How To Build Retaining Wall With Landscape Timbers

You can easily build a retaining wall with landscape timbers using a few simple steps. This article will explain how to build a retaining wall with landscape timbers, the materials and costs, and signs of soil erosion. Learn how to build a retaining wall in your garden, yard, or lawn. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Construction methods

The construction methods for retaining wall with landscape timbers differ according to the size of the structure. A short-height timber retaining wall may be constructed using upright stanchions anchored in a concrete footing. Then, planks are laid on top of each other, usually 2x6s. Steel rods are then inserted through holes drilled through the timbers to grade. Deadmen provide additional reinforcement against bowing and buckling.

A retaining wall should lean into the hillside at a rate of one inch per foot of rising. The bottom of each timber should have a locking flange, which guides the next block. Alternatively, the wall may be tied to the hillside using deadmen anchors. These are 6-foot-long tiebacks set in the hillside, extending six feet back to a 2-foot-wide T-bar.

There are different construction methods for retaining walls, but there are certain factors that are consistent in all of them. One of these is that the timbers are naturally matched to the surrounding landscape. As long as the wood is stained to match the rest of the home, the timbers will blend in beautifully with it. Timber walls are particularly suitable for woodland gardens. In addition to the natural look, a timber retaining wall can be a great accent in any outdoor space.

The cost of concrete blocks has led to some people to believe that timbers are a cheaper option for retaining walls. In fact, concrete blocks are much more affordable and are widely available. Additionally, they offer more square footage than timbers. Timbers can be expensive to buy, and they may need to be replaced after a few years. If you’re concerned about the cost of labor, concrete blocks may be a better choice. Moreover, concrete blocks are made of natural materials. During their manufacturing process, they contain waste that is recycled back into concrete blocks.


For the most affordable and long-lasting materials for building a retaining wall, use 6×6 or 8×8 landscape timbers. They’re sturdy and affordable, and they can be joined with screws, spikes, or rebar to create a sturdy wall. For additional support, lay a basic crushed stone footing and install T-shaped timber deadmen. Use pressure-treated lumber for the best results; western red cedar is a good choice.

When building a retaining wall using landscape timbers, remember that the wooden planks are typically only 8 feet long, and that you must plan your design ahead of time. This limits your options and may result in costly replacements within a few years. Alternatively, you can opt for concrete blocks that come in different colors and styles. With these, you’re not restricted to a rectangular or square wall shape.

When choosing the right materials for building a retaining wall with landscape timbers, take the overall look into consideration. The resulting wall should be appealing and functional, and it must not encroach on a neighbor’s property. When constructing the wall, mark out the property line and make sure you leave enough room for the wall, backfill material, and deadmen. You’ll need a minimum of several feet of space from the property line.

Another advantage of using landscape timbers for retaining walls is that they are a relatively low-cost option. Aside from being durable, they are easy to install. Aside from their low-cost, timber retaining walls can blend in with the natural landscape. Just be sure to follow construction instructions to extend the life of your wall and its decorative appearance. If you’re new to DIY landscaping projects, timber retaining walls are a great option.


Depending on the size of the wall, building a retaining wall with landscape timber blocks may cost as much as $20 to $400 per linear foot. Landscape blocks are the cheapest option, but they must be professionally installed. If you want to build a high wall, you may want to hire an engineer to help you. This service can be costly, but it’s worth it if you want to create a functional retaining wall.

When selecting a company for your project, try to avoid getting an extremely low quote. Landscape companies are more competitive during off-season months, so asking about costs during those times will help you save money. If possible, request estimates from at least three landscape companies and get at least three bids. Keep in mind that you can get multiple quotes from different companies, so be sure to request an itemized bid from each one.

When choosing a retaining wall material, make sure you research the cost per square foot. Brick siding, for example, costs about $5 to $30 per square foot. Thin brick may cost less than thick brick, but you must be prepared to pay extra for this labor. Stone veneers are another option, but they may cost you as much as $100 per square foot. Stone veneers are typically made of concrete or rock molded to look like stone. Faux stone may cost from $5 to $15 per square foot.

A retaining wall can be both functional and aesthetic. A wooden wall can make a slope into level ground. A wall can also help protect your foundation from damage. A retaining wall can also prevent land from sliding, and it can help you to create an easy access path in your outdoor space. Further, wooden retaining walls can be used to improve the appearance of your outdoor space. So, if you are considering building a retaining wall in your yard, make sure to consult a landscaping professional before you begin.

Signs of soil erosion

A poorly built retaining wall may tilt outward, causing water to flow over it. It could be made of railroad ties or another organic material. If it’s not properly constructed, it may also have a weak footing or deteriorate over time. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent soil erosion. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss some of the most common causes of soil erosion.

First, check the slope of the soil behind the retaining wall. It should lean into the hill by at least one inch for every 12 inches. If it’s more than that, you may need to install structures or other special stabilization techniques. If the slope is steep, check for drainage and make adjustments as necessary. Soil that drains poorly may require the addition of drainage tiles. Heavy clay soil will not drain well, while sandy soil will drain well.

When building a retaining wall, it is vital to check the slope of the ground. A wall that leans into the hillside by one inch for every 12 inches of height is ideal. For timber walls four feet or taller, tie them to the hillside with deadmen anchors. Deadmen anchors are T-shaped tiebacks that extend six feet backwards to a 2-foot-wide T-bar.

Aside from soil erosion, you may also notice exposed roots and patches of dead land. When soil erosion reaches this point, plants may even die. You may also notice a change in the landscape, including more rocks and denser soil. If you’re concerned about erosion, you may want to call a professional retaining wall contractor and discuss your options. If you’re unsure of the type of retaining wall you need, consider consulting a hardscape installer.


If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to landscaping timbers for a retaining wall, you should look into other materials. Bricks and stones are two popular alternatives. These materials are typically used for retaining walls, raised beds, and planters, but you can also use them for other purposes, like building stone garden bridges. They can cost between eight and twelve dollars per square foot, depending on the materials.

Another alternative to landscape timbers is plastic lumber, also known as BestPLUS. Plastic lumber is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to wood. Made from 98% recycled plastic, BestPLUS is ideal for building retaining walls and other ground-contact applications. Because plastic lumber is made from recycled plastic, it’s as easy to work with as natural wood, and it uses similar tools and hardware to build a retaining wall.

Another alternative to landscape timbers is soil bioengineered walls, which are composed of plants. These trees grow into each other and provide a stabilizing framework. They also have large root systems that hold soil together without any additional support. This is a good option for hillside gardens and other sensitive areas, as they prevent lateral shifting and erosion. These materials can be costly, but they’re a good choice for many projects.

As with many landscaping materials, landscape timbers offer versatility and a natural look. They come in a wide range of sizes and can be cut to fit your exact specifications. This means that you can create custom shapes and sizes, even if your retaining wall isn’t the standard square or rectangular shape. However, because landscape timbers are not structurally rated, they’re best suited for decorative purposes.

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