The concrete retaining wall is meant to hold back soil that is on an elevated and sloping area. A concrete retaining wall can be made from solid concrete, but opting for one made from cinder blocks prevents costly masonry work, especially if it has to curve. You can build a concrete retaining wall yourself but, doing so on a curve may prove more difficult. Follow the steps below to build a retaining wall with a curve on your own.
Step 1 – Prepare the Area
The concrete retaining wall needs to be settled in a trench. Mark off the area using stakes, and then tie a string between them. Measure the length of the staked off area and determine how high you want the concrete retaining wall to be. Use these numbers to purchase the amount of cinder blocks you will need. Measure the width of the blocks, and then finish marking off your area by staking off the width and then completing the length for a 3D representation.
Explore the staked out area and remove any visible rocks, weeds and even roots. Dig the area out to a depth of 6 inches, removing rocks and other debris as needed. Tamp the site down, and check the depth. Adjust as needed. Lay down a single layer of gravel, and then tamp it down until even and level.
Step 2 – Place Blocks
With the trench cleaned and excavated, you can begin to place the blocks. Place the first block in the trench, making sure it is tight against the sides. Check to make sure it is level. If it is not, you can gently hit it with the mallet until it is. Place the next block, and repeat the process until the first level of cinder blocks are in place.
Step 3 – Make Cuts
Since you are building the concrete retaining wall on a curve, you will need to adjust the cinder blocks to fit the curve. The string is the guide you will use to determine where the curves take place and how far your block is sticking out. Use a marker to trace the curvature of the strong on the block. Remove the block from the trench.
Put on your work gloves and goggles. You can use a masonry saw to trim the block to the size you need for extreme curves. If the curves are mild, then use a mallet and chisel. Continue to your desired effect and replace the block.
Step 4 – Strengthen the Foundation
Backfill the area where the retaining wall is sitting until the earth is tightly packed around the base. Pour gravel into the centers of the block so that is halfway up. Place the second level of blocks, making sure they are level and match up with the blocks below. Cut them to fit as needed, and fill them with gravel. Continue in this manner until you reach the height you want, and then cap off the blocks.