Building a retaining wall

Videos from our friends at National Masonry


Step 1 for Building a Retaining Wall.

Forget what your mate said.

  • Unless your mate is a qualified builder or landscaper follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Building a retaining wall or garden steps

What you need to get started

1. Check with your council

Low garden edging can usually be installed without council approval. However, walls over 1 m will generally need to be designed and certified by a suitably qualified engineer. Walls in locations close to buildings or driveways, in places where significant ground water or storm water build up can be expected, in steep or unstable terrain, or where there is reactive clay or fine sandy soils, may need special attention. If in doubt, please contact your local council before proceeding

2. Choose the best system for the job.

3. Check off your equipment

  • garden gloves
  • spade
  • spirit level
  • wheelbarrow
  • stakes and string
  • small broom
  • pencil and square
  • rubber mallet
  • 100m diameter AG pipe (if drainage required)
  • road base (granular material) for foundations
  • blue metal (or gravel) for backfill

If you need to split blocks, you’ll also need…

  • safety glasses
  • hammer and bolster

For larger jobs you may also require…

  • skid loader
  • wacker packer
  • ear muffs
  • circularsaw with masonry blade
  • geosynthetic reinforcement mesh

4. Work out how many blocks you need

1. Determine the wall length and wall height

2. Multiply length by height to get the m3 wall face area

3. Multiply this figure by the number of block units per m3
Meadow Stone = 16.6 units per m3


Add 2% to this figure to allow for mishaps and get to it