Construction Services

Types of Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are relatively rigid walls that hold soil in place laterally. They can be made from various materials, including Timber, interlocking blocks, and poured concrete. These retaining walls are generally designed to accommodate different levels of soil on either side. These retaining walls are a great way to protect a property’s foundation and garden from erosion.

Interlocking blocks

Retaining Walls

Interlocking blocks are blocks that interlock together in a retaining wall. The blocks have four corners and two edges, and some have a center opening around the center. They also feature connecting openings proximate to each corner. They form a wall that will be easy to build and maintain when stacked together.

These blocks can be made of various materials. Some are made of wood, while others are made of plastic, rubber, glass, or metal. They can have pictures printed on them, which gives them a decorative appeal. They can also be used to create a large design, with each faceplate representing a different scene.

Poured concrete

Poured concrete retaining walls can look beautiful and durable but require precise construction. Care should be taken when installing these walls because they can crack and fail easily. This makes them a difficult option for residential landscape retaining walls. However, poured concrete walls are increasingly popular in areas of mild climates. While they may seem a bit impractical for the average homeowner, poured concrete walls can match the architectural elements of many modern houses.

Preparing the footings for the retaining wall before pouring the concrete during the construction process is essential. To do this, stakes are driven into the ground where the footings will be placed. After that, a cement mixer is used to mix the cement thoroughly. The cement is then transferred to the excavation site by a wheelbarrow.


Timber retaining walls are constructed of large timbers, typically 6×6 or 8×8 inches in size. This thick material makes full preservative saturation difficult. As a result, decay may occur deep inside the timbers without visible signs of distress. Even forty-year-rated timbers may develop advanced deterioration in fifteen years or less.

The first step in building a timber retaining wall is to dig the base of the wall and place gravel behind it. The gravel should be positioned to slope toward the wall’s base. Then, place a perforated pipe through the wall’s base with the holes facing downward. Route the pipe out the end to prevent the base from sinking. After the base is in place, build the second row of timbers, but do not overlap the first.

Several different types of Timber retaining walls are available. Most retaining wall designs incorporate Treated Timber. Homeowners can build these retaining walls. However, you may need to hire an engineer if the wall exceeds four feet. Site plans may also be required if the wall is near property lines or easements.

Timber blocks

Timber blocks are a good option for retaining walls. There are many different styles and designs to choose from. Some are decorative and very sturdy. Others are more functional and can withstand a lot of weight. The retaining wall that best suits your needs depends on your space and what you hope to achieve.

Timber walls are not the best choice for retaining walls. They are not as sturdy as concrete and are susceptible to warping and splintering. Also, Timber is typically cut into eight-foot planks, making them limited in shape. In addition, Timber cannot be used on curved surfaces. Concrete blocks, on the other hand, can be easily shaped into any shape or size.

Timber walls are often made from Douglas fir, but the cost of large timbers makes them expensive. Timber walls made of railroad ties are also a common option, but these are recycled lumber and are often treated with potentially toxic wood preservatives and creosote. They also emit a chemical smell when heated in the summer sun.

Concrete Blocks

Concrete blocks for retaining walls come in different shapes and colors. They also have different textures. They are often made of recycled materials and are strong. Concrete blocks are a great choice for several projects. Concrete blocks are a great choice whether you want a traditional or modern look.

A split face concrete block is a retaining wall block manufactured with a decorative surface on one face. They have a similar appearance to a rough stones. Some versions of this block have scored lines on the face for additional decorative appeal. Split face concrete blocks are often cheaper than slump blocks and make retaining walls easier to build. Some blocks even have slots for horizontal rebar.

In addition to concrete blocks, cinder blocks are another retaining wall block. These blocks are hollow and contain some air, which reduces their weight. They are also less pressure-bearing than concrete blocks. However, cinder blocks are harder to find and may not last as long as concrete blocks. In addition to being an excellent choice for retaining walls, concrete blocks can also be used to build a garden bed.

Concrete Retaining Walls

The primary function of a concrete retaining wall in an urban setting is to adjust the natural slant of your land, leaving you with a more even surface for constructing a patio, building a garden, or enjoying the rest of your property more than you would otherwise be capable of. This function also requires a large amount of strength, durability, and wind resistance. These conditions only make conventional cement systems incapable of holding their own against hurricanes or strong winds. They are not designed to hold up against rain, ice, snow, or other forms of blowing weather. If left unrepaired, these barriers can quickly deteriorate and crumble.

The problem begins when the concrete retaining walls in your city are located outside. Even if you live in an area that never experiences extreme weather changes, there is still no reason to let nature get its sticky hooks. Just because the soil in your area is completely saturated with water does not mean that you have unlimited access to water. In addition, the moisture from rainfall and snow melting has nowhere to go but directly to the concrete retaining walls. Not only does this lead to faster corrosion and cracking, but it also increases the amount of maintenance required to keep your masonry system looking and functioning.

Luckily, several different types of materials can be used as reinforcement in any cast concrete retaining wall. Some options include concrete blocks of various widths, concrete plates, gravel, sand, stone, rebar, steel rebar, and blocks of different materials all designed to provide the wall with as much reinforcement as possible. All of these can be installed with little to no excavation, paving, or work being done on the site. There are even kits available that make installing these various barriers quick and easy.

Good drainage is one of the most important parts of any concrete retaining wall project. In fact, proper drainage can be one of the most costly and time-consuming elements of any wall project. In order to install drains, a trench will need to be dug to run drainage to the outside of the wall. Most drains are installed inside the wall so they don’t create unwanted water resistance, but some drainage materials will create water flow issues on the exterior of the wall if they are installed without enough space inside the wall for the draining length needed.

When choosing the right material for your concrete retaining wall, there are a number of factors to consider. First, you must choose the right size of wall you need. There is nothing worse than having a poorly designed wall. If you have a large area to work with, selecting the wrong material could cost you a lot of time and money because it will require a lot more work getting the system set up.

If you decide to hire a contractor to build your retaining walls, ask for references and bids from several contractors. Get bids from at least two contractors and compare them side by side. You can also do this on your own by calling the city and county planning departments to ask for plans and information regarding concrete walls. The city can also give you valuable information on the subject, but getting bids from at least three different contractors is better.

Some people feel that concrete retaining walls are difficult to construct, but the fact is that it can be quite easy, provided you follow the right steps. For instance, you must ensure that your wall is solid and flat before pouring the concrete. You should have a few inches of clearance around the base of the structure to ensure the safety of workers while working on the wall. It would be best if you had a clear path from the top of the wall to the ground so that the concrete can be pumped into place.

Most homeowners find that it takes them about four hours to pour concrete retaining walls using a boom truck. However, if you want it to be faster, you can use an electric bucket truck with a skid steer. In either case, it will take you less time.