Real Estate

Do it yourself Floor retaining wall

When it comes to containing tons of dirt, you basically have two options. Hire a masonry contractor and have a traditional concrete block wall built, or you can do it yourself with interlocking (or segmented) retaining wall blocks.

The use of retaining wall blocks as opposed to traditional concrete retaining wall construction is increasing in popularity. You may see many new commercial construction projects that use the stacking block method for retaining wall construction for many reasons.

Advantages of using containment blocks

  • Do it yourself and save money
  • These blocks create a strong wall that can be considered permanent.
  • Building permits are not required until the wall is over 4 feet high; building codes will vary. Check your local codes.
  • The wall can be reconfigured or removed if necessary in the future
  • The block can be reused
  • The wall can be planted to create a “living wall” (depending on the type of block used)
  • Build at your own pace
  • You have more block style and color options

Case study

In my case, the wall I needed is about 75 feet long and 3-4 feet high. The estimate received for the traditional concrete block wall was $ 6,500. The cost of materials for the interlocking blocks was $ 1,200 … a savings of $ 5,300. Make no mistake about it, this is hard work. The basic steps you need to take are digging for the foundation row, stacking the block, checking for proper alignment and grade, then backfilling and compacting. These blocks weigh 62 pounds. each, but if you’re up to the task and want to save some money on a project like this, stackable blocks are a great option. For my project, I chose to use the Verdura 30 block made by and available at Home Depot in California.

This is a great project for the Do It Yourselfer with a strong back and a willingness to save a lot of money on a ground retaining wall. It is very satisfying to step back and look at your finished project with pride, as well as earn the envy of your neighbors.

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