Constructing a Timber Wall to Match a Rustic Landscape

The timber wall nearing completion.

We've put up a lot of walls over the years, stone walls, that is – from modular block to Chilton, and everything in-between. But for this project, our customer wanted something a bit different. To match his rustic locale, and the extensive use of timber walls throughout his landscape, he wanted another timber wall installed, to provide a parking area on his hillside.

This customer had an existing carport, but was looking to extend the parking area around it. Unfortunately, his carport sat on the edge of a slope, so we needed to make space – that meant building a timber retaining wall to hold back the hillside, and then filling in the space to make a usable platform.

We used overlapping timbers with alternating cuts to create this look.

While this structure looks straightforward, it was anything but. We used overlapping timbers with alternating cuts at the corners to create this unique look.

Constructing this wall took a good eye and a lot of precision.

The interchanging layout process was precision work that required a detailed eye to ensure everything lined-up perfectly.

Since this retaining wall was more than just decorative – it had to support the weight of a car, after all – we needed to make sure that it wasn't going anywhere! This required significant support and anchoring to provide a safe, secure structure.

We used "deadmen" to help anchor the wall in place.

For this timber wall, we used tie-back anchors or "deadmen" to lock the wall into the soil behind it. While they may sound macabre, deadmen are essential to maintaining the structural integrity of the wall. Without the deadmen, the pressure of the soil behind the wall would topple it, but with them, the same pressure pushing against the wall is also pushing down against the deadmen, keeping the wall in place.

In a lower section of the wall, we poured concrete cylinders that extended down five feet, continuing on past the frost line; on the top of the cylinder, a bolt was used to attach the concrete support to the deadmen. This, in addition to the stand-alone deadmen, provided ample support and stability. With everything situated, we added dirt and gravel into the void, and compacted it for a firm foundation.

The timber wall required a drainage system, which exits through openings in the front.

The timber wall also required a drainage system so that during the spring, when the ground thaws out, the pressure from the water doesn't cause the wall to buckle. The drainage tubing runs along the bottom of the wall, and when waters begins to collect, it gets directed out the openings in the front of the wall.

With all the timbers arranged, and the supports, anchoring, and drainage in place, the wall, which was now nine feet tall, was nearing completion. After a few coats of stain, to match the existing timber walls, and the planting of wild grasses in the area around the wall, the structure was ready and the project complete!

While this wall wasn't like the typical structures we build, we are happy to adapt to different settings, and are always ready to tackle any landscaping challenge sent our way!

Copyright 2016
Yardmasters Landscapes, Inc.