Short brick retaining wall

Old 12-09-06, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ca
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Short brick retaining wall

I'm planning a brick retaining wall a few courses tall and about 15' long. I have done quite a bit of masonry work for a DIY'er but never multi course brick work. I have Dick Kreh's book and it's excellent. I still have a few misc questions -

1. There is a 5" grade change over the length of the wall. I can make the footer (and thus the wall) follow the grade or I could make a level footer that would be at least 5" below grade at one end so the wall can be level. Is there a right and wrong here or is it a matter of preference. The wall simply runs from one corner of my house to the sidewalk and will border a lawn. BTW there is no frost where I live.

2. I have done single course brick edging and I have found that the hardest thing for a beginner is to stay straight and/or level. A string line for straight and a modular rule + line block seems like cheap tools to keep me honest. With these tools and some patience hopefully I can do a near pro quality job, right?

3. I thought I heard someone recommend using paving brick for walls if one can stomach the cost because they are tougher. However, this does not seem like a good idea because all the pavers I have used have smooth tops which may not bond all that well. Use common brick, right?

Old 12-09-06, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Austin, TX
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1. The foundation should be level, and stepped at the appropriate place to the height of the brick + joint.

2. A string line and a level is all you need.

3. Use what ever brick you want, it doesn't matter. The reason to use paver bricks is because they are solid, so you do not have to miter ends, etc.

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