Tommy Mac Discussions Forums Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum building an interlocking concrete block wall-downhill slope

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    • #10613
      Mary Lentz

      I’m building interlocking block wall around a corner where two streets come together. The slope is downhill all the way. I started at the crown of the corner with five blocks highThey are staggered blocks(stairstep style)I moved uphill going from five stairstep hig for several feet then to four by coming up to the level of the top of bottom block then to three. This looks fine, but when I rounded the corner and started downhill(I have about 20 feet of downhill and I am at the bottom, street level,(Oh, I forget to mention, most important, I am keeping the top level of the blocks LEVEL and changing the bottom to get up the hill going to my left, but when I work downhill around the corner O cam’t figure out how to do it!To stay with the downhill slope and keep the leveldo I have to angle the blocks (blocks are 4 inches x 12 inches & wider at the front than at the back. If I build up the dirt the wall looks too high. Do I have to angle down the blocks/slant them down to follow the slope, which won’t match what I’ve done on the up hill side. I’ve never built a wall, tangible wall anyway, and I can’t figure it out – HELP!

    • #76438
      Bruce M

      Hi Mary:
      Quite a challange, huh 🙂

      First rule in laying cinderblock……it must always be level….even when concrete filled. If it is pitched at all, front to back or side to side, gravity will eventually move it…..not good.

      There are several important pieces of information you have not mentioned. Did you trench down below the frost line and pour a footing? If not, you gotta do this if you want the wall to stand more than a year or so. Second, will this be acting as a retaining wall?

      A couple of general points though on building a block wall on a slope. You have to do some math, figure out the pitch and then do a stair-step on your poured footing, where each “tread” of the stair step (horizontal run of the footing before it rises to the next level) is a perfect multiple of the blocks length (including mortar joints). This way, all blocks above grade will vertically line up. Also, make sure you provide adequate drainage by putting in at least 1″ drain holes at the bottom course above grade and a plastic drain pipe at the base of the wall on the inside.

      This represents a good amount of digging, particularly if you live in Northern climates, where you may have to dig down 48″ to get below the frost line. If you have many lineal feet to do, it might be easier to rent a Ditch Witch automatic trenching machine……it’ll be a lot easier!

      Best wishes

      Bruce M

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