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Retaining Wall Ideas for your Backyard

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Deciding on which kind of retaining wall to use depends on a myriad of factors. Remember, you have access to a wide selection of materials and designs to achieve a design you love! Consider your budget, style and retaining requirements when deciding between these popular retaining wall ideas.


Stone or Boulder Wall

By concreting stones or boulders in a tessellating pattern, a solid wall can be used as a rustic, natural retaining wall. 

While quite strong, this may not be the best approach for walls retaining large amounts of soil, especially if done DIY.

Brick Wall 

Strong and sturdy, brick walls are a traditional choice of retaining walls.

They need concrete strip footings before the wall is erected on top of it to ensure it can bear the weight of what it’s retaining, and require a keen eye for detail, constant level-checking and a couple of weeks to complete, making them best left to a qualified tradesperson rather than a DIY job.

For a more modern look, a render can be applied, however this will drive up the price on an already expensive project.

ModularWalls Retaining Wall

With an aesthetic almost identical to a rendered brick wall, ModularWalls retaining walls offer the ease of a sleeper-style installation, but the strength and durability of a concrete block or brick structure.

Installation doesn’t require any strip footings, base trenches or the use of cumbersome equipment and machinery. 

Its lightweight, modular nature allows easily installation by a regular DIYer in a single day, saving you a considerable amount of money and time.

Block Walls

With block retaining walls, base trenches must be dug prior to construction. Interlocking blocks can be sourced, eradicating the need for mortar or bonding supplies, and can be found in a variety of shapes, depending on your requirements.

The blocks themselves can be quite heavy and rough, so if this is a DIY project, safety provisions such as steel-capped boots and working gloves are recommended. If you suffer from back problems, or if the wall is taller than hip-height, consider having them installed professionally.

Timber Retaining Wall

Timber/wood retaining walls offer ease of installation and reduced cost, and provide a rustic, natural aesthetic to a space.

However, timber cannot retain as much weight as other products and may not be able to reach the heights you need. 

They’re also susceptible to rotting, warping, splitting or termites over time, and treatments must be applied pre-installation and retreated over the course of its life, raising its level of maintenance.

Gabion Baskets

Usually used in commercial applications, wire gabion baskets are making a chic comeback as residential retaining walls.

They can be a durable, cheap alternative to concrete, and you can get creative about how you fill them. However, they take up a large amount of room and do require wide strip footings, making it unsuitable for tight spaces or properties looking to make the most of their space.

Integrated Retaining Wall

ModularWalls offer wall and fence solutions that incorporate retaining panels into boundary walls or perimeter fences, providing a seamless finish. 

This is perfect for levelling uneven properties, or for garden beds that line the boundary of your/your neighbour's property, and save you the cost and hassle of having to use two different materials for one wall.



Written by Evelyn Kandris

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