Stone retaining wall building in Colorado

Limestone retaining wall construction: Block retaining walls are lightweight, cost-effective, and easy to build. They come in a wider range of styles and colours and are more versatile than concrete sleepers, creating curves and tiered walls can be achieved with ease. Block retaining walls have a wide footprint so if your access is tight or room on your property is at a premium then blocks would not be for you.

If you’re building tiered retaining walls, set each tier back far enough to prevent the weight and pressure of the wall above from destroying the one below it. The rule of thumb is to separate wall tiers by a distance that’s no less than twice the height of the wall below. So if the bottom wall is 4 feet tall, the wall above it should be built at least 8 feet behind it. Walls more than 4 feet tall will likely require a building permit and a plan made by a licensed engineer. The engineer will specify the base’s width and depth, how far down the base course should be buried, and whether or not a geogrid (soil reinforcement system) should be used.

DON’T lay blocks on an unlevel surface. The first course (or row of blocks) sets the stage for the rest of the wall, so it’s vital that you make it perfectly level. If it isn’t, subsequent rows won’t be level either, resulting in a retaining wall that’s lopsided and unattractive. Use a four-foot carpenter’s level to ensure that the gravel layer below the first course of blocks is level before you start setting the blocks. Any discrepancies here will show up higher in the wall. DO stack blocks at a slight backward slope.

Spacers are set to maintain spacing and support the form prior to the pour. Wire ties snug the form and resist the pressure of the wet concrete. Wales align the form and brace the studs in forms more than 4 or 5 feet high. Two horizontal walls are sufficient for most forms, but they should not be spaced greater than 30 inches on center. For lower, lighter walls, it is possible to cast the wall at the same time you cast the footer. Larger walls always require separate pours for the footer and wall. See additional details at

We also repair existing retaining walls. Many railroad tie walls or older concrete retaining walls which may or may not include rocks or boulders are beginning to show signs of failure. Often times a homeowner will build a DIY retaining wall that needs help after years of service. We serve all of Colorado out of our home office in Colorado Springs. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. Estimates are always free and everything we touch comes with a warranty.