Services » Structural
Retaining Walls

Structural Retaining Walls

Fine Earth Landscape, Inc. builds a range of structural retaining walls for both commercial and residential clients. Since large structured walls require special engineering and monitoring, we make sure to work with a professional structural engineer to ensure your wall is safe and secure.

We build five types of walls:

Stone Walls

More expensive than timber but less expensive than brick, stone is an excellent choice for a retaining wall. Semi-dry stone walls have some cement in the joints but are still porous enough to allow for drainage and freezing. For this reason, and the fact that the wall is slightly wider at the base, a much smaller footing is needed for a semi-dry wall. A stone wall can be capped with flagstone, or a natural cap can be constructed of the same wall stone. A solid stone wall is much more expensive than a semi-dry since each stone is encased entirely in cement, requiring a concrete footing and making no allowance for freezing.

Keystone Modular Block Walls

Fine Earth Landscape is one of the largest and most successful installers of Keystone — one of the more attractive and cost effective wall materials available — in the greater Washington D.C. area. Popular for large structural walls, the Keystone Modular Block is a free-draining system with a gravel footer and interlocking pins. There is no hydrostatic pressure on the wall because of the gravel backfill that is incorporated during construction. We have successfully completed walls of this type up to 46′ in height, and have even been called in to rebuild walls that less experienced companies did not successfully complete.

Decorative Garden Walls

These small ornamental walls are excellent, attractive additions to almost any residence. Ask our designers for a brochure on the various Celtic wall options, and visit,, and for more information.

Pressure Treated Timbers

Substituted for railroad ties, these 6″ x 6″ or 6″ x 8″ pieces of lumber are ideal for most walls. An environmentally safe preservative keeps the wood strong.

Fine Earth Landscape uses only the most solid construction methods for timber walls:

  • Steel rods 2 1/2″ long and 3/8′ spikes 12″ long anchor the timbers to the ground and each other
  • “Dead-man” timbers extend back into the grade to protect the wall from failing
  • A foundation of one timber below ground will prevent washout and sliding on all larger walls
  • In case of severe draining problems, gravel is backfilled behind the wall, and weep holes are used

Brick Walls

Brick works best for short ornamental seat walls and retaining walls, since brick requires concrete block backing and concrete footing. Even with these expensive additions, they are not as structurally sound as stone, but for small areas brick is still a valid option.

View our structural retaining walls portfolio, and contact us to discuss your specific needs.

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