Retaining Wall Video

In this page you will find all you need to know about Retaining Wall Video

Retaining Wall. What Does it Do? Watch our video!

A retaining wall adds space behind your home

Retaining wall. What does it do?

Retaining wall video:

We made a retaining wall video to explain all that you find in this page. But we also have the answers here for people like you who prefer to read.

Retaining walls provide lateral support to vertical slopes of soil.

In simpler language, they support soil, which would otherwise collapse at the natural state.

And it most likely would happen, under stresses of the weather, or even during seismic events.

Hopefully, you got an engineer to design your Retaining wall.

An engineer will take in consideration, soils reports, slope-bend analysis, and other essential pieces of information. 

There are some procedures that we do not expect everyone to understand, But they are important for everyone’s safety.

Most of the supported soil, after a retaining wall is built, is sometimes referred to as backfill. 

Here is a video illustrating the need of a properly engineered wall, that will help you understand it further and follow the recommendations in our video.

Retaining Wall Engineering Basics Aside

Other retaining wall considerations:

The soil that goes behind the retaining wall, it is what you want to contain.

This soil has to be removed and replaced at the end, So it has to be stored for a while.

Soils have to be properly compacted and with other safety devices built into it, to reduce the loads behind the wall.  You will see what I am talking about later.

Ok, now that you know what a Retaining wall is, and what a retaining wall does, we go to the next step.

I will give you the 5 major steps for building the most used type of retaining walls:

Which I mentioned before, it is a “L”-shaped gravity wall.

But, before anything, don’t forget to subscribe on our YouTube channel, click on the bell and leave your comments.

If you do that, you will help us make more videos like the ones posted in this article.

Or you can hire us to do a video sponsored by you, whatever works best for you.

Decorated Retaining wall

Materials and Techniques for this Example of Retaining walls

Materials and Technique: 

Retaining walls can be constructed of many different materials and with a variety of building techniques.

The Video that we produced, is focused on a wall made with a rigid, monolithic Block as the structure of this wall.

For those who don’t know, Monolithic means, one solid block of poured concrete.  

Adding to it, often we use steel, lumber, and other reinforcements that are also used in the process of building this type of retaining walls. 

Retaining walls

Type of Retaining Wall Chosen for our Video:

Type of Construction for this Example of Retaining Wall:

This retaining wall video will focus on walls, that are constructed from the bottom up, and where a stable back-slope can be created during excavation (at least temporarily) prior to wall construction. 

This video talks about one type of Retaining wall, like I said, a gravity wall and in an “L” shape profile.

To simplify, we chose a typical “L”design for a gravity wall, just like the engineering video.

We added the most important construction considerations to illustrate the components of a good retaining wall of that type.

We will skip over details about groundwork or compaction, since these are entire topics on their own right.

Let us know, by commenting on the video, if you would be interested in having us explain this further on future videos.

Retaining wall designers and builders of any kind, should be familiar with, and follow the procedures required for soil preparation and backfill compaction methods.

These things are usually recommended by the engineers and dictated by the appropriate local building codes and building authorities when building any retaining wall.

Contact your local Building and Safety-  Grading Engineering Department to find out more.

The Ultimate Handyman can help you with your cinderblock wall needs. Call us if you have any project that includes cinder blocks.
Sometimes all it takes is a lot of concrete to make your dreams concrete! Remember The Ultimate Handyman serves concrete jobs in Los Angeles.

Important to know:

With poured concrete retaining walls, backfill is placed between the wall and the slope after the wall is constructed; therefore, many engineers call the retained soil behind a retaining wall as backfill. 

A gravity retaining wall “L” shape, as exemplified in this sketch, was chosen for this video, because it is one of the most common types of retaining walls.

This is called gravity retaining walls because the weight of the materials behind the wall, and the volume of the wall itself, as long as the wall is monolithic and solid, will maintain its stability by gravity. 

The building of this type of wall, although seemingly complicated, it’s the simplest and most efficient general design.

Probably that is why many engineers prescribe this type of wall for most of the not-so-drastic terrains, because it is a simpler solution and cost-efficient.

Retaining Wall Build in 5 Steps: Watch our Video.

Retaining Wall Built in 5 easy Steps.


This is the first step after you have dealt with engineering, which is grading.

It involves excavating the areas to be retained, and shaving away the hillside to fit all elements of the new retaining wall.

The surface where the base of the wall will be built, needs to be spacious enough so that all of the steel reinforcements and forms will fit inside and can be made stable. 


If you don’t buy pre-made cages, all the steel reinforcements have to be built and installed in place, usually it still looks like a cage and it is built according to engineering design. 

It includes sizes of rebar, positioning of each rebar and distancing according to plans. 


We build temporary wood or steel-plate forms. These are built to create the final shape of the concrete wall.  


After the temporary concrete forms are in place and strong enough to receive the weight of concrete in liquid form, a concrete pour is scheduled. 

All forms are filled with concrete and vibration tools are used to make the concrete fill every nook and cranny in between the forms and in between steel rebars. VO of animation.

The concrete pour has to happen in its entirety on the very same day no matter the size of the retaining wall. Unless you use additives, but that it’s a topic for another video.

A same-day pour has to happen, because the integrity and stability of this wall depends on the monolithic strength of the concrete pour. 

When poured on different days, that creates cold joints, which makes the wall susceptible to cracks.


Once the concrete sets, the forms are removed and the next elements can be put in place. 

Steel reinforced concrete retaining wall, wood forms ready to pour. The Ultimate Handyman will help you choose the kind of retaining wall your property needs.

Other Important Elements:


At this stage, some people choose to waterproof the backside of the wall. 

This is done to prevent future water infiltration, but if the wall is completely exposed to the weather and in an exterior area, it may not matter to you. 

Keep in mind that a bit of humidity always goes through concrete, and when evaporates, it creates an undesirable salt, that makes paint bubble and creates water marks on the exposed side of walls.

Drainage System to This type of Retaining Wall:


One step cannot be skipped, a french drain in this case. 

 But you may go with other pre-specified drainage system, designed to protect the wall against the forces of water accumulating on the high side of the wall. 

Retaining walls collapse for many reasons, but the most common reason  is the hydrostatic pressure on the high side of the wall; therefore, a drainage system is paramount. 

The most used drainage system is the tried and true — French Drain.

This system is composed of underground pipes, that are covered by fabric and  gravel, which allows water to penetrate inside these pipes, and flow safely to a discharge area. 

We will have a list of most common materials for an efficient drainage system, that you can download for free from our website, you can find a link at the description below.

Superficial drainage:

Superficial drainage is important, because you catch the bulk of water, before it even enters behind your wall.

 It prevents a lot of trouble, and if you keep it clean of debris, it will make your wall last much longer, a few generations I’d say. 

Before we go on, these are the sponsors that paid to have this video made specially for you. 

They build these walls and they refer their clients to watch this video to understand what they are getting into, so everyone wins in the end.

Drainage Installations and Repair Solutions in Los Angeles - Water drains here and will never be seen again. Los Angeles Drainage is our bread and butter. It may not rain much around here, but when it does we get you covered. Don't forget that sprinkler excess water needs to drain too!

Final and Most Important Part on Any Retaining Wall:


Now good-looking person, we reached the very final step that helps you feel safe standing on the low side of this wall. 

After all these systems are in place, a back-fill and compaction has to be performed according to engineering recommendations.

Backfill does not only mean that you will move the dirt to the back of your new retaining wall. 

It means, that careful layering and compaction has to happen to prevent water infiltration and further collapsing of the dirt. 

A professional grader can assist you in this step, because it requires the right equipment and proper techniques.

This is the simplest, but most effective wall to hold a slope behind a residence, but unfortunately it is still expensive. You can call us and ask if you need a price for any of these steps.

We truly hope we have helped you today, either with needed information or knowledge, but if you still have the problem and want it resolved, feel free to call us at 323-651-0635 and we will be glad to send you an technician to solve your particular problem.



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