Retaining Walls Explained

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Retaining Walls Explained

A retaining wall a can add incredible functionality and curb appeal to your property.

Understanding Retaining Walls

A retaining wall generally holds back soil where there is a large change in elevation. The retaining wall is a type of landscape design feature commonly used to terrace yards which originally had a steep slope. The retaining wall has numerous benefits, such as extending usable outdoor space and controlling erosion. This element of landscape design creates wonderful planting beds which bloom can bloom in the warmer months adding color and interest to your landscape. If you’re considering adding retaining walls to your property, here’s some information and advice courtesy of Corion Landscape Management.

Components of a Retaining Wall

The Base: A sturdy base is essential for constructing a retaining wall. The base of a retaining wall should be set below ground level. In fact, the taller an overall wall is, the lower its base must be set. A solid base is made of compacted soil as well as a layer of compacted sand and gravel which should measure a minimum of 6 inches. Corion Landscape Management’s landscape design specialist are here to advise you on what works best for you, your property and your budget.

Backfill: The backfill is the dirt behind the wall, which must be properly compacted. In order to ensure drainage, at least a foot of gravel or a similar aggregate should be placed behind the wall. If you intend to do landscaping behind the wall, top the gravel off with at least 6 inches of native soil. Corion Landscape Management assure your retaining wall is properly backfilled and constructed.

Height: The height of a retaining wall determines the load it can handle without breaking and how much extra reinforcement will be required. When applied to residential landscape design, these wall are generally between 3 and 4 feet tall, plus or minus depending on the landscape.

Drainage: Since water cannot pass through a retaining wall, it is necessary to build drainage into it to avoid water damage. This can be accomplished with a gravel backfill, built in pipes, or other drainage techniques. Our highly trained drainage specialists will work closely to assess your drainage needs.

If you have been considering a retaining wall for your home, commercial property, or home owners association in Whatcom or Skagit County, Corion Landscape Management is here to help! Corion Landscape offers comprehensive commercial, homeowner’s association and condominium landscaping for Bellingham, Mt  Vernon, Burlington, Lynden and all of Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

Example of poorly constructed retaining wall

Bad Retaining Wall




By |2018-10-02T11:23:03+00:00July 5th, 2016|Hardscape, Landscape|

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