DIY Retaining Wall - Is it Possible?

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Building your retaining wall is an exciting project that can bring a new sense of pride to your home. However, there are many benefits and disadvantages to building a retaining wall yourself. Retaining walls have several uses. Its use as a barrier helps stop soil erosion in residential yards. It can help a landscape’s drainage problems as well. In some instances, retaining walls are built for aesthetic reasons in a landscape.

Before you get that rake and shovel and hit your first dig, join us as we will share expert tips and guides about DIY-ing your retaining wall at home to avoid any mishap to your future home project.

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DIY Retaining Wall - Hammer Excavation

Professionally Installed vs DIY Retaining Wall - Which is Better?

Do you need help with your retaining wall or hiring professionals to accomplish the project? Of course, there are pros and cons that you need to weigh before deciding.

Professionally installed retaining walls are more expensive, but they can be built with various designs and materials, allowing you to match your home’s style and needs.

DIY retaining wall construction is also an option; however, there are some drawbacks: first, it takes longer because you have to build the wall yourself (or hire someone else who knows how). You also need DIY skills when installing it correctly so that no gaps form between sections during assembly; this can lead over time to problems with leaks or cracks that could cause structural damage if left untreated too long.

Let us discuss this further.

DIY Retaining Walls Advantages and Disadvantages

Going the DIY route with a retaining wall can be fun and challenging. But the reward is a project that you can complete on your own.


Lower cost.

Building your retaining wall will save you money compared to hiring an architect or contractor. This can be especially appealing if you’re on a budget or need access to expensive equipment like cranes or jackhammers.

If you would want to build your retaining wall, you don’t have to worry about the costs of hiring a contractor or dealing with their delays or mistakes. This makes DIY retaining walls an affordable option that only requires a little investment from the homeowner or homeowner’s insurance policies. There are no surprises when pricing either since you know precisely the cost before starting any construction work on your property.

You can customise your design.

Structure walls come in various shapes and sizes, so there is no limit on how many designs you can create for your landscape and garden. Whether you want something tall or wide, slanted or straight, wood or stone – there is a retaining wall for every situation!


If you need more time to move forward with either option, it might be easier for you to build your retaining wall. You won’t have to wait for someone else to do all the work for you and will instead be able to get started immediately.

Control of Materials

You can choose the type of concrete mix for your project, as well as the thickness and shape of the walls. You can also make sure that you choose a site with adequate soil depth for the amount of concrete required for your project. This will allow you to build a more durable retaining wall than one placed on an unstable foundation. It will also help prevent any settlement caused by poor drainage or flooding in the area around your home’s foundation.


DIY retaining walls are one of the most common ways to the landscape. They can be built quickly and easily with minimal equipment. Still, they have some disadvantages you need to consider before starting a project.


The most significant disadvantage of DIY retaining walls is the cost. Often, the materials required for a DIY retaining wall project are more expensive than those used in traditional construction methods like block and concrete. This can make it challenging to justify building a DIY retaining wall if you’re not sure it will last for years and keep your property aesthetically pleasing.

Dangerous materials

If you know what you’re doing, DIY retaining walls can be safe. These structures are often built from wood or other materials that can become unstable when exposed to water for long periods or during heavy rainfall. 

These structures sometimes fall apart unexpectedly over time due to rot or termite damage. For this reason, you must hire a professional who has experience working with these types of projects so they can advise you on how best to proceed with your design ideas.

You may damage your property

The second disadvantage of DIY retaining walls is that they can damage your property if not done correctly. If there are wall cracks or the material used does not match the desired height and width, it will not look good and could even lead to more problems later down the road. Hiring an experienced contractor who knows how to construct a proper retaining wall without causing any damage is best.

You have to be in shape

One significant disadvantage of DIY retaining walls is that they require strength and fitness. Building a retaining wall can be difficult if you are not in shape. To make sure that you don’t get injured while building your DIY retaining wall, make sure that you consult with an experienced contractor before starting any project.


You are building a DIY retaining wall takes time, so that you may have less time for other things in your life, like family, work, or even hobbies!

Things To Consider Before DIY-ing Your Retaining Walls

Keep the following in mind if you consider building your retaining walls at home.

1. Make sure your retaining walls are strong enough to support the load they will carry.

2. Choose the best material for your retaining walls and ensure it is well-anchored before proceeding further with the construction process.

3. Decide how high you want your retaining walls to be, how wide they should be, and what type of anchor will be used for them (rebar or steel).

4. Make sure that you have a good understanding of what materials you need for this project before getting started so that you can get everything needed in one place and avoid any delays or issues later on down the line

Hiring a Professional to Build Your Retaining Wall Advantages

  • A professional will have the knowledge, experience, and tools to build a wall.
  • A professional will have the time to build a wall, and they’ll be able to do it faster than you can.
  • Also, if you’re hiring someone skilled in their field, which has been doing this for years, they’ll know precisely what materials work best for retaining walls—and which ones don’t.
  • Professionals will have the proper permits and licenses to build the structure according to local laws for safety reasons and liability protection (if necessary).
  • The contractor will provide you with a detailed estimate before starting any work.
  • The contractor can tell you whether the wall is strong enough.
  • They offer professional advice on how to improve the appearance of your yard. This could include things like landscaping, fencing or other landscaping projects.

Things to Remember When Hiring a Contractor

The most crucial thing in retaining wall construction is choosing the right contractor. You might be tempted to go with the first contractor you find, but you need to know what to look for. Here are a few things that could signal a lousy contractor:

Bad references.

If a contractor has no references, it is safe to assume they aren’t too honest or reputable. Also, if contractors have too many complaints against them, then it might be time for you to reconsider hiring them.

Low-quality materials.

Some contractors use substandard materials in their work. This can lead to poor quality artistry and more problems later on.

Bad communication skills.

A contractor needs to have good communication skills to avoid delays in the project and make her life easier when it comes time for repairs or maintenance jobs down the road (if applicable).

Inconsistent service.

If your contractor can’t keep his promises, it’s time to find a new one. For example, if he promises to do something and then fails to do it, you should be able to get a refund or credit for the work that was done.

They don't show up on time.

Any time you’re working with someone unreliable, it’s essential that they show up on time. The last thing you want is to deal with an unreliable contractor who needs to keep promises and save time.

They need to appear more knowledgeable about what they’re doing.

You might think someone who has never done this type of work before will know how to handle large construction projects, but this isn’t always the case. They could be inexperienced and end up causing more damage than necessary because they need to be appropriately trained on how to work safely around other employees and equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The wall will collapse when the earth behind a retaining wall exerts too much strain on it. A retaining wall’s failure can be caused by either faulty wall construction or insufficient wall design.

Retaining walls are an easy and affordable way to increase the value of your home. Changing or replacing a wall you install will be straightforward if it is built of natural materials. Additionally, they improve how adaptable the area around it is.

Positively, concrete is typically less costly than other building materials. Additionally, they are often easy to install, which results in decreased labour expenses.

If the wall is going to be more than one metre high and close to a road or walkway or more than two metres high elsewhere, planning clearance is necessary.


Retaining walls are the best option to add privacy, beautify your yard, or keep things in check. They make fantastic conversation starters or can even be used as a self-portrait when you’re finished.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to building your retaining wall. Suppose you’re looking for a quick way to save money on building materials or want more flexibility when designing the structure. In that case, this DIY project might be right up your alley! However, you want something that looks exactly like its professional counterpart or requires minimal maintenance afterwards. Hiring professionals might be better suited for your needs.

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