Main Factors to Consider When Planning Your Retaining Wall Construction Job

Posted on: 11 September 2020

If you live on a steep slope, building a retaining wall can help control soil erosion while highlighting the beauty of your landscape. Proper planning is essential for the success of any retaining wall installation project. There are several things that you should think about to build quality walls that will serve the intended purpose. 

Below are some critical factors to consider when planning your retaining wall construction job.

1. The quality of on-site soils.

Different soil types have different compositions that determine the soils' properties and characteristics. Understanding the properties and characteristics of the soil at your site is essential to installing strong and reliable retaining walls. If the soils under or behind the walls are of poor quality, you should have them removed and replace them with better soils. 

The proper soils for retaining wall installation should allow faster compaction, drain away water rapidly, reduce the need for reinforcement and have better long-term performance. Generally speaking, sandy soils are favoured over clay soils when it comes to retaining wall construction because the former drains quickly and provide higher inherent strength.

2. The wall construction material.

From quarry stones to concrete blocks to large treated timbers, different types of materials are available for use in the construction of retaining walls. The right material for your wall construction job will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Location-specific issues.
  • The purpose of the wall.
  • Aesthetics.

When selecting a material for your walls, choose something that is suited to your site and specific needs. For example, stone or concrete walls provide long-term performance where taller retaining walls are required.

3. The foundation of the walls.

Any structure is only as good as its foundation. A strong and stable foundation is necessary to ensure the structural soundness of retaining walls. The soil under the walls should be properly placed (if infill material is used), levelled and compacted to create a strong and stable base for the installation of the walls.

Regardless of which type of wall you intend to build, make sure the strongest and most reliable materials are installed on the bottom of the wall.

While retaining wall installation is a project you can take on yourself, a DIY attempt at the job can be time-consuming and may not achieve the desired results, ultimately. If you want to take the guesswork out of your project, consider hiring a professional to work for you.


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