How to Build a Curved Concrete Seating Wall

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Concrete blocks allow you to quickly construct a curved seating wall. The blocks come in a variety of textures and colors, with some blocks looking similar to rock. When you are planning your wall, contact your local utilities for help with locating buried utility lines. You also need to contact your local building code authority for guidance on where you can place the wall on your property. Since your wall is made for sitting, it does not need additional reinforcement required by walls that measure higher than four feet tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Soil tamper
  • Paver base
  • Concrete stone dust
  • Concrete blocks
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Mason’s chisel
  • Construction adhesive
  • Lay a flexible garden hose on the ground along the line where you wish to install the wall. Dig a line with the shovel along the edge of the garden hose to mark one edge of the wall’s trench. Remove the hose and dig a 6-inch-deep trench that is wider than your soil tamper.

  • Compact the soil at the bottom of the trench you dug using the soil tamper. Shovel paver base into the trench, spreading it out so it forms a 3-inch-deep layer. Compact the paver base using the soil tamper. Shovel a 1-inch-thick layer of stone dust over the paver base in the trench.

  • Position a concrete block at one end of the trench you dug. Place a level on the block from end-to-end, side-to-side and corner-to-corner to ensure it sits level. Lower the second block into place so it touches the end of the first block, and then check the second block for level as well.

  • Drop a line of concrete blocks into the trench until you reach the end of the trench, checking that each block sits level. Hit the corners of each of the concrete blocks with a rubber mallet, setting the blocks in place.

  • Shovel first stone dust and then dirt into the space between the edges of the trench you dug and the concrete blocks you installed, stopping once you have filled the trench to the level of the surrounding ground.

  • Cut a concrete block in half by first measuring and marking the center of the block using a pencil. Score the block with an 1/8-inch-deep channel using a mason’s chisel. Place the tip of the chisel in the channel you made, and then strike the end of the chisel’s handle with a hammer to split the block in half.

  • Spread an even layer of construction adhesive on top of the first layer of concrete blocks. Position the two halves of the block you cut at the opposite ends of the wall, on top of the first layer. Place other concrete blocks on top of the first layer of blocks. Stagger the blocks’ joints with each new layer of the wall, and place construction adhesive between each layer of blocks until you reach the desired height of the wall.

  • Apply construction adhesive to the top of the wall. Place concrete blocks on the wall so they sit perpendicular to the blocks that form the other layers of the wall, forming a seating surface on the top of the wall. Allow the wall to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours before allowing anyone to touch the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you purchase the concrete blocks, ask for paver base and concrete stone dust so you do not need to take a second trip to the store.

References

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