Build A Block Retaining Wall To Beautify A Steep Slope

Build A Block Retaining Wall To Beautify A Steep Slope
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A yard with a steep slope can be difficult to landscape. Build a block retaining wall to add level tiers to your yard, which prevent erosion and provide a perfect place for a flower garden.

Photo by Scott Costello

Engineering your retaining wall is the most important part of the process, as a well-constructed wall should support a substantial weight of soil and plants. Proper drainage is vital to the long-term success of your wall.

Consider hiring a landscape architect to assist in design and planning. It’s possible that your expectations are beyond your DIY skill levels, which is always best to know before you start building.

Expect to spend a weekend or two to build this project. This Old House has a great video at the link below with in-depth instructions on constructing a block retaining wall.

How to Build a Retaining Wall [This Old House]


  • Make sure you check your local council regarding any laws that may impact your plans.

    My local council requires a building permit for any retaining walls which are higher than 500mm. As part of the application proper site plans are required and the wall must be designed and certified by a structural engineer.

    • I have a wall made out of wooden sleepers – they are starting to rot and give way. Would I need Council approval to repair / replace this with a block version?

      • You almost never need approval to repair but to replace maybe. Definitely if heritage listed.

      • Repairing something using the same material is just maintenance and wouldn’t be an issue. If you are replacing something then that is a new construction and you will need to check the heights allowed by your council before building permits are required.

  • i think its dependent on council areas.
    my area in adelaide only require council approval if higher then 1m.

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