Retaining Wall Step Ups

Retaining Wall Step-Ups: Building Steps Up A Slope

Stepping Up A Slope: Building Retaining Wall Step-Ups

Walls built on a sloping grade require a stepped-up base to remain stable and level, without burying extra block.

Step 1: Excavating the Trench

  • Begin the base course for your retaining wall step-ups at the lowest wall elevation
  • Excavate leveling pad a minimum of 32 inches wide, according to Heritage Block’s guidelines. If there is a slope present, contact your local site civil engineer for help.
  • Compact sub-grade to at least 95% Standard Proctor and level the base trench, making at least two passes with your plate compactor.

Step 2: Put in Drainage

  • Find the lowest possible point towards the back of your trench
  • Place a 4-inch socked drain pipe on backside of wall—drain should extend to daylight

Step 3: Start Preparing for the Next Level

  • Encase the installed drainage pipe with a minimum of 6 inches washed #57 drainage aggregate
  • Check if area is level
  • If level, compact the base material with your plate compactor making a minimum of two passes

Step 4: Beginning the Second Level

  • Begin by excavating, making sure to accommodate for the base material and buried block
  • Compact and level the area

Step 5: Place the Block

  • Place the base course of blocks and ensure it is level
  • Core fill the blocks and behind the blocks, as well as the base area, for the the next step-up

Important: Make sure the blocks and the base of the next step-up are level.

Step 6: Compact the Rock

  • Compact the rock directly behind the already-installed blocks and the next step-up area, making a minimum of two passes with your plate compactor.

Continue these steps until your retaining wall step-ups have been completed. Keep in mind that the next level of the step-up must have a course of block completely buried to maintain the proper base depth and prevent erosion that could cause the wall to fail.


Our blocks can transform any outdoor space into a unique masterpiece… The options are truly LIMITLESS. For everything you need to plan, design and build the perfect retaining wall for your next project, contact us today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *