Is your house built on a hill? If it is, you know the struggles that can come with it. Whether that is soil erosion or having unusable inclines in your yard. With the help of structural and retaining walls, you can fix all those problems. 

Before you get started building your own retaining wall, you must know that there is a lot of planning and sometimes professional engineering that must be done before it can be built. 

The main purpose of a retaining wall is to hold soil behind it. Now as you can imagine, that soil behind it isn’t the lightest in the world. In fact, a basic four foot high by fifteen feet long retaining wall may have to hold 20 tons of soil pressure. That pressure only increases as the height of the wall continues to increase. 

That’s why it is important that you hire professionals like A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design to plan and build your retaining wall. We will make sure your wall is built right and will stand the test of time. 

If you do decide to take on the task of building your own retaining wall by yourself, make sure you follow these important guidelines. 

Check with the authorities


Some communities require homeowners to get a permit before they can start building a retaining wall. This is because retaining walls often affect the natural flow of water, which can impact the natural flow of water to your neighbors as well. 

Start with a good foundation


Your wall will only be as strong as its foundation. That means you will need to dig a trench and fill it with crushed rocks. Now, how deep do you need to dig that trench? A good rule of thumb is that your trench should be an eighth of the wall plus three inches. The additional three inches is how much crushed rock you should fill in the trench. That means if you want your wall to be three feet tall, dig a trench that is eight inches deep. 

Don’t build your wall on an unlevel surface


It’s crucial that you make sure the first row of your wall is on a complete level surface. If you don’t the remaining rows of your wall will be unlevel as well, which will result in a lopsided and unattractive wall. It also puts your wall at risk of crumbling to the ground. 

Stack your blocks at a slight backward slope


Like we said earlier, the soil that is behind your wall holds a lot of pressure. A wall that is slightly leaning back into the soil is less likely to be pushed out by the soil. Generally speaking, you want your slope at a minimum of one inch for every one foot it rises. 

Allow for drainage


Enemy number one for retaining walls is groundwater. As groundwater seeps into clay-type soils, it causes the soil to expand and put more pressure on your wall. To avoid this problem, backfill the space behind the wall with crushed stones and install a perforated drain pipe. 

A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design installs all retaining walls in accordance with the specifications set by the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI). This means that we do not cut corners because we know that your safety, and your investment, depends on it. We have been trained and certified through ICPI so that we can provide a product that not only looks phenomenal but will stand the test of time. 

To set up a consultation with one of our experts, call us at (847)-224-2167 or visit our website.