Building a Wood Retaining Wall that Rocks Step by Step

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

We have been busy building a wood retaining wall to hold back the dirt around our new patio garden. Sharing all the tips & tricks about how easy it is to how to build a diy wood retaining wall with pictures.

Building a Wood Retaining Wall Step by Step

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We have been busy building a wood retaining wall to hold back the dirt around our new patio garden.  Sharing all the tips & tricks about how easy it is to how to build a diy wood retaining wall with pictures. #woodretainingwall #howtobuildawoodretainingwall #diy https://lehmanlane.net

Why to Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Over the years the dirt had fallen down under the deck covering the original brick patio

It was important to build a wood retaining wall to permanently hold the dirt back from what will be our new patio & sunken patio garden.

Back Patio - the plan and deck demo - deck gone - build a wood retaining wall

Supplies Needed for to Build a DIY Wood Retaining Wall

The amount of supplies you need will really be determined by how big & tall you want your wood retaining wall design to be.

  • 8 & 10 foot pressure treated 6 by 6 posts (we bought 38)
  • enough gravel to go under your retaining wall & behind the wall
  • wheel barrel & shovel to dump the gravel
  • landscape fabric
  • large level
  • large square ruler
  • sledgehammer
  • large galvanized nails
  • rebar
  • screwdriver to make pre-drill holes in the wood for the rebar

How to Build a Wood Retaining Wall for a Patio Garden

Before you start, it’s important to figure out how tall & wide you want your wood retaining wall to be.

Last week we had a delivery of many (38) – 8 and 10 foot pressure treated 6 by 6 posts to use for our wood retaining wall.  The delivery guy was kind enough to leave the timbers close to the project which has saved us having to carry these heavy beams from our driveway.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall - timbers

Building the DIY Wood Retaining Wall for our Hot Tub

We started laying the wood timbers where we plan on putting our hot tub.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall - hot tub area

Laying down the Gravel Bed for the Wood Retaining Wall

Before the wood can go down we needed to lay a gravel bed so the wall won’t move when the ground freezes and thaws over the winter.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

The kids were put to work filling the wheel barrel with gravel to lay both under the wood as well as behind the wood retaining wall.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Adding Landscape Fabric to Help with Drainage

I added landscape fabric along with the gravel to help with drainage and keep the dirt and the weeds from touching or coming through the gaps in the wood retaining wall.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Making sure your Retaining Wall is Square & Level

Next we needed to make sure that the wood timbers were square and level.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall - square
Build a Wood Retaining Wall - level

This steps also seems to take forever ūüôā Notice the kids in the pic!

Build a Wood Retaining Wall
Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Once the first row is level all the other wood beams go up quickly.

Adding Large Galvanized Nails & Rebar to Secure your Retaining Wall

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Jason made sure to secure the wood timbers with giant nails and rebar as we added each level of boards.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

Pre-drill your holes for the rebar to get hammered in.

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

We decided that 4 boards was as high of the diy wood retaining wall design wanted & we needed to go based on the dirt level around the patio. 

I can’t wait to start leveling out the dirt behind the retaining wall & get to landscaping it.  I am excited to add some evergreens & flowers to give us a little privacy & contrast the texture of the wood & stone.

Thanks to the wood retaining wall our new backyard patio is starting to take shape. The end is finally in sight!

Build a Wood Retaining Wall

We still have to move that darn hot tub into our new hot tub space (you can see how we moved our hot tub with just 2 people HERE) and level the rest of the patio so we can lay down the reclaimed brick & flagstone.  Here is a look of what we have done so far and still have planned!

Our Plan for this DIY Sunken Patio Design

  • Demo Deck (read about demoing our deck HERE)
  • Save Brick from Previous Patio
  • Dig an 8 foot by 8 foot space for our Hot Tub
  • Build a retaining wall around the sunken patio
  • Move the Hot Tub (we moved our hot tub with just 2 people HERE)
  • Level the Ground inside the Patio
  • Use Reclaimed Brick (Brick Patio HERE )
  • Build a Flagstone Patio (HERE)
  • Landscape around Sunken Patio (we landscaped the patio wall HERE)
  • Bring the Outdoor Furniture Back and Decorate

Backyard Brick & Flagstone Patio with Wood Retaining Wall Reveal HERE

We transformed the backyard of our farmhouse by taking down a deck and creating a sunken brick and flagstone patio. Back Patio Makeover - Final Reveal / sunken patio / brick patio/ farmhouse backyard / patio makeover/ diy http://lehmanlane.net

I hope this inspires you & answers all your questions for how to build a wood retaining wall in your backyard.

by Tara Lehman

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