A Retaining Wall Makeover for a Sloped Lawn

When rebuilding a landscape that has a slightly sloped lawn area, there are few solutions that work as well as creating low retaining walls. Visually attractive, retaining walls also offer the solution of leveling the ground so the landscape will have less water run-off and more stability.

Retaining wall systems come in many varieties and building material choices such as beveled faces, tumbled stone, or chiseled block. The easiest solution is to simply choose a regular block and stack it together for a gravity-held wall. There are also more secure blocking systems that assemble with metal pins or have an interlocking lip that adds additional security.

Creating a retaining wall with straight lines or a free-form design works equally well. What is important is that you consult with local building codes and homeowner association regulations before you buy a product. Mark the area you are going to build carefully and make sure that the area is free from irrigation lines, downspout drains, or loose scree. Build your low retaining wall on a level and secure foundation.

In order to calculate how many blocks you will need, you will need to divide the total length of the wall by the length of each block. To better understand how many rows you will be able to install, simply divide the wall height by the height of the individual blocks.

Quick Steps for Building a Tiered Terrace Retaining Wall

  1. Mark the area out with careful measurements.
  2. Dig out the stepped terraces; the gradual steps of the retaining wall should not run parallel to the slope, but be clearly stepped up in gradual placement so that plants and garden material can be placed on the level terraces.
  3. Dig a trench where each block will go, level the ground, then add paver base.
  4. Bury the first course of blocks about halfway. These will be your foundational rock for the retaining walls, so be sure to level each block as you go.
  5. After you place the first course, move on to the next and the next, making sure each row is level.
retaining wall for sloped lawn
retaining wall for sloped lawn

In the before and after images on this post, it is clear to see that the slope of the front lawn is not severe. However, adding a retaining wall and plantings significantly improve the curb appeal for the garden and stability for the landscape.

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