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Retaining wall types
Our simple 3 steps
Step 1 - Decide on the type of retaining wall
One of the hardest things to do is to select the right retaining wall type.
Each retaining wall type has pros and cons.
Our support can help you select the right one for your requirements and budget.
Step 2 - Design the retaining wall
Our structural engineer is a specialist retaining wall expert. We can turn around retaining wall designs in a matter of days.
You will receive a full retaining wall report, a complete set of calculations, and a sketch showing you the design, including the material specifications.
You will also be protected by our professional indemnity insurance allowing you to sleep at night.
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Frequently asked questions
We have answered some of the common questions we receive from customers relating to retaining wall types, costs, designs, excavation, supply and more.
A retaining wall is a wall that retains soil, whereas a dam retains water.
There are many ways that a retaining wall can be constructed and designed. The four primary forms of design are:
- Soil Reinforcement
Retaining wall solutions provide a gateway to help you understand everything about retaining walls.
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This is a tricky question as each retaining wall type has a differently cost.
The best way to look at the costs of retaining walls is to compare the price differences of the various types. Download our retaining wall price guide for more information.
Prices will vary on the scale of your project; the more significant the project, the better the economies of scale.
The project’s location is important as concrete and stone prices vary in different parts of the country.
Retaining wall solutions have a supply chain of reliable suppliers and contractors. We can value engineer your project.
There are a few different types of retaining walls that you can build, and each type is constructed differently.
The key to building your retaining wall is to follow this simple process:
Step 1: Decide the type of retaining wall you want to build. The considerations are cost, look and the simplicity of construction based on your site conditions.
Step 2: Obtain the ground conditions and have your retaining wall designed by a structural engineer. Retaining walls fail because they have not been designed correctly. There are British standards for retaining wall design available.
Step 3: Create a schedule of materials and a bill of quantities and develop a budget.
Step 4: Get competitive prices for building the retaining wall, using reliable and trustworthy suppliers and contractors.
Step 5: Prepare a start date and build the project.
We can support you throughout the process and carry out steps 2,3 and 4 for you.
Go to contact us and ask a question to get started
King post retaining walls are very economical because they need the least amount of excavation and fill to build.
There are many types of retaining walls. The main categories can be split into two design types; cantilever and gravity.
There are three main types of cantilever retaining walls. They are:
- King Post
- Sheet Pile
- Secant Walls
- Precast concrete L shaped
- Hollow block L Shaped
There are four main types of gravity retaining walls. They are:
- Gabion basket
- Concrete block
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The easiest type of retaining wall to build depends on who you are.
Suppose you are a homeowner and you want to build a garden retaining wall.
In that case, Gabion basket, masonry and hollow block retaining walls are the easiest as the materials can be brought to the garden in wheelbarrows, and the walls can be built by hand.
If you are a contractor, speed may be the key driver, in which case a king post or precast concrete Lshape may be the easiest and quickest retaining wall to build.
If the retaining wall is higher than 6m, then criblock and soil-reinforced retaining walls may be required.
Retaining walls are designed to BS 8002:1994
BS 8002 is a code of practice for earth retaining structures used by structural engineers. The code of practice is the design and construction of structures to retain soils and materials with similar engineering properties, at slopes steeper than those which they would naturally assume.
The code of practice provides guidance for a designer who should be conversant with theoretical and applied soil mechanics with experience in structural design and construction.
Specialist advice should be sought with regard to the design and construction of larger structures and for those where the movement of the retained soils requires close control.
The code is divided into four sections.
Section 1 explains the terms used in the document and summarises the factors influencing the choice of a retaining wall.
Section 2 describes the site and geotechnical data that is required together with material properties. It gives guidance on the determination of the values of representative soil strength necessary for design purposes.
Section 3 identifies the design philosophy and the design methods for earth retaining structures, including the determination of earth pressures and the analysis of overall stable equilibrium. It defines design soil strength and considers the loads on retaining walls and the forces available to attain equilibrium with tolerable displacements. Guidance is given on methods of simple, practical design and on the influence of ground conditions.
Section 4 considers in detail various individual types of structure and application of earth pressure theory, together with matters of construction and maintenance.
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Retaining walls are designed by structural engineers.
The designs conform to British standards.
The key information as structural engineers needs to design a retaining wall is:
- Length and height of the wall(s)
- Soil Investigation report
- Drawing plans or photos
- Specific loads on the top of the wall
- Clarity on what the higher ground will be used for
- The postcode of the project
We can design your retaining wall go to contact us and we will give you a price
The cost of a retaining wall design depends on how many designs are required. For some projects, only one design is required, and others have multiple design requirements.
As a guide, a single design with all the information at hand is between £750 and£1,000 and then between £300 to £500 for each additional design after the first one. Tell us about your project and we can firm up a fee for you.
The cost includes:
- Analysis and understanding of the requirement
- Preparing a detailed report
- A full set of calculations for each design requirement
- Section through a sketch of the retaining wall
- Material specifications
To get started complete a form.