When we were building the most inexpensive way we found to retain were these ugly retaining blocks. But, we can always fix that. Check out my shou sugi ban black retaining wall turned out.
Cement Retaining Blocks
We had to figure out a way to retain our drive way so we could keep our backyard flat. After getting tons of bids, these ugly 6'x2' cement retaining blocks were by far the cheapest. We purchased them from Jack B Parsons Concrete in Salt Lake City, Utah. We then had to pay for them to be transported and placed. Even with all of that we were under $5000 for this retaining wall. Now, we just need to make them pretty. View more details on our exterior here
Supplies for a Shou Sugi Ban Black Retaining Wall
- 6' cedar boards - I used the fencing boards from Home Depot
- weather treated 2x4's - Home Depot
- hammer drill
- impact drill
- black deck screws
- self taping screws
- tung oil
- metal saw horse
- miter saw
Instructions for Shou Sugi Ban
Lay your cedar out on metal saw horses and torch both sides evenly. It can get an alligator texture. That's just fine, I personally like the look.
Have a hose and water on hand. After I torched both side I water them down and use an acrylic brissle brush to wash off the ash.
I propped them up to dry.
Once dry I used a sponge and 2 coats of Tung oil to seal them.
Hint: heating up cedar can cause it to cup - bow in the middle. This is normal, I found if I torched both sides before cooling with water I had less cupping.
2x4 Framing for Retaining Wall
We found it easiest to build the frame on the ground and then stand it up. To attached the frame we used a hammer drill to drill the holes for the screws. Then we used self tapping screws and a drill to drill the frame to the cement.
Now that our frame is attached we can add the Shou Sugi Ban cedar easily to the frame with black deck screws.
Shou Sugi Ban Black Retaining Wall Reveal
This Shou Sugi Ban Black retaining wall turned out even better than I thought I would. I do still need to put something on the top to close it all off. That tutorial is coming soon!