StoneMakers Blog

Concrete Retaining Walls: How Do They Work?

A retaining wall is known as a section of wall that's put into place to landscape the side of a sloping lawn. Sometimes they are added to simply maintain the area from eroding or washing away due to weather. These retaining walls may well be made from concrete, large rocks, decorative slabs or even railroad ties.

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The form of the retaining wall depends upon the homeowner's proposed use and wishes. If the homeowner is adding landscaping to their home, they might choose stone slabs to build a decorative retaining wall.The hill or sloped area is dug out, either manually, a small bobcat or perhaps a large piece of digging equipment, depending on the size of the project.


The side of the hill or slope is dug away to generate a straight area to construct the retaining wall. Sometimes the area is dug into different levels to create a stepping-stone effect.When the sloping area is dug away, the ground needs to leveled out so that the retaining wall goes up straight. Adding sand and utilizing a yard roller to pack down the surface helps to achieve this.


The lower row of the retaining wall is laid into position and checked to ensure it actually is level.The wall is constructed from the ground up using the chosen materials. Once the wall has reached the intended height, a small amount of backfill is performed, or large amounts of dirt are added, dependant on the slope of the original area.


Sometimes the use of the retaining wall is just to level out an uneven sloping yard. The retaining wall may well be built higher compared to the slope and loaded with dirt. Sod is added, and the homeowner has developed a more level yard space.


Small retaining walls can also be built on level ground to bring about landscape designs. These smaller retaining walls are then filled with dirt to generate a raised flower bed or fountain area next to an entryway or back patio. These smaller retaining walls are usually only about 2 feet tall, and just serve as decorative appeal.


Significantly larger retaining walls are built along sloping edges solely to help keep the land from washing away or eroding. These larger walls are frequently made of concrete. For these, forms are put into place and concrete is poured into the forms. When the concrete hardens, the forms are removed to expose the large concrete retaining wall.


Unique to the StoneMakers system is that no forms are used to build a retaining wall.  The concrete retaining wall is built with a monolithic, or single section of concrete, providing greater strength and durability, as well as unique design features.


These concrete retaining walls serve the function of holding the earth in place to prevent the area from washing away. They are also used in cities to open up a sloping area for making way for sidewalks and streets to be added or widened

Topics: outdoor living area, retaining walls, concrete retaining wall