HOW TO INSTALL A RETAINING WALL BASE COURSE

If your retaining wall needs to be taller than 1 meter in height you will need to have it stamped by an engineer before it is considered legal in the City of Calgary. Do not build a large supporting retaining wall before making sure it is to code. You could be forced to dismantle and re-install the wall.

Please Call Before You Dig!
As with any landscaping project that requires digging, it is important to call and have utilities checked before you start digging. You can call the Alberta One-Call Corporation at 1-800-242-3447

Survey your site and mark out the area for your wall.
You can use a garden house or fluorescent paint to mark out curving retaining walls. Keep in mind that depending on the type of stone you use for your retaining wall your curves may be limited. Otherwise you may have to use a concrete cutting saw to cut and create your curves. The more cuts, the more time consuming the job will be. ?

Excavate
Landscape stone should never be placed on existing soil, so you will have to dig down a depth of 6-12 inches. Be sure to dig the trench a few inches wider than your wall stone so you will have room to work. After digging the trench the desired length and width you can then install crushed gravel Called 3.4 inch crush, the gravel is graduated and packs very well, it is the same gravel that is used to build roads. Remember to leave some crush gravel to back fill your retaining wall. After installing the crushed gravel, slightly moisten the gravel and then use a hand or power plate tamper to pack the gravel.

Sand and leveling
Now its time to add a layer of sand to your compacted gravel. Lay a 1-3″ layer of sand, the thickness will very depending on what you need to level the first course of your wall. Using a small level, you can start to place each block along your trench, making sure to check the level both ways as you go. You can use a 2 or 3 foot level to check a number of blocks in a row.

Make sure this first layer of your retaining wall is as level as possible, this is the most important step.

After laying and leveling the first course you can stack the next rows, offsetting the brick so the seams never meet.