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Retaining Walls Made From Pressure Treated Timbers, Basalt, Allan Blocks or Landscape Boulders

Since the Lower Mainland is far from flat, retaining walls are often a necessity for preventing your yard from spilling into your neighbours, or vise versa. Retaining walls can also be used however to level out your own yard to create a more functional space, or even incorporated as a design element to help highlight or raise a garden. Whether it is time to replace the wall on the property line, or you are looking to level out your own yard to have a place for you kids to play we will be able to install a retaining wall that is functional, beautiful, and stays on budget. The type of material used for your wall will depend on the intended function.

Retaining Wall Installation

Retaining walls are essential for tiered landscapes or in between yards not on the same grade. If you have an old and failing retaining wall we will be able to replace or rebuild it for you in no time. We have experience building retaining walls using a variety of materials including basalt, pressure treated lumber ties, natural rock, and allen block. Whichever type you pick, know that we will build it with care and attention to detail ensuring it will look spectacular and hold up against time and extreme weather.


Pressure Treated Retaining Walls

If you are building a wooden wall that will be in contact with dirt it should to be pressure treated. The pressure treatment extends the life of your wall to 10-20 years by preventing rot. Pressure treated lumber is a cost effective and extremely common solution when the retaining walls purpose is predominantly functional. We use square cut ties that are stronger and last longer than round ties due to less surface area that stays in contact with dirt.

wooden retaining wall with a cedar cover

Pressure treated retaining wall covered with cedar and stained.

Basalt Retaining Walls

Basalt is a naturally occurring igneous rock created by the rapid cooling of hot lava. We love it because of its interesting grains and textures. It is cut in rough blocks that can be assembled with mortar to create a wall that blends the natural with the modern. The grey colouring and natural edges wonderfully frame gardens or walkways. Basalt walls are strong and can be configured into modern angular walls or beautiful sweeping curves.

basalt stackstone retaining wall

flagstone and basalt wall / patio

basalt stone wall

Basalt Stackstone Retaining Wall

Allan Block Retaining Walls

Allan Blocks are prefabricated interlocking concrete blocks; imagine strong and heavy Lego pieces. Allan Block is perfect for anyone who wants a retaining wall that really will last forever. It pairs wonderfully with paving stones or turf and gives your landscape the structure it needs. Don’t forget Allan Block can be used to create beautiful and functional outdoor stairs as well. Regardless of whether your unique landscape needs a straight, curved, or angular retaining wall, Allan Block might be the perfect solution for you.

allan block mini retaining wall

Allan Block Mini Garden Retaining Wall

allan block wall

Regular size Allan Block Wall, Patio.

Allan Block Wall Construction.

Natural Rock Boulder Retaining Walls

Natural Rock walls can be as diverse as rocks themselves. We have used six inch river rock to outline small gardens or two foot boulders to frame larger ones and even four foot boulders four rows high to create tiers on a sloped yard. Natural rock is stunning and sets a landscape apart from the rest. Whether your goal is to increase the curb side appeal of your home or create your dream backyard, natural rock is the crème of the crop. For an even more natural look combine natural rocks with ground cover like White Star Creeper.  

Natural Rock Boulder Retaining Wall

Natural Boulder Retaining Wall.

boulder wall contruction with an excavator

Other Landscape Installations and Services We Offer throughout Vancouver

We also build patios, driveways, walkways and pathways using paving stones, offer bobcat & excavation services, landscape design services and many more landscape installations. View all of our landcape construction services here.


Retaining Wall Installation and Getting a Price Quote

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How do I know if I need to replace my retaining wall?

Retaining walls made from lumber simply do not last forever. If your lumber ties have visible rotting or are being pushed over by the material they are supposed to retain, it might be time to replace them. Even retaining walls made out of concrete can crack or break over time due to the forces of mother nature. We have plenty of experience removing old retaining walls and even more building new ones.

What is the best type of retaining wall?

The best type of retaining wall will depend on your needs, budget, and desired look. Lumber ties are the easiest and quickest to install, cutting down on labour cost, but also last the shortest number of years. Allan Block is incredibly strong and can be built quite high and best of all have no risk of rotting. Basalt walls look gorgeous and are a very popular option for raised garden beds. Lastly, natural rock walls take up a decent amount of space so they work best in large landscapes but are unmatched for strength or for their natural look.

How long does building a retaining wall take?

The time it takes will vary by the type of the wall being built, ease of access to the area, how much excavation and prep needs to occur before beginning construction, and most obviously by the height and length of the wall being built. For a small basalt garden, one experienced person could complete the project in a day. For a five foot high and fifty foot long Allan Block wall, it might take a small crew around two weeks. For a better estimate your best bet is to fill in our online quote form.

What holds a retaining wall in place?

That will depend on the type of wall, it’s height, and the material it is retaining. In a natural rock wall the weight of the massive boulders is enough to hold back huge amounts of material. In small basalt gardens the stones are mortared together which is plenty strong to hold back light weight garden soil. When we build larger timber walls, rebar is pounded into the ground though the ties, the ties are screwed together using torx screws ten inches long and a quarter inch thick, and additional ties called deadmen are secured perpendicular to the wall into the slope to hold the wall straight.

How tall can you build a retaining wall?

The height you can build a retaining wall will depend on the type of material used and where you are located. In Whiterock for example special permits are required to build a retaining wall more then 1.2 meters in height.

Are retaining walls strong?

Retaining walls, when built correctly, are incredibly strong. They have after all a very specific function and wouldn’t have much value if they weren’t strong. That is their sole job.