How to Build a Retaining Wall From Paving Stones

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Build a Retaining Wall From Paving Stones
Retaining walls are used to prevent soil runoff. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

A garden that's on a slope is in danger of topsoil erosion. Water running down a hill may wash away nutrient-rich soil from the surface. Build a retaining wall out of paving stones to prevent this issue. Placing the stones properly will prevent the wall from collapsing. If the wall is more than 4 feet high, consider using a different kind of stone and having the wall professionally installed.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Stakes
  • Rubber mallet
  • String level
  • Gravel
  • Tamper
  • Crushed stone
  • Paving stone
  • Level

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  1. 1

    Dig back into the existing dirt wall 2 feet to make room for the new retaining wall.

  2. 2

    Set two stakes on each end of the dirt wall using a mallet. Stretch a string between the two stakes. Place a string level on the string and adjust until even.

  3. 3

    Dig down 6 inches along the length of dirt wall to make room for gravel.

  4. 4

    Pour 6 inches of gravel into the trench. Compact the gravel with a tamper.

  5. 5

    Add 2 inches of stone dust to the trench and tamper down.

  6. 6

    Place the first row of paving stone onto the stone dust. Gently tap the stone with a rubber mallet to make the stones even. Check the line with a level.

  7. 7

    Fill behind the first course with crushed stone. Do not tamper down.

  8. 8

    Set the second row of paving stone onto the first, staggering the stones back 1/4 of the paving stone width onto the crushed stone behind the first course. Staggering back aids in water drainage.

  9. 9

    Fill behind the second course with crushed stone. Continue this process until the wall is at its correct height.

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