Print Friendly and PDF

Build a Retaining Wall in Sloped Garden

Retaining walls are great problem-solvers for a sloped garden, preventing erosion and stopping excess water flow.


If you have a garden with a slope, you will probably already have noticed that erosion is taking place, or that you have a problem with excess water flow to the lower levels of your garden. If that is the case, you should consider building a retaining wall or walls to solve these problems.

Retaining walls are a great way to create terraces to break up a sloped area and help slow water flow, which could be dangerous to your property if it pools close to the foundations of your house. A small slope will probably only require a single retaining wall, while a higher slope may need more terracing with retaining walls.






While many different materials can be used for retaining walls, one of the most effective and also organic methods is to use reclaimed beams, scaffolding planks, or railway sleepers. Since these materials are generally quite thick, they are ideal as retaining walls for small slopes, or several terraced levels. Other materials include brick, poured concrete forms, landscaping blocks, etc.

Digging to level out

On a small slope it probably won't take too much effort to dig out a level area to install a retaining wall. What is important however, is to check before you dig. Some properties have servitudes for municipal drains, and it is always better to check your property plans before you dig.



If including several levelled-out 'terraces', you might also need to build up steps for easy access. Again, there are many materials that you can use for this, treated or reclaimed timber being the easiest solution.

Ascertain the height

If the slope is in the garden and will not include any heavy loads, such as a driveway, you can install a retaining wall to level out the area to a height of around 40cm, even if you are going to be installing several levelled-out terraces. Anything more than that and you are better off letting a garden landscaper do the job on your behalf.






Deal with water run-off

If you have a problem with excess rainwater, you will be better off in putting down a French drain along the back of the retaining wall. This can then re-direct excess water flow to a safe area and out of your property.

To set up a French drain, you can use a special pipe that allows water to flow through, or you can put down a gravel bed that lets water flow on a gentle slope to one end of the retaining wall.

handyman australia



back to top