Building Retaining Walls with Medium and Large Landscape Stones: Top Tips from Industry Experts

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Advice, Blog, Building, Construction | 0 comments

When it comes to enhancing the functionality and aesthetics of your outdoor space, retaining walls made from medium and large landscape stones are an excellent choice. These natural elements not only add a touch of rustic charm but also serve as effective barriers to prevent soil erosion and manage sloping terrains. To ensure your retaining wall stands the test of time and complements your landscape, follow these industry-best practices:

  1. Plan Your Project with Precision

Before diving into the construction, take the time to plan your retaining wall project carefully. Assess the area, and consider the wall’s height, length, and location. Additionally, determine the load and pressure the wall will face. This information will help you choose the appropriate stone size and type, ensuring optimal stability and functionality.

  1. Select High-Quality Landscape Stones

The success of your retaining wall heavily depends on the quality of landscape stones you choose. Opt for medium to large stones that have flat and stable surfaces. Irregular shapes may compromise the wall’s stability. Consider the natural color and texture of the stones to ensure they blend harmoniously with the existing landscape.

  1. Prepare a Solid Foundation

A well-prepared foundation is critical for the long-term stability of your retaining wall. Clear the area of debris and level the ground where the wall will be constructed. Excavate a trench for the first layer of stones, ensuring it is level and firmly packed.

  1. Compact Backfill Materials

Behind the retaining wall, use appropriate backfill materials such as crushed stone or gravel. These materials allow for proper drainage, preventing water buildup and soil saturation that could weaken the wall over time. Compact the backfill as you progress to maintain wall stability.

  1. Build with Proper Slope and Batter

To ensure structural integrity, construct your retaining wall with the right slope and batter. The wall should lean slightly backward toward the retained area to withstand pressure from the soil behind it. This design prevents bulging and potential failure.

  1. Interlock Stones Securely

During construction, interlock the landscape stones securely to create a stable and cohesive wall. Use smaller stones to fill gaps and ensure there are no voids. Stagger the joints between stones to distribute weight evenly and enhance overall strength.

  1. Consider Terracing for Heightened Stability

For taller retaining walls or steep slopes, consider terracing the wall. This involves creating multiple levels of smaller walls or steps, distributing the pressure more effectively and reducing the risk of wall failure.

  1. Incorporate Proper Drainage

Integrate drainage elements into your retaining wall design to prevent water buildup and potential damage. Use drainage pipes or gravel-filled weep holes to allow water to escape from behind the wall.

  1. Consult with a Professional

If you’re unsure about any aspect of building your retaining wall, consult with a professional landscaper or engineer. Their expertise will ensure your project complies with industry standards and local regulations, giving you peace of mind and a beautiful, long-lasting retaining wall.


Building a retaining wall with medium and large landscape stones can be a rewarding and aesthetically pleasing endeavor. By following these best industry practices, you’ll create a durable and visually appealing structure that not only enhances your landscape but also provides essential erosion control. Remember, proper planning, quality materials, and attention to detail are the key to a successful retaining wall project. Happy landscaping!

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