall, retaining wall veneer stone, and more. Check out our products for retaining walls in San Diego and the surrounding counties. We’ll give you a run-down of the must-have retaining wall supplies you need to purchase before beginning your project. 


  • Chisels
  • Shovels
  • Landscaping Stakes
  • Circular Saw
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Tape Measure
  • Hearing Protection
  • Landscaping Rake
  • Levels
  • Materials:
  • Retaining Wall Blocks
  • Landscape Fabric
  • Landscape Rocks or Gravel
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Pavers
  • Soil

Step 2: Plan Layout Before Starting Retaining Wall Block Project

Make sure you are building the retaining wall away from downspouts, and keep in mind that soil and mulch should be far below the siding if you are building the wall against your house. You can measure the amount of landscape blocks you will need for each row by dividing the length of the wall by the length of the blocks themselves. To measure how many rows you will need, divide the planned height of the wall by the height of the hardscape blocks; keep in mind that the first row will be partially buried. It is safe to buy slightly more concrete blocks than your estimate in case they are needed for repairs in the future.

Step 3: Dig the Trench for the First Row of Wall Blocks

The bottom row should be buried halfway, so fig the trench 4 to 6 inches deep and twice the width of the block.

Step 4: Level the Ground and Fill Trench with Paver Base

Make sure the ground is level before building the retaining wall over it. Spread the paver base with a rake and press down as tight as possible.

Step 5: Prepare and Lay the First Row

Take off the flanges with a chisel to ensure the blocks sit flat. Then, starting at the end of the lowest elevation, lay the first block. Lay the first row while making sure the blocks are even with each other.

Step 6: Prepare and Cut a Block to Lay Second Row

You will need to cut a block in order to stagger the second row from the first row. Make sure you are sweeping off residue as well as checking and adjusting the level in between each row.

Step 7: Add Landscape Fabric and Gravel/Landscape Rocks

Lay landscape fabric down behind the wall making sure there is excess, and then fill it in with gravel or landscaping rocks for drainage while you build.

Step 8: Apply Concrete Adhesive and Add Plants!

For the last two full rows, apply adhesive to the top of each wall block before placing the next row. Fold the excess fabric and fill in soil and plants of your choice!

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