We are open and taking additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. Learn more
Patio in a back yard with built-in stone fire pit, half-circle stone bench and patio chairs

How High Should My Retaining Wall Be?

Stonework & Patio Services

landscape retaining wall

Retaining walls can be beautiful additions to your landscape but are most often installed out of necessity. There are many factors to consider when installing a new retaining wall, and the professionals at Four Seasons Landscaping are here to help you make the right decisions.

So how high should your wall be? Generally, between 3 feet to 4 feet high. But there are different factors to consider, including the material you use for your wall, the landscaping, and the purpose. Keep reading to find out the specifics you need to know!

Benefits of Installing a Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are carefully engineered systems that keep saturated soil from slumping and sliding away to damage the surrounding landscape. They can also create an inviting spot to sit and increase usable yard space, particularly for sloped properties.

How High Should My Retaining Wall Be?

Montgomery County requires all residential retaining walls to be no taller than 3 feet to 4 feet; anything higher requires a special permit. In any event, the maximum height permitted in Maryland is 6 feet, 6 inches.

When designing your retaining wall, consider these factors:

  • Support: Some retaining walls need additional structural support to keep them from falling over. These extra supports typically include buried footings, cantilevered design, tie-backs that connect to buried anchors, and steel reinforcements.
  • Foundation: While a gravel-filled trench is a suitable foundation for shorter retaining walls, larger walls need a buried structural footing usually made of poured concrete.
  • Backfill: Gravel or sand, not dirt, is the preferred backfill, as dirt can swell when saturated, putting pressure on the back of the retaining wall.
  • Drainage: Block retaining walls with gravel or sand backfills don’t normally experience drainage issues. Solid retaining walls need a solution that carries groundwater to outlets where it can drain away.

Types of Retaining Walls

retaining wall with walkway

There are four types of retaining walls, but there are many styles to choose from within those types.

  1. A gravity retaining wall can be rustic and natural or sleek and modern and are a good choice for tight spaces. You can build it to form stairs, corners, and curves and paint or stain it to complement your home’s style.
  2. A cantilevered retaining wall typically uses a solid slab of reinforced concrete to form an L- or T-shaped structure. Many homeowners choose to cover the concrete with decorative material.
  3. A piled retaining wall is usually made of sheeting piling, which means they’re lightweight, easily adaptable, and take up less space. They’re a great choice when you don’t have a lot of room for a retaining wall.
  4. An anchored retaining wall is ideal when you have limited space or budget. Materials include stone, brick, and concrete, and which one you choose depends on your goals.

Choose Four Seasons Landscaping for Retaining Wall Installation

Still a little unclear on how high your retaining wall needs to be? No problem! The experts at Four Seasons Landscaping are here to assist with all of your stonework and patio installation needs.

We provide complete landscape and hardscape services and place our entire focus on ensuring your retaining wall installation process is smooth and stress-free. Our exceptional customer service and unmatched quality of work ensure a retaining wall that’s as useful as it is beautiful!

Contact us today to learn more about how our professionally installed retaining walls can help you create the landscape of your dreams.

Schedule A
Consultation Today
  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 256 MB.
      Uploading photos is strongly encouraged in order to receive an accurate estimate.
    Financing deal image
    Same As Cash Financing for Up to 12 months!
    See Details