How to Build a Wood Seawall


A seawall is a barrier that is constructed to prevent water from eroding the front of property that sits on a body of water, such as a lake. Typically, a seawall is installed during fall or winter as some lakes that are water-controlled have their water level lowered. Seawalls are can be constructed of materials such as stone or concrete. However, you can also build a seawall using water-resistant wood boards.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes
  • String
  • Post hole digger
  • Metal posts with threaded studs
  • Concrete
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • 2-by-12 cedar boards
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Socket wrench
  • Rocks
  • Gravel
  • Topsoil
  • Determine where you want to build the seawall along the edge of the water. Place stakes in the ground where the seawall will be located. Tie a string onto each stake to indicate the position of the seawall.

  • Dig a hole for the metal posts with the post hole digger to a depth of 24 to 36 inches. Repeat this step to dig a hole every 5 to 6 feet along the length of the wall.

  • Insert a metal post with threaded studs into each hole. Mix concrete in wheelbarrow by following the instructions on the package. Fill the hole with the concrete using a shovel. Allow 24 to 48 hours for the concrete to dry.

  • Place a level on top of each post to ensure that each post is sitting level to the ground.

  • Measure each 2-by-12 board and make a mark where the mounting holes need to be located using the pencil. Drill mounting holes into the wood with the power drill.

  • Place the 2-by-12 boards over the threaded studs on the metal posts. Place a washer over the threaded stud and then hand tighten a nut. Tighten the nut on the stud with the socket wrench. Repeat this step to install the remaining wood boards for the seawall.

  • Place a layer of rocks or gravel at the bottom front of the wall to prevent erosion. Add gravel or rock as a back fill behind the seawall and then add topsoil.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the edge of the lake is tough dirt or gravel, you can dig a hole using a jackhammer.

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