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Building a Retaining Wall with a Mini Excavator Rental from Corning Rental

Does your yard in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Creston, or anywhere in Southwest Iowa have a slope that’s causing drainage problems or stealing precious space? A well-built retaining wall can be a beautiful and functional solution. But the thought of excavating and hauling all that dirt yourself might be enough to make anyone reconsider. Here’s where a mini excavator rental from Corning Rental (your trusted Iowa equipment rental source) can come in and make the process more manageable for the DIY-enthusiastic homeowner.

retaining wall

Before You Dig


Plan and Permit

 Always check with your local building department to see if a permit is required for your retaining wall project. Each city and county, like Council Bluffs, Clarinda, and Creston, may have specific requirements for materials, height, and other unforeseen setbacks to your project.

Design Your Wall 

Sketch out your retaining wall, considering its height, length, and desired aesthetic. Choose suitable materials like concrete blocks, natural stone, or treated wood.

mini excavator digging

Let’s Get Digging with a Mini Excavator Rental


Here’s where the muscle of a mini excavator rental from Corning Rental comes in handy. Our selection of mini excavator rentals will have the perfect size and power for your retaining wall project, whether you’re located in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, St. Joseph, Clarinda, Maryville, Atlantic, Creston, or anywhere in Southwest Iowa.

Mark the Line

Clearly mark the planned location of your retaining wall with spray paint or landscaping flags.

Excavation Time

With your mini excavator rental, carefully dig out the trench for the base of your retaining wall. The depth and width will depend on the height of your wall and the type of material you’re using. Remember to call 811 before you dig to locate any underground utilities.

Achieving a Level Base

Once you’ve excavated the trench, achieving a level base is crucial for a stable and secure retaining wall. Use the mini excavator’s blade to achieve a preliminary level, and then for professional results, consider renting a trench roller from Corning Rental. A trench roller compacts the soil at the bottom of the trench, ensuring a smooth, even surface for your retaining wall foundation.


Building the Wall


Drainage Matters

Add a layer of crushed gravel at the base of the trench to allow for proper drainage behind the wall.

Laying the Foundation

 Depending on your chosen material, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for laying the first course of your retaining wall. There are loads of videos on YouTube for the savvy DIY’er where you can learn about specific techniques that work for your vision. Ensure each block or piece is level and secure.

Backfill and Build

As you build the wall course by course, backfill the space behind the wall with compacted gravel. This will provide additional stability and drainage.

Safety First and When in Doubt, Hire a Pro


While a mini excavator rental can significantly ease the workload of building a retaining wall, operating heavy machinery requires caution and proper training. It’s important to do your research and learn as much as you can if you’re looking to save money by doing it yourself. When in doubt – hire a professional. Always follow the safety instructions provided by Corning Rental and prioritize your safety.

Remember, if you’re ever unsure about your ability to tackle this project safely or effectively, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed and insured contractor. Corning Rental can also connect you with local professionals who can handle the entire retaining wall project for you, no matter if you live in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Creston, or anywhere in Southwest Iowa!

Building a retaining wall can be a rewarding project that adds beauty and functionality to your landscape. With the right planning, a mini excavator rental from Corning Rental (your Iowa equipment rental provider), a trench roller rental for achieving a level base, and a healthy dose of caution, you can transform your sloping yard into a usable and attractive space!

Corning Rental: Your Partner in Productivity

At Corning Rental, we understand the importance of having the right equipment for the job. That’s why we offer a wide range of equipment rentals to our customers throughout Southwest Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. Visit us at any of our four convenient locations in Corning, Red Oak, Shenandoah, and Glenwood, Iowa. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to help you find the perfect mini excavator rental to help you get your project done quickly and efficiently.