Factors to Consider When Building a Retaining Wall

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Construction of a retaining wall is a beautiful and functional addition to your place. They easily increase the aesthetic value of your home and serve to hold back a vertical or near vertical face of soil that would have slumped or sloped without adequate retention. Retaining walls can bring about a phenomenal change in the landscape of your house by creating a visual interest in it or by separating one part of the yard from another. This is not an easy DIY task and must be left to professionals. A reliable retaining wall contractor can help you in building an appropriate wall after considering all the required factors. Here are a few factors which must be considered when building a retaining wall.

Soil characteristic

This factor helps us in understanding how long the construction will take to complete and which kind of techniques are to be adopted to bring out the best results. To avoid unforeseen future problems you have to choose locations based on their groundwater conditions. For all walls with sloping backfill and above 5 meters height the soil properties of natural ground and backfill should be estimated in advance, by performing tests on samples of the material involved.


Earth pressure

A retaining wall contractor has to appropriately select the type of lateral earth pressures that are anticipated to act on the wall. The earth pressure which acts on a retaining structure is contingent on the lateral distortions which occur in the soil. Therefore till the deformation condition is estimated accurately, a reasoned prediction of the amount and distribution of the structural pressure is not possible.


Stability checks

The stability of the retaining wall is the most important factor. It becomes essential to scrutinize each and every kind of stability by the retaining wall contractor, such as:

  • Sliding stability of retaining walls: This considers the horizontal direction retaining wall stability.
  • Overturning stability of retaining walls: This type considers the stability of the wall against toppling (turning over)
  • Global stability in retaining wall design: this check for an overall rotational stability.
  • Bearing Stability in retaining wall design: The bearing stability tends to be most critical when the retaining wall is based on the soil. Computation of bearing stresses on the toe and heel of the wall is to be checked.


Material to be used

The choice of the material to be used in building your retaining wall should be based on your budget and style. A variety of options are available to choose from, such as stones, concrete or bricks. Your choice must compliment your place and should also be based on the suitability of the material in that location.



Your retaining wall needs to have an efficient drainage system in order to prevent water and soil from penetrating through its structure. Add drainage pipes at the base of the wall to prevent clogging. These pipes must be in accordance to the material used for building the wall. A retaining wall without proper drainage is not a structurally strong wall.



It is essential to keep in mind while building a retaining wall that it must have a strong and safe structure. Retaining walls must not be built with poor quality material which would make them weak and liable to fall in case of any extra pressure. This is important for ensuring safety around the retaining walls.


Professional help

A reliable and experienced retaining wall contractor will provide you will long-lasting retaining walls. Hiring an expert will ease your work and give the required results. Choose the contractors after thorough research.




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