Retaining walls are a great way to protect your garden, but they also add a nice touch to your landscaping.
Calgary has many properties on sloping ground. Due to soil erosion, it can be hard to maintain landscaping in such properties. With retaining walls, you can hold the soil in place during heavy rains and reduce the risk of ruining your landscaping.
Building retaining walls in Calgary might seem intimidating, but it’s much easier than you think! Just follow our easy instructions to build the perfect retaining walls.
Types Of Retaining Wall Materials
Before you begin building them, it’s essential to know what type of retaining wall blocks best fit your landscaping needs. There are three types of common retaining wall materials.
Natural stone walls will never fade or warp. Natural stone walls also provide a modern and rustic look to your landscape. Flagstone or ledgestone retaining walls can be around 1’ in height.
Precast concrete blocks are long-lasting, and they are versatile. Stackstone is an excellent option for precast concrete walls.
Concrete can be used to create retaining walls larger than 2’ in height, but according to Calgary bylaws, you will need a permit.
While wood provides a lovely aesthetic to your landscaping, it’s not long-lasting and is prone to warping. However, Barkman Concrete has excellent options that look like wood but are made of concrete and last longer than your average wood retaining walls.
Tools and Landscaping Supplies
Here are some tools and landscaping supplies you might need to get started.
- Landscape Gloves and Safety Glasses
- Concrete Saw
- Garden Trowel, Rake, and Shovel
- Rubber Mallet and Chisel
- Wooden Stakes and String
- Hand Tamper
- Retaining Walls Blocks
- Crushed Gravel
- Landscape Fabric
- Construction Adhesive
Planning Your Build
Now that you have gathered your tools and landscape supplies, it’s time to plan out your build before you begin the process of installing retaining walls.
- Use your stake and strings to mark the front of where your retaining wall will be. We recommend using a garden hose for any irregular shapes.
- Decide how tall you want your retaining walls to be.
- Check the spec sheet with your retaining wall system to figure out how many blocks you need.
- Calculate the required amount of sand and gravel.
Building A Retaining Wall
This tutorial is recommended for Stackstone retaining walls as best for beginners; however, if you’re using a different material, the basic rules still apply.
- On your chosen location, dig out a 9” deep and 16” wide trench. During this step, your base soil should be compact. Make sure to leave a 6” space for drainage behind the retaining wall.
- 2. Set down your landscape fabric and fill the trench with crushed gravel to create a base. Make sure your base is flat for the next step. Use the hand tamper to do so.
- Chisel any uneven section of the blocks. Level the blocks before putting them into place.
- Start placing blocks from the middle and then use an interlocking method to stack your other blocks. Use the adhesive to put together your blocks. Clean up any excess dirt.
- Any excess landscape fabric can be covered with topsoil. Place the topsoil in a sloping method to ensure that the water flows away from the retaining wall.
The process might take a couple of weekends to finish. Be sure to ask your family members or friends for help, making the process quicker and more fun.
Visit Ornamental Stone
Now you have the basics down and can start another DIY project this spring. If you need advice or landscape supplies, contact the experts at Ornamental Stone!