The Steps to Building a Quality Retaining Wall Footing

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Footing  Construction

We are wrapping up a large landscape construction project in Austin, between Westlake Hills and Lake Travis.  This project is complex and involves a lot of masonry construction.. We have retaining walls, patios, an outdoor kitchen, seat walls, and water feature.  To help explain how important good construction techniques are, this blog emphasizes the footing on a retaining wall.

When constructing a masonry wall in Austin Texas or anywhere for that matter, the footing is the most important step in securing the longevity of your investment.  I suggest working with a landscape architect on your landscape project to insure that your masonry is properly designed as this is a complex process in order to have a quality finished product.

Step one: Determine the location and dimensions of your footing based on the height and width of the structure that it will support.  The minimum size footing for a wall would be 12 inches by 12 inches.  A stone border can be just a concrete bed of 6 inches deep and as wide.   The wall shown in the photo is for a tall wall and the footing is much larger.

Step two: Excavate with picks, rock bars, jackhammer and pure sweat equity.

Footing  Construction 2Step three: Install rebar steel.  Steel must be tied together and elevated/supported off the ground to allow the concrete to fill in under it for stability.  Set up your wooden forms if you are out of grade, this will contain the concrete and give you the shape you are wanting.  Use a stake every 2-3 feet to add rigidity to your form.  The forms must be level, as this will make setting your stones much easier.  Add sleeves (pvc pipes) through the concrete and or forms to allow irrigation, lighting and drainage.

Step four: Pour concrete and allow to dry. Afterwards you can lay your first course of stone or brick.

Footing Construction 3

These are the basic steps for building a footing as shown in the photos.


Brent D. Wiltshire

Owner & Senior Designer

Perfect Lawns and Landworks of Austin


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