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How To Build a Block Retaining Wall | Ask This Old House

In this video, House One editor Jenn Largesse walks us through the process of building a retaining wall in her backyard.

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We catch up with DIY expert Jenn Largesse to check in on her backyard renovation project. Her grand plans to install a shipping container pool means a retaining wall is necessary, and she and her landscaping contractor walk us through the process. After digging out the soil, they lay the necessary layers of gravel, fill, and concrete blocks to create a beautiful retaining wall to hold back the excavated soil.

Skill: ⅗
Cost: Over $1,000, varies based on size and stone
Time: 3 days

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Gravel []
Slag []
Blocks []
Drainage pipe []

Note: Most of the heavy equipment listed below is rentable. Just be sure to plan to ensure you’ll have the excavator and block lift attachment on-site at the same time.

Excavator []
Block lift attachment (depending on the size of blocks) []
Plate compactor []

Shovel []
2, 4, and 6-foot levels []
Screed rails [] (pipes of the same diameter are fine)
Wheelbarrow []

About Ask This Old House TV: From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How To Build a Block Retaining Wall | Ask This Old House

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