Tips to Building a Retaining Wall

There are a lot of reasons you may want to include a retaining wall in your landscape design. A retaining wall is a great way to enclose a garden, level a steep slope, or prevent harmful soil erosion. A retaining wall can also create an inviting place for people to stop and rest. Whatever your reason, it’s important to keep several factors in mind when you’re building a retaining wall to ensure it’s accomplishing its purposes. These tips will help you make sure your retaining wall is built correctly.

The ideal place to put a retaining wall is at the bottom of a slope. These are places where water runoff can cause problems, and where you can lose the necessary foundation of your soil. Both of these issues can create major structural, draining, and aesthetic problems with your landscaping.

Because your retaining walls are usually in high pressure areas, faulty walls are going to cause you a lot of trouble. Retaining walls that are improperly built will lean, crack, or buckle. These issues come from poor drainage and improper support.

Due to the engineering factors in play, it’s advised that you never build a retaining wall over 4 feet in height. If you need to build a taller wall, bring in a qualified landscape architect so the job is done properly.

You’ll need landscape fabric, gravel, backfill, drainage pipes (PVC pipes), timber and stone to create a strong retaining wall. Dig a proper foundation into the ground. This foundation will include your landscape fabric, your gravel, and your drainage pipe. This layer is extremely important to ensure that you have proper drainage. Check and make sure you dig a foundation deep enough to support the height and size of your wall, as well as to handle your area’s level of frost.

When you’re building your wall, you can either go with timber or stone. Always carefully inspect every piece you put down for any cracks or other defects. Continue to add backfill as you build your wall so that it can compact thoroughly. Make sure your wall leans into the hill one inch for every 12 inches of wall height. Timber walls should be anchored to the hill using deadman anchors.

Retaining walls can be a great feature on our property. Just make sure you’re thorough. By following these simple tips, you can make sure your wall is safe and secure all year long.