This Is How We Build Retaining Walls To Help Clients Better Enjoy Their Home In Kansas City, Missouri
Bob Kerr with a newly built stone retaining wall

Whenever a big home project is happening, most people want to know what all happens during the process. This includes the steps to bringing the project to life.

In this post, you can discover our steps for creating stone retaining walls. You can also find out what happens during these steps.

It’s Our Home And I’d Like To Know

“Then we should ask how our contractor builds stone retaining walls,” says Michael.

“But won’t he be too busy or something to answer our question?” asks Jennifer. Michael shrugs. “You never know until you try. We are future clients, so I’m sure he’ll take our call and answer our questions, especially when you consider the cost of a retaining wall.”

Jennifer nods, a doubting look still in her eyes. “Ok, I guess unless you ask the answer’s automatically no. Let’s give it a shot!”

The couple calls the contractor who’ll be building their stone retaining wall. He asks if they’d like to read his blog post answering this question and others they may have. “Yeah, that’d be great! Where can we find them?” asks Jennifer.

The contractor texts them a link to his post on building stone retaining walls.

Here’s what the couple finds:

How To Build Stone Retaining Walls

Tiered retaining wall edging a driveway
  1. Organize stones
  2. Set up a level line
  3. Determine the subgrade for a level wall
  4. Excavate the area
  5. Install subgrade gravel
  6. Compact the gravel
  7. Lay down a base course of larger stones
  8. Install landscape fabric behind the stones
  9. Put in drainage gravel and a drainage pipe for water runoff
  10. Install the next course and backfill it with gravel
  11. Repeat until you reach the top course
  12. Pull landscape fabric over the top of the gravel so it covers all of the gravel
  13. Install the top course and backfill it with soil

More On These Steps For Building A Stone Retaining Wall

Large stone retaining wall with steps

Course. A course is a row of stones in the retaining wall.

Landscape fabric. This is to keep the dirt from getting into the gravel and causing drainage failure.

Subgrade. This is what retaining walls are built on. We dig down until we hit a material, like clay, that’s good for building a retaining wall on. 

Organize the stones. We organize them by size. This way we can easily pick which ones belong where from bottom to top. We use the largest stones on the bottom.

Set up the level line. Level lines help us tell if the wall is even. Nobody wants a crooked retaining wall on their property! We check for levelness before every course installation.

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“Wow, we saved a lot of time by reading this post instead of talking to him while he’s on a job site,” says Michael. Jennifer nods. “Yep. Now then, let’s see what other stone retaining wall posts he has on here.”