7 Things You Should Know Before Building a Stone Retaining Wall

Stone Retaining Wall

A stone retaining wall holds back soil and add enormous beauty to your landscape. It prevents the erosion or sliding of the soil.

A stone retaining wall has 5 major types:

  1. Gravity Retaining Wall – It relies completely on its own weight to stand up. The ones used for landscaping purpose are made of mortarless stone or segmental concrete units.
  2. Cantilever Retaining Wall – These are made of reinforced concrete that functions on the principles of leverage. Their stem is much thinner. Their base is divided in two parts- heel and toe. The base under the backfill is called heel and toe and is another part of the base.
  3. Sheet Piling Retaining Wall – These walls are mostly used in soft soils and tight spaces. These are made of steel, vinyl or wood planks.
  4. Bored Pile Retaining Wall –It is considered an economical and cost-effective method of constructing either temporary or permanent retaining wall. It is mainly used in the construction of basement retaining walls. It avoids too much excavation to control ground movements.
  5. Anchored Retaining Walls – It includes cables or rods anchored in the rock or soil, behind the wall. It is used where high loads are expected.
  6. Here are 7 important facts you must know before building a stone retaining wall:

    1. The first thing you should remember is back filling in several layers is important for a strong structure.You can do it with increments of 8,10 and 12 inches, against the wall. If you do not want a sunken wall in the future, it is important to compact it well.
    2. To build a stone retaining wall, people normally use stone, brick, timber and concrete. Brick could be a good choice to give your wall a dignified look. Timber can be another option to build the wall as it is much cheaper and easier to handle than other materials.
    3. Since building a stone retaining wall is a complicated process, it is important to hire a professional with extensive experience.
    4. If you want to back fill the dirt, you can consider putting blue stone caps and then cementing it.
    5. It would be sensible to install a gravel base if you are building a retaining wall to hold back the soil. It can be done with a filter fabric and pipe. It will direct the water to your chosen route.
    6. The alignment and level of your wall’s each block should be checked. It would be easier if you start with a level foundation to do this job smoothly.
    7. If building a straight wall is not a priority,creating a curve could be a better choice. You can do it by placing a garden hose to the spot where you want to build the wall and dig about 4 inches in the front, following the hose’s curve.
      1. The tips mentioned above are helpful to keep in mind before you start constructing a stone retaining wall.

        Related article: Precast Retaining Walls: Attractive and Functional

8 thoughts on “7 Things You Should Know Before Building a Stone Retaining Wall

  1. Ridley Fitzgerald

    I didn’t know that there were different types of retaining walls. It’s good to know that the gravity retaining wall is used in landscaping. That is probably what I will do.

  2. Burt Silver

    My wife and I have been talking about building a stone retainer wall for a while now. We want our garden to stay beautiful, and to avoid erosion, so we are going to pull the trigger on it. I never thought about installing a gravel base to help the water go where it is supposed to. I will have to look into doing that. Thanks!

  3. Will

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  4. Jane

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  5. Teresa

    I am considering a retaining wall in my front yard, as we plan for what to do there in the spring. We have a lot of steps, and this post really helps me envision what it could look like with some landscaping. Thanks for sharing!

  6. john Mahoney

    I agree that making sure you compact the soil where your wall will be placed is essential. I understand that this can help the retaining wall do what it’s supposed to do and last longer without falling apart. I would want to make sure to get a retaining wall that would serve it’s purpose as well as adding beauty to my landscape.

  7. Jay Jorgenson

    I have been thinking for some time now about whether or not I should install retaining walls in my front yard. I live on an incline and I think it would look so good! The suggestion in this article to hire a professional to install your retaining walls is spot on because I think I would do more damage than anything else.


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