How to Build a Strong Retaining Wall

When thinking about how to build a retaining wall, you may imagine how sturdy it will appear from the front, or how beautiful the new garden will look above it. But unless you give serious consideration to what goes on behind and below the wall, the wall design may not look good for long. A poorly-constructed retaining wall design wall can separate, lean, even topple – and it is out there in plain sight where your guests and neighbours can point and snicker. I am sure you do not want that, right?


Many people think that a retaining wall needs to hold all six gazillion tons of soil in the garden behind it. It does not. It only needs to retain a wedge of land. Gravity, along with the natural slope, directs most of the pressure and weight of the fill towards the lower part of the retaining wall. Since soil weighs at around 100 pounds per cubic foot, you will need pretty heavy materials, for example, large retaining wall blocks Darwin, boulders, timbers or poured concrete to counteract the pressure. The retaining wall should be installed correctly to offer the best support. Below are the fundamental principles in building a robust retaining wall:


  • Bury the bottom course of the retaining wall one-tenth the height of the wall to block the soil behind from pushing the bottom out.


  • Step back the blocks, timbers or rocks to get gravity in your favour. It lets the retaining walls lean and pushes against the fill. Walls built vertically get gravity working against them the second they start leaning outward even just a bit. Most concrete retaining wall block systems have some built-in lip or pin system that automatically creates the step back as you build.


  • Install a base of solidly compacted material to ensure that the wall stays flat. A level wall provides stone, blocks, and timbers with more surface contact with the courses above and below them. They fit together tightly. The stronger the connection, the more friction, and more solid retaining wall.


Apply these three rules, and you are sure to create a strong wall. But keep in mind that even a well-built wall will not survive unless you take care of the two issues: uncompacted soil and water.



Besides following the rules given above, you also need to work with the best builder if you want a durable retaining wall. Designing and building a retaining wall is not a walk in the park, and not many DIY enthusiasts can handle the project. Therefore, be sure to do thorough research and look for a reliable landscaper who has years of experience and a good track record when it comes to building retaining walls.