Retaining Walls for Looks and Function

Building a Retaining Wall for Function or Aesthetics

What’s the Best Material for a Retaining Wall?

Your retaining wall can be as simple or as intricate as you like and as tall as your needs require. Furthermore, retaining walls can be made of almost any material. They’re similar to fences but usually leave no way for critters, soil, or other items to get through. Before you decide on a material, think about your reasons for building a retaining wall.


Reasons for Retaining Walls

  1. Shore up sloping areas to impede erosion 
  2. Decoration or boundaries for gardens and flowerbeds
  3. Keep unwanted water from flooding your yard

How to Build a Retaining Wall

Building your own retaining wall is certainly possible, especially with all of the DIY kits and instructions available to you. Perhaps if this is your first foray into construction, you might feel more comfortable seeking the help of professionals who know the ins and outs of building this type of structure. The construction process will differ depending on your yard, your choice of materials and your reason for building a retaining wall. The basics of building a retaining wall include:

  1. Decide on the material for your retaining wall. How will it look in your yard? Will your budget allow the expenditure?
  2. Ensure that the foundation is sturdy enough to withstand a structure the height, length, and material of your retaining wall. A 6′ wall built on a hill will require foundation anchors that a 6″ wall around your tulips won’t need. Existing foundations can be shored up with gravel, concrete, and/or sand. 
  3. Know the soil or other filler necessary for appropriate drainage around your retaining wall.

Stone Retaining Walls

Stone retaining walls can be manmade or you might choose a natural stone for your wall, which can sometimes give off a more rustic vibe than manufactured stone. A stone in its natural form is literally a chip off the old block, the block being rock. Retaining walls made from stones can have a more intricate design since stones can come in smaller sizes and be held together with concrete or other filler. Stone retaining walls come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. 


Rock Retaining Walls

Rock retaining walls are often used for larger areas or projects. Rock is one of the heavier materials used in retaining walls, and certain precautions and guidelines need to be met when working with rock, especially large sizes. Bricks are a type of rock made with shale and are suitable for many types of wall construction. Rock walls are one of the best ways to hold back a hill behind your home. Rainy times of year can be dangerous unless you have a strong retaining wall holding a slope in place. 


Wood Retaining Walls

Wood retaining walls are one of the easiest to construct on your own. These can be used in above-ground gardens and for holding up different levels of your yard. Colors of wood can be natural, stained, or painted to your color scheme. You can increase the longevity of your wood retaining wall with a protective coat to seal the wood.

Regardless of the type of retaining wall you choose, materials can be mixed, uses can be varied, and you can get creative as you like. Try your hand building your retaining wall. If you need help, we’re just a phone call away