Can you build a retaining wall on a slope?

(919) 420 - 3620

Retaining walls add so much to your property. It can be effectively used to keep soil from eroding and can also be utilized to add visual appeal. There are many reasons why homeowners want to have a retaining wall constructed, and depending on the landscape the property currently has, they may be unsure if it would be possible to build a retaining wall, or if they need to look at other options.

To know whether installing a retaining wall would be ideal for your property, especially a hilly one, you may need to get the suggestion of a trusted and experienced contractor.

Would it be possible to build a retaining wall on a slope?

If the question is if it would be possible to construct a retaining wall on a sloped surface, the answer is yes. However, when placing a retaining wall on a slope, it is ideal to level the area first so that the wall will be constructed easier. If the slope is not leveled, there will be some issues that can arise during the construction and after the retaining wall was completed.




When an area is “sloped,” this would mean that it has a point of rising and falling, and is generally unleveled. Slopes are made due to the natural movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, and are recognized by their usual steep form.

There are many reasons why property owners want to build a retaining wall on a sloped part of their area, which is mainly for function and aesthetic reasons. Placing a retaining wall on a sloped or hilly landscape is a wise technique that will help you maximize your space.

What are the benefits of building a retaining wall?

If you are still not sold on the idea of building a retaining wall on your property, it might be helpful to know the advantages of constructing one in a specific area at your home, business, or office. There are many types of retaining walls that can be built with certain materials that will fit your specific need.

Benefits of building a retaining wall on your property:

  1. Retaining walls will protect your soil from eroding.

One of the main reasons why landscapers recommend having a retaining wall constructed in your property is because it helps in keeping your soil in one place. For example, in cities where there may be strong rains and other natural weather issues, it is normal for the soil to erode or be displaced in other parts of your area. When there is a retaining wall, it can assist in keeping the soil from getting washed out which is very important, especially in areas that are prone to have landslides.

When the soil in your property is soft, even strong winds can move it around, which can be dangerous.

  1. Retaining walls can make you use your space more effectively.

When your property has uneven terrain, it may be hard for you to make use of your available space. The areas that can be utilized for other purposes such as constructing another smaller building or using the space for gardening will be difficult or is simply not possible, wasting the land’s potential. To make better use of the space in your property, installing a retaining wall is an awesome technique you can use to open up the space and make the area more refreshing to look at. Although it may be expensive depending on the type of wall that will be constructed, it will surely be worth the price.

  1. Retaining walls are a great visual boundary.

On some residential and commercial property, the boundaries between places can sometimes not be observed, especially if the neighbors are abusing their own space. When this happens, not only is it annoying, but it can also damage your property or can be a safety issue. Retaining walls can be strategically placed to mark your property and is a discreet way of reminding your neighbors to not go over their property.

When fences are not doing the trick, it may be time to make a bigger (and more appealing) statement. However, you may need to ask for the consent of your neighbor before building a retaining wall if you are planning to build it between your properties to avoid any legal problems in the future.

  1. Retaining walls will add value to your property.

Aside from the many benefits installing a retaining wall can offer to you and your property, it also adds one important thing: retaining walls can actually increase the value of your property. When you live in an area that has issues with drainage, erosion, and uneven landscapes, a constructed retaining wall can make appraisers give your home or commercial building a higher boost. This is because many potentials buyers would want to get a property that is already ideally complete, and will no longer need any new construction.

When appraisers and buyers see that your property has a wall, it will be more convenient for them as they will no longer have to worry about building one, which will raise the price of your property.

  1. Retaining walls will make your property look more attractive.

Besides the function retaining walls provide such as maintaining the soil in your property and keeping it from getting displaced or eroded, serving as a boundary between two or more properties, keeping people safe from landslides, and adding value to their property, retaining walls are great for another thing, and that is its aesthetic appeal.

When you have a retaining wall installed on your property, this does not mean that you will need to have them for their function. Many homeowners who want to make a statement in their property ask designers and landscapers for a suggestion, and a retaining wall is one of the options. This is because there are many types of retaining walls that can be constructed in your property that will fit the specific theme that you want.

If you want a classic look, a brick retaining wall may suit your ideal theme more. Some materials available that can be used for retaining walls are wood, concrete, and boulders which are guaranteed to turn the eyes of passersby.

How do you build a retaining wall on a slope?

Retaining walls offer so much advantage to a property and for this reason, they will need to be constructed properly. When a retaining wall is built haphazardly, it can do more harm than good for your landscape. These walls are often (and are recommended) to only be planned and installed by licensed contractors and structural engineers.

When an area where the retaining wall will be placed in a sloped terrain, it can be difficult to place them and will often take a long time depending on the height of the wall and the material that will be used.

Of course, how a retaining wall will be built will vary on several factors. When this kind of wall is installed on a sloped terrain, it is usually for functional purposes, such as to combat the drainage problem of a certain area.

The usual process of preparing for the building of a retaining wall looks like this: Most seasoned contractors would lay down paver stones to mark the area where the wall will be constructed. Using a marking chalk or spray paint, they will mark lines to have a visual boundary of where they will dig a trench. The trench would usually be 12 inches deep or may even be deeper, depending on how sloped the terrain is. When the trench is dug, the contractor will start laying out the base by pouring crushed limestone and then aggregate to begin the process of constructing the retaining wall.

These are the materials that will be used for constructing a retaining wall:

Concrete stones

Spray paint

Trowel, shovel, or lake

Crushed limestone


Safety gear (goggles, gloves, etc.)


Wet saw

Landscape fabric

Brick, concrete, mortar, or other masonry units

How much does it cost to build a retaining wall on a slope?

There are many factors that will determine how much you will need to pay to have a retaining wall installed on your property. Some materials may be more expensive compared to other masonry units, and the difficulty of the project will also raise the price as well. Before hiring a contractor, make sure to do your research first by asking around the neighborhood for the locals’ trusted contractors. Many contractors offer a free price quotation before you sign up for their service, which would be helpful before you make your decision.

Retaining walls are priced per square foot. For a concrete wall, it may cost around $20 per square foot. Aside from the labor and materials, you may also need to secure a permit before building a retaining wall, which can be affordable or expensive depending on your local municipality.

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