May 29, 2015

Planning Your DIY Retaining Wall

Do you have a sloped yard and would like to level it out to be more functional?  Maybe you have an old retaining wall already on your property that you want to give it a face lift.  Whatever your reason may be for planning on building a retaining wall, there are multiple steps that you will want to note to make sure that your project goes smoothly and performs phenomenally for years to come.

The first step is to establish what you want to see for the finished product.  
  • Will this wall be straight?
  • Curved? 
  • Steps?
  • Finished cap?
  • Style of block?
  • Colors?
  • Patterned?  

These are only scratching the surface for all the items that you may have or want to do with your retaining wall.  For ideas, you can visit to look at project photos and establish what you want to do on your project.  Once you have the product and idea of what you want to do, check with your local building code to see if a project of your scope requires an engineer.

For projects that do require an engineer, either ask a local dealer or search for a local engineering firm in your area to find a retaining wall designer.  Make sure to find out the engineering fee required for a project of your scope when asking different firms.  This will allow you to budget properly.

If an engineer is not required for your project or you found an engineer to do your wall, you can now put together budget numbers.  Either use an estimating tool from Allan Block or contact a local dealer location to put together a full material estimate with pricing. 

If machinery is required to be rented, make sure you budget in the correct compaction or excavating equipment necessary to finish your project. 

Now that you have a full material estimate and machinery rental, add the engineering price (including permit fees) to establish what your total cost will come to.

Whether you are using credit or paying cash for the project, make sure you have the funds necessary to pay for the project once you start.

Coordinate the delivery of the materials, rent the equipment, and follow the Allan Block installation guide to complete your very own DIY retaining wall that will have your neighbors jealous!

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