Retaining wall: what is it, what is it for and characteristics

The retaining walls bring security and protection to the house, becoming a fundamental part of the construction. It does not matter if the house is large or small, modern or neoclassical in style, it needs to be present. That is why we have prepared this post so that you better understand the importance of the retaining wall and discover its main features.

What is and what is a retaining wall for?

You do not have to be an engineer or master builder to have heard of the retaining wall. The term is quite common, however, many people still have doubts about its meaning.

The retaining wall, also known as retaining wall, is a structure built with the intention of preventing landslides, sustaining the weight of the ground. They also help to demarcate and limit the area of ​​land and construction.

Retaining walls are widely used on hill slopes, bridges, highways, but also in residential buildings, especially on steep terrain or cut-off land, that is, they have been cut into layers to become flat.

But for it to fit perfectly with its role, the wall must be very well planned and executed. The professional who must be hired for the planning of the wall is the civil engineer. He will be responsible for performing all calculations for the construction of the wall, assessing the soil conditions and the type of retaining wall most suitable for construction, as well as the most suitable material for the work.

This is a very important stage of the work, so do not economize. The retaining wall represents the safety of the residents and the stability of the house. A badly constructed wall can bring great financial losses in the future, not to mention that it can compromise the integrity of the people who live in the residence.

Main characteristics of the retaining wall

A well-made retaining wall takes into account the effect of rainwater and soil moisture on the structure of the wall. This is one of the determining factors of this type of construction. It needs to be strong and sturdy enough to withstand the pressure that the wet earth will make on it.

A good drainage system is also very important, since it is through it that the excess water will be drained avoiding an even greater pressure in the structure.

The most used materials for the construction of the retaining walls are concrete blocks, which can be with or without metal structure. But there is still the possibility of building with stones, soil-cement (mixture of earth and cement) or gabions of stone - structure made of steel similar to a cage and filled with stones.

However, if you plan to economize with the construction of the wall you should opt for the concrete blocks and then coat them with another material.

In addition to the proper material and a good drainage system, the retaining wall also needs to be waterproofed, inside and out. This ensures that water flows through the drains only, preventing cracks and cracks. The best products for waterproofing the retaining wall are asphalt or PVC blankets.

How to make a retaining wall

The retaining wall is one of the first stages of the work and, as said before, must be done by a professional experienced in this type of construction. The first step in building a retaining wall is to prepare the soil by digging it to the full extent of the wall. Reserve the set aside land for use at the end of the project.

The structure is then started. The hardware must be folded and positioned in the trench. After the fittings are positioned, the base of the wall must be concreted. At this stage, the concrete blocks need to be positioned so that the iron frames pass through their cavities. Subsequently, the interior of the blocks will also receive the concrete.

After laying all the blocks, the waterproofing and the installation of the drainage system, which can be exposed or hidden, will start.

Finishing comes just after the waterproofing step, with a layer of concrete to cover any gaps or gaps that may have stayed in the base of the wall. Then the land that has been reserved is thrown over that concrete.

After completing all these steps the wall will be ready to receive the desired finish.

See 60 inspiring images of retaining walls in construction

Check out now a selection of photos with retaining wall designs. You will see that it is possible to unite the functionality of the work with the aesthetics of the house:

Picture 1 - Muro de arrimo received coating of stones and a flower bed of yellow alamandas.

Stone cladding wall

Picture 2 - Scenery of stones: they are present in the wall of support, in the ground and next to the house.

Stones on the retaining wall and next to house

Picture 3 - Lands that received cut also need retaining wall; like that of the image in the urban center.

Retaining wall in construction

Picture 4 - Wall of arrimo received coating of brick to integrate aesthetically the facade of the house.

Retaining wall with brick cladding

Picture 5 - This house in the middle of nature has a retaining wall that houses a swimming pool and a beautiful cascade effect on the outside.

Retaining wall housing a beautiful waterfall

Picture 6 - Many engineers choose to leave the drainage system hidden, so it does not interfere with the appearance of the wall.

Retaining wall with hidden drainage system

Picture 7 - This terrain full of cuts has several retaining walls made of stone to guarantee the support of the slopes.

Land with several retaining walls

Figure 8 - Another example of how the retaining wall can be integrated into the facade of the house .

Integrated wall of the façade of the house

Picture 9 - Between the house and the street of access is the wall of support; on the inside it helps to create a winter garden.

Between the house and the access is the wall of support

Image 10 - High relief walls, like this one of the image, need a differentiated structure to support themselves.

High retaining wall

Image 11 - Climbing plants help to embellish the wall in all its extension.

Climbing plants help to embellish the wall in all its extension

Image 12 - For the most basic, a white paint is already enough to give the finish of the retaining wall.

White paint on the retaining wall

Picture 13 - In this house of modern architecture, the retaining wall comes on the sides of the ground, helping to demarcate the construction area.

Retaining wall on the sides of the ground

Picture 14 - Low, but still indispensable for the safety of the house.

Reaching wall low for home

Picture 15 - In this house, the stone gabions were chosen for construction of the retaining wall.

Gabions of stones were chosen for the wall of support

Image 16 - Retaining wall has become a great place to receive people; built in layers, the wall received grams on the top and coating on the sides.

Retaining wall to receive people

Image 17 - Retaining wall made with concrete blocks and brick lining.

Retaining wall made with concrete blocks

Picture 18 - Retaining walls built with stones are more expensive, but the investment is worth it; Look how beautiful it is!

Retaining walls built with stones are more expensive

Picture 19 - In this project of modern architecture, the retaining wall is in the internal part of the construction, functioning like a wall of the house.

In this project of modern architecture, the retaining wall is in the internal part of the construction

Picture 20 - Large blocks of stone form this wall of supmo softly between the hillside and the swimming pool.

Large blocks of stone form this retaining wall

Image 21 - Low wall received in the upper part a flowerbed, completely decharacterizing the traditional aspect of the retaining walls.

Low wall received on the upper part a flowerbed, completely discharging the traditional aspect of the retaining walls

Image 22 - The stone of the retaining wall completes the proposal of the facade of this construction, which is based on wood.

The stone of the retaining wall completes the proposal of the facade of this construction, which is based on wood

Image 23 - Retaining wall that is next to the pool received a ceramic coating in brick format.

Retaining wall next to the pool received a brick-like ceramic coating

Picture 24 - Retaining wall with stairs in the center to give access to house.

Retaining wall with stairs in the center to give access to house

Picture 25 - Retaining wall does not need and should not be a forgotten place of the house, see how it was perfectly integrated the external area.

Retaining wall does not need and should not be a forgotten place of the house

Image 26 - Stones leave the wall looking firmer and stronger, but other materials are equally strong.

Stones leave the wall looking firmer and sturdier

Picture 27 - Retaining wall of stones makes a beautiful contrast with the grassy backyard.

Retaining wall of stones makes a beautiful contrast with the grassy backyard

Image 28 - The retaining wall does not have to be built with stones, you can choose to just coat it with them.

The retaining wall does not have to be built with stones

Image 29 - The slope of the terrain is accompanied by the wall, draining the excess rainwater naturally.

The slope of the terrain is accompanied by the wall, draining excess rainwater naturally

Image 30 - Rustic retaining wall received wood flooring and grass beds.

Rustic retaining wall

Picture 31 - This house counts on a green belt, besides the wall of support.

This house has a green belt, besides the retaining wall

Image 32 - House on the edge of the cliff was built on top of the stones, to help in the support was built a concrete retaining wall.

Retaining wall in the house with cliff

Picture 33 - It is very common to see walls of support integrated to the vegetation, especially in the houses with ample land.

It is very common to see retaining walls embedded in the vegetation

Image 34 - The wall of support is the house itself; in this type of construction the care with the structure and the waterproofing should be even greater.

The wall of support is the house itself;  in this type of construction the care with the structure and the waterproofing should be even greater

Picture 35 - It is very important to realize a proper leveling of the soil before the construction of the retaining wall.

It is very important to properly level the soil prior to the construction of the retaining wall

Image 36 - Relatively flat terrain received a low retaining wall to contain the small slope.

Relatively flat terrain received a low retaining wall to contain the small slope

Image 37 - Multipurpose retaining wall: it is ladder, support for the luminaires and support for the mini cascade of the pool.

Multipurpose retaining wall

Picture 38 - The house of modern style opted for a wall of rustic support of stones.

The modern style house opted for a rustic stone wall

Image 39 - Retaining wall, besides offering security and protection for the house, brings privacy and delimits the land.

Retaining wall, besides offering security and protection for the house, brings privacy and delimits the terrain

Image 40 - Low retaining wall helps to compose the façade of the house, bringing more harmony to the whole construction.

Low retaining wall helps to compose the facade of the house

Image 41 - Stones inside and out in this building.

Stones inside and out in this building

Picture 42 - To the house of dark shades, a wall of support of rocks in color of clay and climbing plants.

For the house of dark tones, a wall of stonecutting stone stones and climbing plants

Image 43 - Retaining wall demonstrates the size of the cut suffered by the terrain.

Retaining wall demonstrates the size of the cut suffered by the land

Picture 44 - Modern house with wall of support of gabions of stones.

Modern house with retaining wall made of stone gabions

Picture 45 - Wood house and wall of support of stones.

Wooden house and stone wall

Image 46 - Retaining wall in the external area with plant beds; on the floor, the wooden floor stands out.

Retaining wall in the external area with plant beds

Image 47 - High construction has gained a concrete retaining wall.

High construction has gained a concrete retaining wall

Image 48 - Stones of light tone soften the appearance of the retaining wall.

Light tone stones soften the appearance of the retaining wall

Picture 49 - Hillside received a larger wall of support than she.

Encosta received a larger support wall than she

Picture 50 - Following the style of the construction, the wall of support is also of concrete.

Following the style of the construction, the retaining wall is also concrete

Image 51 - Retaining wall integrates in the architectural design in colors and material.

Retaining wall integrates into the architectural design in colors and material

Picture 52 - Retaining wall of stones helps to sustain the house of modern style.

Retaining wall of stones helps to sustain the house of modern style

Image 53 - The almost flat terrain did not need a large retaining wall.

The almost flat terrain did not require a large retaining wall

Image 54 - Gabions of stone and concrete form these retaining walls around the house.

Gabions of stone and concrete form these retaining walls around the house

Image 55 - Natural retaining wall: layers of earth and plants on the surface to prevent landslides.

Natural retaining wall

Image 56 - Retaining wall brings structural security; the screens around provide protection against burglaries.

Retaining wall brings structural safety

Image 57 - Simple retaining wall, without great finishes, but fulfilling perfectly its structural and aesthetic function.

Simple retaining wall

Image 58 - The house built below ground level had to have retaining walls on the sides.

The house built below ground level had to have retaining walls on the sides

Picture 59 - Rustic and charming house with low retaining wall of stones.

Rustic and charming house with low stone walls

Image 60 - Retaining wall of stones does not need a metallic structure.

Stone retaining wall does not require metal structure