Are you thinking about building a retaining wall? Whether it's to prevent soil erosion or create more usable space in your backyard, retaining walls can be a great addition to any outdoor area. In this blog post, we're going to discuss the basics of retaining wall construction.
First things first, let's talk about materials. Retaining walls can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, brick, natural stone, and wood. Each material has its own pros and cons, so it's important to consider factors such as cost, durability, and aesthetics when choosing the right material for your project.
Once you've decided on a material, it's time to get started on the construction process. Here are the general steps for building a retaining wall:
A) Plan and design:
Before you start digging, it's important to plan out your retaining wall design. This includes determining the height and length of the wall, as well as the angle of the slope it will be supporting.
B) Prepare the site:
Once you have your design in place, it's time to prepare the site. This involves clearing the area of any vegetation or debris, and ensuring that the ground is level and compacted.
Now it's time to start digging. The ground in Markham is still frozen in February and part of March, so the best time to dig is when the soil is soft enough, from early spring to late fall in December. Excavate a trench for the base of the wall, making sure it's level and wide enough to accommodate the first row of blocks or stones.
D) Build the base:
Lay the first row of blocks or stones in the trench, using a level to ensure they are straight and level. You may need to use a base material such as crushed stone or gravel to provide additional stability.
E) Build the wall:
Continue laying rows of blocks or stones, making sure to stagger the joints for added strength. As you build, use a level to ensure that the wall remains straight and level.
F) Backfill and compact:
Once the wall is complete, backfill the area behind the wall with soil, and use a compactor to ensure that it is tightly packed.
Depending on your preference, you can add finishing touches such as caps or veneer to your retaining wall to give it a more polished look.
While building a retaining wall may seem like a daunting task, with the right materials and a bit of know-how, it can be a great DIY project. However, if all this seems to much to take on, give us a call at Masonry Markham and we can utilize our vast experience to be your retaining wall contractors.