6 / 18
Once a few rows have been stacked, backfill the wall with rock so it matches the grade height in front of the wall, and then lay down perforated drain tile on top of the rock. Install drain tee fittings and a drain grate every 25 ft. to 50 ft., depending on how much rainwater is expected to run down to the wall. Cut one retaining wall block down to accommodate the drain grate. Screw the drain tile parts together so they won't come apart when they get covered with more rock. Also, drain the tile to daylight at the ends of the walls whenever possible.
7 / 18
If the wall runs up a hill, continue each base course into the hill until the top of the second course is level with the grade, and then start your second base course at that point. If you have the option, it can be easier to excavate and lay the lowest course before excavating the trench for the next step, especially if you have to step up several times. Save yourself some money and install the cheapest style/color that matches the wall style (usually the gray ones) on the bottom course since it won't be seen.
8 / 18
These solid retaining wall blocks are heavy. Lighter, hollow blocks are available, but they can't be split because cutting will expose the voids. Also, some hollow blocks require individual backfilling, which is time consuming. Many pros prefer retaining wall blocks that are held together with pins rather than a lip on the bottom because pinned blocks work better on tighter curves, and the flat bottom makes them easier to stack. Also, the small lip on some lipped blocks can be prone to cracking, which will weaken the wall.