How to Build a Retaining Wall Border

5 Materials

Last year I fancied up my front porch by building a DIY Corner Bench with a Built-in Table (you can find that project here: and a Firewood Rack. This year I decided the rest of the front of my house needs to be spiced up a bit as well. The paint on my house is dark brown with light brown trim and the grass (okay, yes, they are weeds 🙂 ) grows right up to the front of the house. Don’t judge, there are too many oak trees around here to grow grass and plus, California has been in a years’ long drought! So green weeds are what we get! So, I decided to take on a weekend project to fancy it up a bit!

Here is a brief description of how I built the concrete block border. For full details, please visit my blog at the link at the bottom of this post. I purchased the concrete blocks from Home Depot. First, I laid out one row of blocks to figure out the layout of the bricks.

I then began laying the blocks, digging and leveling as I went.

Once I had the first row of block set and leveled, I began on the second row, offsetting the blocks from the row before.

Then I placed rows three and four.

Next, I laid the weed barrier.

And then added the rock.

The rock was pretty muddy, so once the border area was filled in, I washed everything down with the hose to sparkle it up!

And here is the finished project! Just need to decide on some plants to add to the area behind the border and it will be complete! As a reminder, here is what the house looked like before this project:

And here is what it looks like now:

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 35 questions
  • Ellen Beener Ellen Beener on Sep 06, 2021

    I live near Tampa Florida. With some of the high winds of the late summer and fall

    we worry about all those pebbles being blown around and become dangerous.

    Is there a way to secure the pebbles or rocks onto the ground a little ?

  • PAULA PAULA on Sep 26, 2021

    Am interested in more details about retaining wall. How did you dig ground to keep pavers even? Could not find link that you mentioned. Thank you.

  • Susan Susan on Jan 18, 2023

    Did you just dry stack the concrete blocks? If yes, couldn’t the wall fall over or get knocked down easily?

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3 of 313 comments
  • Patty Patty on Jan 18, 2023

    Nice job!

  • Vicky Vicky on Feb 28, 2023

    I hate showing my ignorance, but is there a trick to laying the wall stones so that the top remains level. I did manage to build a small retaining wall around one of my flower beds, but if I moved the blocks one time I moved them 10. And, they are not light weight for this 69 year old woman. 🤪

    • Linda Linda on Mar 12, 2023

      Vicky, from one 69-year-old woman to another, I would guess that he used a large level to ensure each block was even with the last. Personally, I would just “eyeball” it. I use these same stones in my yard and they can be a pain…not to mention heavy! 😉