To build a retaining wall, you must excavate a slope to bury your whole block and create a level surface for the retaining wall. Dig the trench six inches deep and ensure that it is level. Using a story pole or laser level, mark the depth of the trench and use it as a guide. Be careful not to dig too deep, as this could cause the collapse of the retaining wall. The first step to building a retaining walls is to mark the area. The elevation of the gravel and blocks can be measured using a carpenter’s ruler. Make sure that the gravel layer is level. Any discrepancies will reflect higher up the wall. After marking the boundary, add the gravel filler. Next, place your blocks onto the foundation. Next, you should dig a drain pipe, which should be placed behind the retaining wall. To prevent water dripping away, it should be buried. This is especially important for clay-type soils because they can cause retaining wall collapse under too high pressure. You must include drainage provisions to ensure this happens. Installing drainpipe (or "drain tile"), which can be purchased at The Home Depot, will help carry the groundwater to both sides of the wall. Next, lay the first course of blocks. You should check the level of the gravel layer with a four-foot carpenter's level. If it's not level the wall will crumble. A sloping walls is an unattractive sight. Before you start work, measure the height of your wall. If it's a retaining wall, you'll need to use a carpenter's level to ensure the blocks are straight and aligned. Once you have a level surface, it's time to start setting the foundation for your retaining walls. A retaining wall should be at least an inch higher than the hillside for every 12 inches it is high. If your retaining wall is four feet or higher, you should anchor the timber with deadmen anchors. This means you'll need a T-bar at minimum 6 feet in depth. If you want to plan how to build your retaining wall, it is important to know the layout of the property. To determine the height and size of your wall, you might use a rope or a pipe. To ensure straight lines, you'll need a string or stakes to mark the area. Fill in the base of the wall if your property is on a slope. A retaining wall can be built vertically as well as on a level foundation. This means that the wall will lean against the fill, but it will still be leaning against it. If the retaining walls are vertical, gravity will work against them. The concrete retaining wall block system has a pin and lip system that will allow it to lean against the fill. Before you start construction, measure the area you wish to cover with the wall. Once you have a rough idea of the size and shape you can begin measuring the exact distance. If the wall is taller than a bed of grass, it may be necessary to raise the siding. When you are finished, you can then add decorative elements to your retaining wall. The first layer should be level and properly positioned. If it is uneven, the entire wall will be uneven. You can check the gravel layer's level with a carpenter’s ruler. If the gravel layer appears unevenly, it will show up in your wall at a higher elevation. You will then need to fill the retaining wall's bottom with gravel to reinforce it.