Retaining Walls And Steps

MWS builds top-notch steps and retaining walls to help you manage your property’s changes in elevation. If you are using timber or ties, carefully fill the area behind the wall with dirt and gravel until it is level with the top of the wall. To pin the timber in place, use an 18-inch piece of rebar driven into the soil with a 2-pound sledgehammer. If you hire out your wooden retaining wall, you can also talk about making it pretty. This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows how to construct a wood-timber retaining wall to create a play area.

It is important to remember to use posts and whalers that are strong enough to withstand the loads placed on your wall for the next 20 plus years… not just the next three. The depth and extent of the footer/foundation may vary depending on the region you live in, the frost line, the application of your retaining wall, and/or any code requirements that may apply. A retaining wall allows you to turn a useless (for landscaping purposes) slope into a terraced, flat area. Once you have your Sleepers in place and the drainage sorted, you can move on to adding the concrete mix to the trench in order to set your Sleeper wall into place.

Make sure you also allow for how tall you want your wall after the posts are sunk into the ground. WoodBlocX are also certified organic by the Soil Association, so there’s no need to worry about leaching chemicals (which can be an issue with other timber such as railway sleepers). I always imagine there must be an innovative, out of the box solution, but I guess a retaining wall is not something to experiment with. If there is more work than that, it is not the price of the wall that is being talked about. Even so, you can reasonably expect to get anywhere from 10-20 years out of a timber wall. How to build a treatedwood retaining wall; then step it up or down as needed to handle hills that slope sideways.

Retaining walls can be built using any material: at MWS we specialize in working with precast stone, natural stone and wood. In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to construct a wood-timber retaining wall to create a play area. To insure that the retaining wall and French drain will not cause water drainage on to adjacent property, show the location of the French drain outlet and indicate the existing and proposed ground surface drainage direction.

The soil itself needs to be well drained so that water can’t build up behind the retaining wall. If you’re considering one of the loose or pinned-block retaining wall system, keep in mind that these are not much stronger than graded soil itself and I’ve seen many that are buckling or tipping over as a result of being used where real resistance is needed.

Preserving partitions can be constructed with diverse materials from stone to timber. It’s one thing if people will be walking on the surface held back by the retaining wall, but it’s another thing if you will be parking a car or piece of heavy equipment. In the right setting, a timber retaining wall blends into a landscape more naturally than any other material. More post per length is one of the easiest ways to make a stronger retaining wall.


If a gate or fence has to be taken apart or removed in order to bring materials to the site and perform the work, count on adding this time to the overall labor cost. As you know, ties are 6 x 8 feet x 8 inches (more or less) chunks of pine, redwood, or oak treated with wood preservatives (usually creosote but sometimes also pentachlorophenol). First line the back side of the wall with landscape fabric to prevent dirt from oozing through gaps between the timbers. Check with the store and see if any literature or instructions come with the retaining wall blocks you purchase. Remember, good planning and preparation is the key to an attractive and functional garden wall.

Hiring an engineer to help design a retaining wall can run about $200-$500 or more, depending on the complexity and extent of the project. Once I completed my wall, I placed a layer of silt-fence material along the inside surface of the retaining wall. I am getting a quote tomorrow from an outfit using keystones, but I don’t expect it to be cheaper then wood. If you want to do the work yourself, you might choose to build two staggered low walls rather than a single high one.

Also, don’t forget to check with local building codes and authorities if you intend on building a wall that is higher then 4 feet, as there are certain jurisdictions and specifications that need to approved. Over time, wood will rot and cement will crumble, but if it is well built, a concrete wall will remain beautifully intact for a very long time. Building a long-lasting retaining wall is vastly more complicated than simply piling up blocks and shoveling dirt. Interlocking block retaining walls are typically middle-of-the-road in both materials and installation costs, depending on whether or not you use a mortar base or a mortarless wall.

Lastly, for those of you weekend warriors who want to take a shot at constructing a retaining wall, wood will be a more manageable project. While a stone retaining wall is often preferred to using treated timber, wood retaining walls are far more economical than decorative stone that costs more than $5 per square foot for the material and require more labor to construct. How to build a timber wall youtube.. how to build a timber wall how to build a timber retaining wall how to build a 3 tier retaining wall on a slope duration.

If you have a flat area adjacent to the top of a retaining wall and park a heavy vehicle on the surface, the weight of the vehicle also pushes against the wall. Advice nee Attach the pass plank exploitation tierce inch wood screws driven every dozen inches. Dead men or purling must be used on the soil side to hold taller wood retaining walls in place. In this example the first stair riser is the continuation of the base course of the retaining wall that the stairs are being built into. Railroad ties are heavily treated with potentially toxic wood preservatives and creosote. Retaining walls aren’t a one size fits all solution to shifting ground problems.

Wood retaining wall, front yard, yard ideas slope with wood retaining wall front yard, retaining wall ideas, diy retaining, yard ideas diy retaining wall. Garden walls are generally constructed as permanent fences to create patio and yard areas and to shield homes from street areas. Because many of the recommended repair are so expensive, we all live with a lot more ancient failed retaining walls that never get replaced. Maintaining wall stairs are built for the front and backyard entrances wherein the timber keeping partitions.

Sheet pile retaining walls use thick pieces of metal or wood inserted into the dirt, and most people don’t know that the walls are even there. You may even be adding this wall between two existing beds to create more shape or to create more of a focal point. Once the retaining wall is constructed, we haul in gravel for drainage and dirt to raise and contour the lawn, and finish off with seeding the new lawn and covering with straw to protect the seed. Again, the main point of this tutorial is to give you a general idea of the steps you’ll need to take and the materials used. I once rented a house in a very hilly area where a previous owner had a railroad tie retaining wall.

I used this method on 10 foot high brick retaining wall about 20 years ago, and the anchors are still holding. The gravel is covered with a landscape fabric to keep the soil from washing into the gravel and then compacted soil is filled in behind the wall. I read through your instructions for building the retaining wall, and wish to compliment you on the material specifications and clarity of instruction.