A Modular Block Retaining Wall Reshapes a Sloping Backyard

The retaining wall is nearly finished.

Many of our customers come to us for our experience and skill in beautifying their landscape, but some just need our expertise in constructing a functional structural element for their property; that's the case with this project.

A retaining wall was necessary to hold back the slope of the yard.

The homeowner had a two-story workshop with a garage that exited out the back of the bottom level – the only problem was that the backyard was on a slope and had issues with erosion. It became imperative that a retaining wall be built to hold back part of the slope and the rest of the slope be re-graded to provide a smooth surface to drive on.

This project was designed by an engineer because of the massive size and height of the wall.

Because of the scale of the retaining wall, climbing to around 12ft. in height, it necessitated being designed by an engineer and required permits from the city to build – in fact anything over 5ft. requires these steps. The company that manufactures the Diamond Block modular wall materials, used in the construction of the retaining wall, provided engineering services for this project. We worked closely with them throughout the process; they gave us the plans, and as we worked on the constructing the wall, they stopped by to ensure that everything was built to plan.

A mesh gridding was added between layers of block to prevent it from leaning.

As we built the wall, a layer of flexible fiberglass reinforcement gridding was added in-between the blocks, for every 2-3ft. in height it gained; this was followed by a layer of soils and gravels, which was then compacted. This mesh gridding is required for taller retaining walls, as it protects the structure during times of freezing and thawing (when the ground can heave), from being pushed forward and becoming unstable.

Drainage was also installed underneath the gridding, to help with any water build-up that might occur; a small, hidden, outlet for the water ensures that water is taken away from the area.

We re-graded the lower area of the yard to lessen the slope.

To finish this massive undertaking, we tapered the wall to meet the existing grade of the yard, and then re-graded the lower section. Because this was on a country lot, the homeowner didn't want elaborate landscaping done, so we restored the soil with seed and straw blanket.

The retaining wall, nearing completion, was a massive undertaking.

This project goes to show that whether it's a matter of form, function, or a helping of both, we're up for any project that lets us utilize our craftsmanship and ingenuity

Copyright 2016
Yardmasters Landscapes, Inc.