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Posted 05/24/2020 in Basic Help

Building Concrete Manor Stone Retaining Walls


Building Concrete Manor Stone Retaining Walls

Building Concrete Retaining Walls Using Manor Stone.

In this blog we will be covering the basic in building a manor stone retaining wall. We will start with the excavation of the wall area. then the base layer of gravel followed by the 1st run of blocks.

Clearing the area for the retaining wall.

First we look at where the wall is to be built. You will need to clear a line where the wall will be placed. Give yourself room to work when clearing the area. Depending on how high the wall will be, give yourself room for a tractor or a wheelbarrow to move around in. Remember the wall is not straight up and down, it move back 1" for every layer of blocks. Retaining wall blocks come in many sizes, I like the larger size blocks, 16" wide x 6" tall and 11" deep. The line will need to be level, if you are building on uneven ground, where the base line is going up hill as you extend the length of the wall. You can step the base of the wall up by the height of the block. 

Building Concrete Manor Stone Retaining Walls

The line where the wall will be built should have a layer of gravel for the blocks to sit on. I would have at least 3" of compacted gravel for the wall to be built on. The gravel should be at least twice as deep (from the front to the back) as the blocks.

Building the first layer of the retaining wall.

You will want to start at the lowest part the the wall. place a string or paint a line on the compacted strip of gravel where you want the front of the wall to be placed. Make sure you leave space behind the blocks for drain lines and ease of back filling. 

Place the first block, make sure it is level and in the desired position. Next place the 2nd block, you will want to make it level with the first block you placed. After it is in the correct position and level with the other block, double check that they are both level with each other. Then move the next block, and so on, and so on... 

Building the first layer of the retaining wall.

If you are stepping up with your first layer of blocks due to a rising incline, you will start the next row by placing the step up block on top of the first layer block. You will need to make sure the compacted gravel is at the height of the first layer of blocks and place the step up block halfway on the first layer and halfway on the compacted gravel.


Installing the rest of the retaining wall blocks after the base line is set.

You will want the blocks to be placed halfway on one and halfway on the other, keeping the blocks tight. On the bottom of the Manor Stone blocks there is a small lip on the back portion, this lip is to be placed on the back of the lower block that it is sitting on. The lip holds the block in place and stabilizes the wall as you back fill behind the wall. This lip also is what makes the wall move backwards as you add height to the wall. The wall will not be straight up and down it will move about 1" every layer of blocks that you put on it.

Installing the rest of the retaining wall blocks after the base line is set.

Do not go more then 3 layer high without back filling up to that level, as the wall can tip over backwards. 

Building steps with concrete manor stone blocks.

I'm sure there are many ways to do this, I like to look of the concrete aggregate steps.

After you have your first layer of blocks in place and your step lay out set, clear back about 24" behind that run of blocks and 4 or 5" deep where the step is to be placed. Next place some gravel in this area, about 2" Compact it. So you should have a row of blocks as the front of your step with a drop down area behind the row of blocks filled with gravel. Take a 30" level and place it on the top of the blocks and over the gravel area, you should have about 2.5" of air before you reach the compacted gravel. Now you can mix up bags of concrete and place behind the blocks, fill up to the top of the blocks and make sure it is level. make sure you keep the top of the blocks washed off. after the concrete has set for an hour or so you now can put a heavy mist of sugar water on the concrete. This will give you the aggregate concrete behind the concrete blocks. 2 or 3 hours after you poured the concrete it should be ready to hose off. Once the concrete has had time to set up, like 24 hours or so, you can install the 2nd layer of blocks on top of the poured concrete. 

You will need to break off the lip on the bottom of the blocks for them to sit level on the concrete. You can use a hammer and just hit them and they will come off in pieces. Make sure you are wearing a face guard or at least eye protection.