Timber Retaining Wall Construction: Mistakes to Avoid

Retaining wall construction allows a landowner to level out a section of their land, which was originally on an embankment, by holding back the soil. Reasons for doing this would be to have a flat patio area or a place to install a pool. 

Get Permission

The biggest mistake people make when doing DIY projects is not asking for permission. Many people leave checking with authorities until after the project is done, hoping they will not be told to take down a new structure or add-on to the home. However this is often not the case. Secure all required building permits prior to beginning the project.


Clumsy measurements are the foundation of shabby workmanship. If you measure incorrectly then you could be left short. For a sturdy retaining wall, the structure will go beneath the ground and for anything shorter than a three feet/one meter it is recommended that it goes twenty centimeters underground. If you measure the depth too shallow, your retaining wall will be weakened.

Mixing Cement

This is not a job for the sloppy cement mixer. Stiff cement will hold the timber in position much better and will require less time to dry. Common mistakes include mixing the cement with too much water or leaving the timber unattended when drying. Once dried, you may find that it has tilted slightly. Avoid this by using viscose cement.