New to wall building and need help

19 May 2009
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I am just about to build on a slightly ambitious retaining wall project in my garden, i am hoping to use hollow block and build on top of a cast concrete ground beam with steel reenforcing into the foundation and then through the concrete block and finally fill with concrete. I'm not too bothered about this as the building surveyor at work has designed the retaining wall and foundation.

I have done some (very basic) brick laying in the past but not using hollow block and would like some pointers or a guide if anyone knows of one online. What i am not sure about is how to butter the blocks together, or whether to lay the base course on a flat cement bed on top of the concrete or to just butter the bottom?

Any help would be most appreciative.
Sponsored Links
Lay a mortar bed on the concrete, and then lay your first course of blocks. Make sure they are level and plumb. Then lay a mortar bed on top of the blocks and do your next course. For the cross joints you can either butter up the laid block, or the one to be laid.
You can either build corners or set up profiles to pull the line off.
I'm not too bothered about this as the building surveyor at work has designed the retaining wall and foundation.
I would be: building surveyors and structural design are mutually exclusive: invariably, they haven't got a ferking clue about the mechanics of what it is they are trying to do calculations for. Best left to checking for leaks on radiators and rot on window cills.

Great forum name by the way :LOL:.
Calculations? ..... Err, its a garden wall not the Hoover Dam :rolleyes:

Or are we talking about the calculation of an SE's bank balance after he has finished working out that 4 course of blocks will hold up a row of Begonias and some trailing Lobelia, and a bit of soil :p
Sponsored Links
You have no idea how tall it is, whether the retained soil is flat or sloping, if there are vehicle loads being applied, as the OP he no say.

I have a 12' retaining wall in part of my garden. "Designed" by the developer. It is moving. Ten Year Ted is involved...
Reeeeeeeell him in boys, we've hooked a whopper :cool:

PM me if you want me to work out the repair for your boundary wall - I'll also comment on any dampness for free too!

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local