If you are like most people, you probably don’t think too much about retaining walls until you need one. And if you live on a slope, sooner rather than later you will need to install a retaining wall to hold back the earth. So what is the best type of retaining wall for a sloped backyard? There are several types of retaining walls to choose from, but which one is right for your situation?
Factors to consider when choosing a retaining wall for your sloped backyard
Having a sloped garden can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it can give your home great curb appeal. But on the other hand, it can be a pain to maintain. A retaining wall can help you keep your sloped garden in tip-top shape while also adding some visual interest.
There are several factors you need to take into account when choosing a retaining wall for your sloped backyard:
1. The purpose of the wall
Is it purely functional or do you want it to be decorative as well? You should also consider whether the wall will be visible from the street or from your neighbor’s house.
2. The type of soil you have
The type of soil you have will play a big role in determining the best type of retaining wall for your sloped backyard. Different types of soils have different load-bearing capacities. Soil type is usually classified as either granular or cohesionless. Granular soils, like sand and gravel, have good load-bearing capacity but are not very stable. Cohesionless soils, like clay, have poor load-bearing capacity but are more stable. Soil erosion is also a factor to consider when choosing a retaining wall.
3. The slope of your backyard
The angle of the slope will also affect the type of retaining wall you need. A steeper slope will require a more substantial wall. The sloped yard may also need to be graded before the wall can be installed.
4. The height and length of the wall
The taller and longer the wall, the more load it will have to bear. This is something you need to take into consideration when choosing the type of retaining wall for your sloped backyard. The exact depth of the wall will also need to be taken into account.
4. The material
What will the retaining wall be made from? There are several materials to choose from, including wood, concrete, stone, and brick. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Getting the right materials is essential to ensuring the longevity of your retaining wall.
5. The cost
What is your budget? This is an important factor to consider when choosing a retaining wall for your sloped backyard. Create a budget and then find a wall that meets your needs without breaking the bank.
Different types of retaining walls
Now that you know what factors to consider, let’s take a look at the different types of retaining wall blocks available.
1. Gravity walls
Gravity walls are the simplest and most common type of retaining wall. They are made from concrete, stone, or brick and rely on their own weight to hold back the earth. Gravity walls are usually not suitable for very steep slopes or soil that is prone to erosion.
2. Cantilevered walls
Cantilevered walls are made from concrete, stone, or brick and are reinforced with steel rods or cables. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. However, they are more expensive than gravity walls and can be more difficult to build. Steep slope retaining walls may also require special permits.
3. Sheet piling walls
Sheet piling walls are made from interlocking steel, vinyl, or wood panels. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. Sheet piling walls are less expensive than cantilevered walls but can be more difficult to install.
4. Gabion walls
Gabion walls are made from metal or wire mesh baskets filled with rocks or other materials. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. Gabion walls are less expensive than cantilevered walls but can be more difficult to install. The landscape around gabion walls can also be difficult to maintain.
5. Soil nailing
Soil nailing is a technique that can be used to stabilize slopes without building a retaining block wall. Soil nails are driven into the slope and then covered with soil or another material. This technique is most often used on very steep slopes.
6. Brick retaining walls
Brick retaining walls are made from interlocking bricks. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. Brick retaining walls are less expensive than cantilevered walls but can be more difficult to install.
7. Precast concrete walls
Precast concrete walls are made from interlocking concrete blocks. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. Precast concrete walls are more expensive than brick retaining walls but can be easier to install.
8. Stone walls
Stone walls are made from interlocking stone blocks. They are suitable for both steep and gentle slopes. Stone walls are more expensive than brick retaining walls but can be easier to install. This can enhance the look of your backyard.
Take into consideration the drainage
When choosing a retaining wall for your sloped backyard, it is important to take into consideration the drainage. Poor drainage can lead to the formation of pools of water behind the wall, which can cause the wall to fail. It is important to make sure that any retaining wall you install has proper drainage.
Get help from a professional
If you are not sure which type of retaining wall is right for your sloped backyard, it is a good idea to get help from a professional. A professional can assess your property and give you advice on the best type of retaining wall for your needs. You can give the design and details of your budget and any other factors that are important to you, such as the appearance of the wall.
The Bottom Line
Managing a sloped backyard can be challenging, but with the right retaining wall, it can be transformed into a beautiful and functional space. Be sure to consider all of the factors we’ve discussed before making your final decision. And if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for guidance. Depending on your settings, a retaining wall can be a do-it-yourself project or one that requires the help of a professional. With the right tools, materials, and guidance, you can have the perfect retaining wall for your sloped backyard.
If you’d like to search for more sloping backyard wall ideas, you can check Pinterest or watch some helpful videos on YouTube.