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In this series of blogs we re going to take this plain section of lawn and turn it into a beautiful backyard patio. Part of the project is this Catalina block retaining wall which is an attractive and functional way to transition from one elevation to another. The retaining wall blocks need to rest on a well-drained, level surface. For this project we ve dug down about seven inches, added a four-inch layer of compacted gravel and a one- inch layer of sand. When building retaining walls a general rule of thumb is to dig down an inch for every eight inches of wall height. ve also driven two stakes and strung a mason s line between them to make sure the first row of blocks is straight and level. Starting at one end, lay the base course of blocks. For small walls, fill the area behind the blocks with gravel and then soil. For larger walls, you ll need to install corrugated tubing, then fill with gravel and top with soil. s also good idea to install geogrid, a reinforced fabric that is covered with backfill and helps to anchor taller walls. Now you can stack the remaining courses in place. Use landscape adhesive. If you need to split a block it can either be done with a hammer and chisel or with a block splitter to make clean, precise cuts. Finally, the area behind the wall is filled in and landscaped as desired. To stay up-to-date on all of Menards how-to projects, bookmark to our channel, here!.