The Art and Science of Retaining Wall Design

Elevate your landscape with a deep dive into the principles of retaining wall design




Not many topics seem as boring as retaining walls, but in the landscaping industry, retaining walls get a ton of respect. They play a crucial role in not just holding back soil but also adding aesthetic appeal to outdoor spaces. Whether you’re dealing with sloping terrain or simply want to elevate the look of your garden, a well-designed retaining wall can be the solution. Let’s dive into the essentials of retaining wall design for a landscape that’s both sturdy and stylish.

At Borst Landscape & Design, our passion for creating functional yet aesthetically pleasing retaining walls sets us apart. Whether you’re looking to level a sloping yard, create terraced gardens, or add structural elegance to your outdoor space, our team is dedicated to turning your vision into reality.

For your free consultation, reach out today! Call us at (201) 762-9115 or contact us online.

Purposeful planning

Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand the purpose of your retaining wall. Are you aiming to prevent soil erosion of a slope on your property, or add depth and dimension to a garden? Identifying the primary function will guide your design decisions.

Selecting the right material is key to a successful retaining wall design. Concrete blocks, natural stone, and wood are popular choices. Consider factors such as durability, aesthetics, and budget when deciding. Each material brings its own unique charm and characteristics to the table.

To ensure the longevity of your retaining wall, adequate drainage is non-negotiable. Poor drainage can lead to erosion, undermining the stability of the structure. Incorporate drainage pipes and gravel backfill to allow water to escape and prevent hydrostatic pressure from building up behind the wall.

The height and slope of your retaining wall will influence the design and construction methods. Walls over four feet tall may require engineering expertise, so be sure to check local regulations. Additionally, consider the slope of the land and design terraced walls if necessary for both functionality and aesthetics.

Where beauty meets strength

While functionality is paramount, don’t overlook the visual aspect of your retaining wall. Incorporate design elements that complement your overall landscape theme. Consider decorative caps, colored blocks, or even planters within the wall to add a touch of flair to the structure.

A stable base is the foundation of reliable retaining wall design. Ensure that the base is properly compacted and level to distribute the load evenly. This step is crucial for preventing settlement issues and maintaining the overall integrity of the structure.

Depending on the height of your retaining wall, reinforcement may be needed. Techniques such as geogrids, which are synthetic mesh materials, can be used to strengthen the soil behind the wall. This extra support ensures the wall can withstand the pressure exerted by the retained soil.

Unless you’re an experienced DIY enthusiast, hiring a professional for the installation is a wise decision. Professional installers have the expertise to handle challenges, ensuring that your retaining wall not only looks great but also stands the test of time.

Borst offers innovative designs for every landscape

With a keen eye for design, Borst Landscape & Design crafts retaining walls that stand the test of time and enhance your landscape’s overall beauty. From selecting the right materials to implementing proper drainage solutions, we leave no stone unturned in creating a retaining wall design that isn’t just a structure but a statement. Our commitment to quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and personalized service ensures that every project we undertake is a masterpiece.


Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with retaining wall design. Call (201) 762-9115 for a free consultation.