Retaining wall type

Garden retaining walls

About garden retaining walls

A garden retaining wall is a retaining wall designed for gardens and housing projects, they are normally constructed from masonry, for example, bricks, stone or artificial stone. The design is either gravity or gravity with reinforced earth.

Let’s now explore three types of masonry retaining walls.

  • Keystone – Artificial stone
  • Chevloc – Artificial stone
  • Porcupine – Artificial stone

Masonry retaining walls are ideal for gardens and landscaped areas.

When access is a restriction, due to the method of construction masonry walls can be built by hand.

Keystone retaining walls

Keystone blocks are 455mm long x 200mm high x 300mm deep and made by compressing a concrete mix into a mould. The blocks come in a number of colours, including hamstone, bathstone, terracotta, black, russet and more.

The walls can be built vertical or inclined. Walls under 800mm can be built with no soil reinforcement, walls above 800mm require soil reinforcement.

Keystone walls are ideal for use in gardens and housing projects.

Keystone retaining wall

Chevloc retaining walls

Chevloc retaining walls are very versatile split-faced precast concrete blocks, modular in design. The design allows for free-standing walls to be built in a variety of ways. The walls can be built straight or curved without the need for special blocks. The blocks consist of only two hydraulically pressed units. A base and a standard building block.

The key benefit is the simplicity of construction. Walls are dry built on a simple foundation without the need for skilled labour and minimal need for cutting the blocks.

Retaining wall solutions, Chevloc Retaining Wall

Porcupine retaining wall

The porcupine block is an interlocking curved concrete block. The block achieves stability by the spines on the top surface of one block matching those on the bottom of another. They are built dry and can be laid very quickly.

The porcupine block size and weight allow easy installation even in confined areas.

It is necessary to lay the porcupine blocks on a concrete foundation, which must be designed to ensure an appropriate safety factor against overturning and bearing stress.

Porcupine retaining walls

Geoweb® retaining wall

A Geoweb® retaining wall is an open cell plastic mat filled with earth to create a gravity retaining wall. Geoweb® walls can be built using a gravity design to 1m. After 1m, the design changes to a soil-reinforced design

The system creates an environment where plants and grasses grow within the retaining wall terrace, as you can see in the image above.

The vegetation system helps collect stormwater runoff. Soil-filled front cells allow grasses to grow and establish, creating a green wall.

The Geoweb® mat is very light, and the wall can be built using a local contractor and even DIY with some basic training.

A Geoweb® retaining wall is a very cost-effective solution.

It is important the soil is of the right quality for reinforcement. We 

can advise during the design stage.

Geoweb retaining wall

Gravity wall design

Every site is different, and every garden retaining wall needs to be designed for the site conditions.

The gravity wall design is very simple.

The foundation is constructed with a kicker that the first block sits against, this stops the blocks from slipping on the foundation.

The soil in front of the foundation and the ground friction prevents the foundation from slipping.

The mass of the concrete wall and the incline of the wall prevents overturning.

Garden gravity retaining wall

Reinforced soil design

The foundation and slippage resistance is the same for the reinforced soil option.

The excavation for the soil reinforced design is greater as the soil is going to be reinforced when it is replaced.

Soil reinforcement is laying a geogrid mat in layers, normally every other block course. Soil is laid over each layer and consolidated, creating a sandwich effect.

The reinforced soil stops the soil from shearing, creating a mass that acts as the main retaining structure.

It is important the soil is of the right quality for reinforcement. We can advise during the design stage.

Garden reinforced soil retaining wall


All garden retaining walls need to be designed for local soil conditions and caseloads. Go to our design section to learn more.

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    Compare prices of retaining wall types

    Which retaining wall type is the most economical to build? We have written a free guide on retaining wall price comparisons. The guide details the different types of retaining walls and gives you a price estimate of each type to compare.

    Retaining wall price comparison guide

    Garden wall retaining wall design service

    The design of a retaining wall requires knowledge of the retaining material, the water table, the ground bearing capacity and any site constraints. The design requires a ground investigation and a structural engineer to ensure the design is fit for purpose.

    We offer a full design service from carrying out the ground investigation to final working drawings.

    Learn about our retaining wall design service

    FAQs about garden retaining walls

    What are garden retaining walls?

    Garden retaining walls are walls that look attractive and can be built by hand in the garden. The systems we recommend are all dry laid saving time and can be built by a local contractor or DIY specialist.

    How much do garden retaining wall cost?

    The most asked question. To answer it, we have developed a comprehensive retaining wall design and price guide that will give you the cost of all the types of retaining walls so that you can compare costs.

    Go to Retaining wall design and price guide to get your copy.

    How do you build a garden retaining wall?

    There are two types of garden wall designs, gravity and soil reinforced. Gravity wall are built to a height of approximately 750mm and soil retaining wall can be built up to 3m high.

    The steps to build a garden retaining wall:

    Step 1 – Get the wall designed otherwise it may fail.
    Step 2 – Procure the materials
    Step 3 – Construct the foundation as the engineers details from the design
    Step 4 – Built the wall in accordance with the manufactures instructions.

    Tell us about your project and we can support you through the whole process including the design, buying the materials and giving you the information you need to build the wall. Ask a question or tell us about your project.

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    Whether you are a homeowner with a retaining wall problem or a construction professional looking for a solution, we are here to support you.

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    Retaining wall solutions, Chevloc Retaining Wall