How To Build A Wooden Retaining Wall?

What kind of wood should I use for a retaining wall?

The best kind of lumber for these walls is Douglas fir pressure treated with preservatives to discourage rot. It will be green or brown in color and rated for earth-to-wood contact. For timber walls, large timbers for can be very expensive, which is why railroad ties are a common alternative.

Can you build a retaining wall out of wood?

Retaining walls can be constructed with various materials from stone to wood. Pick a building material that will work with the look and feel of your yard. Some materials can be used to create curves; but a retaining wall made of timber will be straight.

What is the cheapest type of retaining wall?

What is the cheapest retaining wall material?

  • Treated pine and is the least expensive material.
  • Hardwood is more expensive than treated pine.
  • Railway sleepers are another – slightly more expensive – option and are built to withstand ground and water contact.
  • Concrete sleepers are more expensive.
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How long will a pressure treated wood retaining wall last?

Pressure-treated timbers are typically what you use for a timber retaining wall. The fun fact about pressure treated wood is that it is warrantied – but putting it in continuous contact with the ground voids the warranty. Even so, you can reasonably expect to get anywhere from 10-20 years out of a timber wall.

What is the easiest retaining wall to build?

For the average do-it-yourselfer, building a retaining wall is easiest when using masonry blocks that will be stacked no taller than three feet, with no mortar binding the stones or concrete members. (For a curved wall, mark instead with a garden hose or spray paint.)

Do I need drainage behind retaining wall?

Third, since most retaining walls are impervious, which means water cannot pass through the wall itself, efficient drainage is crucial. When drainage goes unaddressed hydrostatic pressure will build up behind the wall and cause damage such as bulging or cracking.

How much does a wood retaining wall cost?

The average cost to install a timber retaining wall is about $10 per square foot or $1000 for DIY installation of a 20′ long x 5′ high wall (100 sf). If hiring a Pro, the same retaining wall cost is about $2,800 or $28 per square foot.

How high can you build a wood retaining wall?

Your walls can be as long as you want, but limit the height to 4 ft. Add more terraces as needed to retain higher slopes, stepping them back about 4 ft.

How many deadmans are needed for a retaining wall?

Install one dead man every 6 to 8 feet around the entire wall. Continue building up the retaining wall, using landscaping screws to secure each timber. Cover the ground in front of the retaining wall with 2 to 4 inches of bark mulch.

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What can I use instead of a retaining wall?

Reinforced soil slopes are the most cost-effective retaining wall alternatives. Often times you are using the soil that you already have on hand and do not need to bring in any additional.



  • Reinforced Soil Slopes.
  • Natural Stone Walls.
  • Wooden Timbers.
  • Gabion Walls.
  • Soil Bioengineered Walls.

What type of retaining wall is best?

Timber and inter-locking-concrete-block walls are great DIY retaining wall ideas. Mortared masonry and poured concrete ones are usually best left to a mason.

Can I build my own retaining wall?

Retaining walls can be made from wood, bricks, natural stones or concrete blocks. For DIYers, it’s best to use concrete retaining wall blocks, which can be interlocking and are heavy enough to stay in place without cement or other adhesive. Interlocking blocks fit together and add extra security to the wall.

How much does a 6 foot retaining wall cost?

The average cost of building a retaining wall is $5,636. Most homeowners find themselves spending between $3,229 and $8,670. The cost of retaining wall materials ranges from $3 to $40 per square foot. Wall block prices fall between $10 and $15 per square foot, while precase, poured concrete runs $20 to $25.

How do you keep landscape timbers from rotting?

Keeping the timber painted



You should stop wondering, how to prevent the wood from rotting in the ground because painting is the most effective strategy to opt for. You have to keep the wood coated with quality oils, protecting spray, paint, waxes and varnishes.

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How high can a retaining wall be without engineering?

How tall is your wall? Most municipalities require a building permit and a design from a Licensed Engineer if your wall is taller than 4 feet high (measured from the bottom of the first block to the top of the last block).

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