Constructing Retaining Walls The Right Way

Constructing Retaining Walls The Right Way

When building retaining walls, there are specific steps that need to be followed. This sizable piece of construction needs to be designed and built correctly in order to avoid being an eyesore or even a dangerous hazard.

Check Regulations

Depending on where you live, you may need permission from the council to build. Severing public utility lines is extremely dangerous and can also incur heavy fines for repairs. Before digging the foundations for your retaining walls, you will need to compare your plans with any available electrical and plumbing diagrams to be sure there is no running cable or pipes under your planned area. Dial Before You Dig may provide some valuable information.

It is a good idea to consult your neighbours if your retaining walls are to be built near your property boundaries. You might also like to check with an engineer if your walls will be holding any load-bearing structures or large trees.

Check Soil Type

The type of soil being retained should be a major consideration during the design and construction of your retaining walls. Different materials like clay or sand have various angles of repose – the angle of decent which they can be built without slumping. This will depend on the density of the material and how much movement it generates. If the angle of repose is surpassed, your wall will become unstable.

Create A Solid Base

Creating a solid base for your retaining walls is one of the most fundamental steps. The base of your walls should be set below ground level and made from compacted soil, sand and gravel, doing this ensures your wall stays flat and sturdy. The rule is that the higher your retaining walls are, the deeper in the ground they should be set.

Ensure Good Drainage

Constructing your retaining walls with effective drainage is a vital part of the design. Any water build-up behind your wall can lead to bulging or cracking. Installing perforated piping inside the base of your walls or creating small weep holes will allow for water drainage. Also compacting the backfill as you build will help direct pressure downwards instead of against your walls.


Well designed retaining walls should be able to support the soil behind it as well as loads from cars or buildings without the threat of bulging or collapsing.

Waterproofing Retaining Walls

The effects of water need to be considered during your design process. Constant moisture can not only discolour the face of some materials but also impact on the integrity of your walls.


Whether you’re a wanting to build retaining walls to hold back soil on an elevated slope, line the edge of gardens, buildings or driveways or just for aesthetic reasons, Solé Structural Landscapes has the expertise to make your project a success.

drainage, landscape design, regulations, Retaining Walls, soil type, waterproofing
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