4 Things To Plan Around On A Retaining Wall Construction Project


Retaining wall construction often requires a good bit of planning. You might not be sure what you'll need to plan around when it comes to a retaining wall installation effort. If you're unclear on what the potential issues might be, look out for these four.


Of the possible problems that could cause a retaining wall construction project to fail, height is one of the more notable. There isn't a definitive point at which you should stop using a single section of wall to hold back a hill. However, it's wise to think about using a terrace structure with multiple walls so you can reduce the strain.

If you're dealing with a 24-foot hill, for example, it might be wise to stagger four 6-foot retaining walls up the hill to limit how much pressure pushes against any one section. Not only does this avoid structural problems, but it can give the hill a very interesting appearance.


Many people perform retaining wall installation work to get runoff under control. However, this imposes a drainage problem because water can build up behind the retaining wall. Drainage is important. A contractor can study the situation and recommend how much backfilled gravel the wall needs. Similarly, they can determine where to install drainage holes to allow water to get out from behind the wall rather than collecting.

Stacking vs. Pouring

When people picture retaining walls, they often imagine large stones in stacks. Mortar to hold the stones together is sometimes necessary. This is a less structural solution, and it may be cheaper than some pour solutions. Conversely, pouring means putting down a concrete wall.

The upside to a stacked wall is its general appearance. If you don't use a high-end stone, it may also be more cost-effective. Pouring concrete, however, provides more of a secure and structured wall. Also, poured walls can typically be taller than stacked ones.


A retaining wall needs a foundation like any other structure. However, you can usually employ compacted soil or gravel fill to produce a foundation. Generally, the foundation will be wider than the wall, ensuring it has a solid base even if the hill moves a bit.

In some cases, you may also need to anchor the wall. The anchor system is usually a simpler version of the pier system that some home foundations use. A contractor will sink an anchor into the ground that will provide friction and help hold the retaining wall in place. 

For more information, contact a local company like Rosebrooke Land and Home, LLC.


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