How to Choose the Best Retaining Wall For Your Home

If you live in a sloping area, you need a retaining wall to hold pressure from higher ground. Choosing the right retaining wall idea not only provides protection, but also decorative elements for your home.

They can be rustic, elegant or modern, depending on your preferences. You can also build it with bricks, concrete, wood or steel.

Retaining walls, therefore, are used to tie two soils between two different terrain heights in situations where having slopes is not desirable.

Such situations include building basements, but a more common example when we use retaining walls is gardening and landscaping.

Of course, although it is very easy to assume that retaining walls are just walls built to accommodate certain types of soil, everything is not as simple as it seems.

For example, unlike normal walls that have lateral support above, the retaining wall is not. Normal walls are built to hold vertical loads while retaining walls face horizontal loads.

Building retaining walls requires an understanding of the best structures to be adopted. A good retaining wall must be able to withstand soil loads, and there are several ways to do this.

There are various parts of the retaining wall and the design principles of these retaining wall components are based on different factors and materials and construction methods discussed.

Each wall that supports significant lateral soil pressure is a retaining wall. However, this term is usually used by reference to cantilever retaining walls, which are free-standing walls without lateral support on them.

For such walls, the main design considerations are for the actual dimensions of soil surface differences facilitated by the wall.

The range of dimensions sets several different categories for retaining structures. The right retaining wall design requires the following evaluation:

Select the retaining wall location – Minimize soil excavation and backfilling, Optimize gradation and drainage patterns, Consider the features of existing sites.

Determine the Height and Geometry – Calculate the height of the retaining wall at its highest position, Identify slopes above and below the wall, Evaluate additional costs of vehicle traffic or construction, Choose the appropriate dough or wall setback.

Evaluate – Check the gravity wall table for reinforcement requirements, If a geogrid is needed, see the geogrid graph for the estimated lattice length.

Calculate – Use the Setback Chart to calculate the total wallback, Add the lattice length needed to determine the total wall envelope, Cross check the total wall envelope with the space available on the retaining wall site.

However, in a large number of situations (gardening) vertical pressure is not too terrible, so the ability of the wall to bear the burden is largely determined by the ability of building materials to deal with this situation. Therefore, we will look at some of the most common building materials and see how well they play the role of retaining walls.

Gravity wall

This wall holds the load from higher ground using only its own weight. There is no force vector that helps hold the wall against the ground push.

This type of wall is common, but can easily break or collapse, especially when the weight of the soil gradually rises (such as during the rainy season).

Stake Wall

This wall is placed firmly on the ground by adding extra soil on the front side. This means that the ground acts as the opponent’s strength from both sides, holding the wall in place.

Cantilever wall

This wall uses an expanded section at the bottom that reaches the higher side of the ground. Extensions act as levers that help stabilize the entire structure. The bottom of the wall is usually built wider for extra balance.

Walls anchored

This wall strengthens its own position by having cables and anchors to hold it. The anchors are embedded deep into the higher ground, which helps stabilize the wall against the ground’s impulse. You can combine these types of walls with other styles, such as cantilever styles or piles.

All retaining walls must have a strong base and a balanced structure, which gives them an advantage when holding ground loads. After determining the structure, you can start thinking about the material.

Unlike retaining walls on roads or hills, which require more strength than style, home retaining walls can be more varied in design. If the ground load is relatively light, you can experiment with materials that complement your home and yard.


Wooden retaining walls give a farmhouse style look that is perfect for a backyard garden. You can make vertical “fences” or horizontal wall panels to complement vegetable gardens, flower beds, or lawns. If you want a brighter display, choose wood boards or plywood.

Natural stone

Using giant stones or large stones for retaining walls will create a rustic look like a fortress. They are strong, able to withstand elements, and provide natural beauty without too much decoration. You can pair it with a flower garden or backyard vegetable garden.


Modern concrete beam walls are a fairly sophisticated system designed for fast and easy assembly. You simply stack blocks on top of each other and secure them with pins, clips or edges that are interrelated.

They are designed to be placed on compressed gravel. This allows them to be slightly flexible with ground motion and still remain strong. They are available in various styles in two basic sizes.

The size of a garden wall is the most common. It’s relatively small (about 12 in. In length x 4 in. Tall) and is best suited for accent walls around the yard and garden up to about 30 in. High.

They are perfect for making terraces or building plantations. They are lightweight (less than 25 lbs.), Fast to install and widely available in the center of homes, nurseries and landscape supply outlets. You can usually build walls of this size on weekends.

For heavy duty 30-foot high walls, use full-size blocks. Height of 16 to 18 inches. Length x 6 to 8 inches. High and weighs 50 to 75 pounds. You will usually find it on the landscape inventory page. Working with these blocks is a big job that should be left to the pros.

Large walls usually require the excavation and removal of large amounts of soil and gravel and heavy blocks themselves. Walls more than 4 feet tall must be designed by licensed engineers to ensure adequate strength.


Bricks are a classic choice for retaining walls. Vintage brick retaining walls will add classic elegance to your backyard. However, you need to maintain the surface regularly, because moss can easily grow over time which weakens the structure. Brick walls are ideal for areas with minimum rainfall.


Retaining walls that are entirely made of steel are rare. However, steel is very suitable as an addition, which you can combine with other materials. Steel retaining elements often appear as reinforcing elements (such as ground nails) or unique decorations.

Remember, when choosing wall restraints, always provide strength and adaptability above the display. You can determine the best wall appearance after choosing the right construction and material.

Keyword: Retaining Wall Ideas

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