Tips for planning a retaining wall


Multiple factors must be considered when planning a retaining wall. The location of the wall is as important as its aesthetics. However, the most important part is the base material used to construct it and how to preserve the installation properly.


To ensure that the wall lasts for an extended time, it must incorporate drainage, be of an appropriate height, and use stabilization fabric. Any wall materials, locations, and size restrictions must be checked with local regulations.

Wall layout

The property where the retaining wall is installed must be identified as the first step in a retaining wall project. Use a garden hose laid on the grass at the determined location for a general layout. After you have the design, you must evaluate the area using several parameters. How are the site’s soils, and how much water passes through? This way, you will have a clear idea of the drainage needed behind the wall. Backfilling with three-quarter-inch clean stone is likely to suffice if you have sandy, well-drained soils. However, heavy clay soils that do not allow percolation and retain water may require a three-quarter-inch drainage stone and a perforated drainage pipe.

Wall height

After the layout is planned and complete, you must determine an appropriate height for the wall. Run a string line with a line level off the top of the slope; you can easily choose the size. Measure vertically from the bottom of the hill to the string line using a measuring tape. This way, you will get the measurement of the exposed wall height. Depending on the material used, around 6-12 inches of buried walls must be added to this measurement. You may, however, have to check with local codes to identify any restrictions on height that may be prevalent in your area.

Wall material

You have many choices when it comes to the construction material used to build the retaining wall. Some options are natural wall stone and timbers, decorative concrete blocks, etc. However, your options are not limited to these. You can opt for decorative concrete blocks in various finishes, colors, textures, and shapes.

However, if you choose a decorative concrete block, you need to be sure that the blocks you use are rated for retaining. Some of these decorative blocks are so designed for freestanding walls only. Just as with decorative concrete blocks, natural wall stones come in various choices likely to suit anyone’s style and preference. Natural stones may come at a slightly higher cost, but they are likely to perform much better and last longer than other products. The least expensive option is timber when discussing construction materials for retaining walls. However, it has become less popular over time. Are you looking to have a retaining barrier constructed or renovated? Choose Topmark Property Improvements to handle all your construction and renovation needs.