Retaining walls can help turn "ordinary" landscaping into amazing work of art. They are easy to build
and maintenance free. Retaining walls can be constructied of natural stone, boulders or manufactured stone.
A retaining wall is a structure that holds back soil or rock from a building, structure or area. Retaining walls prevent downslope
movement or erosion and provide support for vertical or near-vertical grade changes. Cofferdams and bulkheads, structures that hold
back water, are sometimes also considered retaining walls. Retaining walls are generally made of masonry, stone, brick, concrete, vinyl,
steel or timber. Once popular as an inexpensive retaining material, railroad ties have fallen out of favor due to environmental concerns.
Segmental retaining walls have gained favor over poured-in-place concrete walls or treated-timber walls. They are more economical,
easier to install and more environmentally sound.
The most important consideration in proper design and installation of retaining walls is that the retained material is attempting to move forward
and downslope due to gravity. This creates lateral earth pressure behind the wall which depends on the angle of internal friction (phi) and the cohesive
strength (c) of the retained material, as well as the direction and magnitude of movement the retaining structure undergoes.
Lateral earth pressures are typically smallest at the top of the wall and increase toward the bottom. Earth pressures will push the wall
forward or overturn it if not properly addressed. Also, any groundwater behind the wall that is not dissipated by a drainage system causes an
additional horizontal hydrostatic pressure on the wall
Visit our "Retaining Walls" photo gallery to view a sample of our recent retaining wall projects.