The Wildman Project

Backyard Transformation Part 3

The retaining wall, man was this a project. We wanted to create a seating area in our backyard. The problem was, we had a little hill running left to right. We decided to build a retaining wall on the left side of our backyard which was the steepest part of the hill. Plus there were two giant rocks that were not moving, so the idea was to bury them behind the retaining wall. The retaining wall will be where you see the green grass in the picture below.

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I purchased two pallets of block at Home Depot. Each pallet had 45 blocks on it, with each block weighing 40 lbs. If you read my first post, remember when I said “any material that I needed to bring into the back yard, had to go up a flight of stairs”. Well nothing like a good work out than carrying 90-40 pound blocks up a flight of stairs, right?

I picked up the blocks from Home Depot and stacked them in my garage.  There was no way I was going to take all 90 blocks up the stairs in a weekend. The plans was to take 10 or so blocks up every day after work. Then the following weekend, I had enough up the stairs to get started on the wall.

I had never done a retaining wall before, and was going off what I had seen on the home improvement shows and magazines. I know that the first row(course) of blocks is the most important. You want to make sure you have a good base for your wall. If you do not have a good base, then your wall can fall or look lopsided. I am not going to go into to much detail of the construction of the wall as I am not a professional and I don’t want to give you misleading information.

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As you can see from the pictures above, I made sure I had a good base(sand and gravel) to set the blocks on. Then I began my first row. I probably spent the most time on this row, making sure all the blocks were level and straight.  I did have to do some custom fitting/cutting around the rock on the first row. Once I was happy with the first row, each row after was pretty straight forward. Just kept stacking the block, making sure to stager the seams of the block. I wish I took more pictures, but that’s all I have of the construction of the wall.

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There it is finished. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I liked that there was no cement involved in this project. I know they make a cement block glue that you can glue down your top row of block so they dont more. I didnt do that, I guess it’s personal preference. I haven’t had any issues with the top row of blocks moving.

I did make a set of stairs to the right of the wall. I don’t have any pictures of the construction process, but you will see the stairs in my next post.

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