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How High Should My Retaining Wall Be?

Posted on: June 7, 2019

Stonework & Patio Services

landscape retaining wall

Retaining walls, while can be beautiful additions to your landscape, 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 to 4 feet high. But, there are different factors to take into consideration, including the material you use for your wall, the landscaping, and purpose. Keep reading to find out the specifics you need to know!

Do you need retaining wall, stonework, or patio installation services in the Maryland area? Call Four Seasons Landscaping at 240-252-4807 today! 

What Exactly Is a Retaining Wall?

Put simply, a retaining wall is installed to hold back soil (occasionally water). They can be constructed of a variety of materials, including cut stone, wood, brick and even natural stone, giving the homeowner a lot of variety in aesthetics.

These stone landscaping structures are most often created to add a tiered effect to landscape, holding soil back from spilling over into a yard, and are most commonly seen in homes with a dramatic incline in the yard.

There are four common types of retaining wall, including:

  • Gravity walls. These essentially hold back the soil by their own weight, with no special anchors or designs to aid in soil retention. Gravity walls are often used in residential property.
  • Cantilevered. Cantilevered retaining walls use a structurally reinforced “footing” to improve load retention, and to reinforce them against extreme force. Cantilevered walls often make use of ‘buttresses’ to further improve integrity.
  • Piled. These walls are usually constructed from steel, or wood plank set into the soil at 1/3 of their total height. Piled walls are particularly beneficial to tight spaces.
  • Anchored. More of a supplement than a unique design, anchors can apply to all other types of retaining wall, and simply denote the use of cable anchors to reinforce the wall.

How High Should My Retaining Wall Be?

retaining wall with walkway

There are a number of factors that come into play to dictate the height of your retaining walls. On average, most retaining walls are between 3 and 4 feet high. This is optimal because it doesn’t require any anchors, or expensive engineering methods, though in some cases the wall must be higher.

Variables that affect the height of your retaining wall include:

  • Extreme heights. Your wall requires a measure of clearance over the soil to ensure structural integrity. In most cases, this will not exceed the 3- to 4-foot standard, but for some landscapes, it may.
  • Unique designs. You can readily find retaining walls exceeding even six feet in residential properties. These walls must be engineered with particular care and consideration.

Professionally Installed Retaining Walls

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. From stone walls to other landscape design needs, get in touch with us!

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


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