How to Construct a Wood Retaining Wall


Wood retaining walls are made of wood give the outlook of the structure a natural look because of the materials. Woods blend the structure with the environment, and this is the most beautiful thing about this material. Many homeowners prefer using woods instead of concrete blocks, bricks, or stones because timbers are accessible and easy to handle. However, problems can also arise when you will use woods to construct the retaining wall.

Woods, without having a preservative cover on them, can be decomposed by the termites or other microbes after absorbing water. Since this material absorbs water and retains it for a certain period, the decomposition process gets accelerated.

A retaining wall can efficiently reshape the steepness of the land, and you can construct it in your gardens or agricultural land. The structure will retain and hold the soil behind it in the right place and prevent it from being slipped. Here, we will guide those homeowners who are interested in constructing a wood retaining wall for home improvement.

How can you build a wood retaining wall for home improvement?

Things that you will need

  • Pressure-treated timber boards
  • A mix of fast-setting concrete
  • Stones for enhancing drainage
  • Wood stakes
  • Nylon mason line
  • Galvanized nails
  • Wood preservatives
  • Shovel
  • Hand tamper
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Level measuring tool
  • Measuring tape
  • Gravel or stones


  • Plan and calculate the wall

This is an important step. In the beginning, the owner needs to carefully design the wall and calculate the base of the wall. For planning, you need to use the wood stakes for designing the excavation of the trench.

  • Excavate the trench across the slope

Now, use the shovel to dig the ground and while digging, dig across the sideways. Don’t dig down. Leave enough room so that you can excavate the ground comfortably and can construct the retaining wall safely.

  • Compact the ground and add gravels

After the excavation is done, it is time to compact the ground using the hand tamper. Make sure that you have compacted the soil well because it will increase the shear strength, and at the same time, the level will be maintained. After compaction, check the level with the level measuring tools. After ensuring that the ground is leveled, the owners need to place the gravel or stones in the trench, and after placing them, start compacting the ground once again and check the level.

  • Set up the boards

After compacting the gravels and checking the level, set up the boards horizontally in the trench. Install the boards one by one and nail the post with another one firmly to ensure that they are attached to each other strongly.

  • Backfilling

After setting up the wood structure, it is time for backfilling. While backfilling, use the gravel and stone right behind the structure, and once the gravel is placed, use the native soil for backfilling. The stones and gravel are used to enhance the drainage because standing water can ruin the entire structure by accelerating the decomposition rate.

These are the ways to construct a wood retaining wall for home improvement. If anybody realizes the basic principle of constructing and calculating this structure, he can easily build one.


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