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Retaining Walls

Searching for a retaining wall contractor in Minneapolis, Minnesota? If you need a retaining wall, it’s best to trust the experts at Natural Environments Corporation. We’ve devoted the last 40 years to help bring our clients’ landscaping ideas to life. And with experienced workers on every project, you can rest assured that we’ll get the job done right. Request a quote from us today to get started.

What Are Retaining Walls?

A retaining wall is a structure that is commonly used to support soils in a sloped environment. These structures need to be designed in such a way that it can hold the load that’s being applied to it from the soil. If you need a retaining wall and don’t install one, you’re likely going to have erosion or slope failure. Erosion or slope failure can be something as simple as a hill washing away a little bit or as substantial as a landslide. The longer the issue persists, the greater the risk that what you’re trying to hold up will fall down. If you need a retaining wall, you’re going to have to act fast.

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What Are the Different Types of Retaining Walls?

Two of the primary types of retaining walls are gravity walls and reinforced walls. A gravity wall utilizes the mass of the actual product that you’re using to support the soils. A reinforced retaining wall utilizes some form of tie-back system or soil reinforcement system to add strength to the products that you’re using to construct the retaining wall. 

The decision whether to use a gravity wall or a reinforced retaining wall depends primarily on what types of constraints may be present on site. Some other factors that may influence this decision are:

  • Wall height: Taller retaining walls need to withstand greater loads than shorter retaining walls. Therefore, wall height is a critical factor in determining retaining wall type and design.
  • Spacing: The amount of free space above and below a wall may affect the type of wall that can be installed.
  • Soil Type: Clay-like soils may have different considerations than sandy soils.
  • Auxiliary loads: Auxiliary loads are anything that the retaining wall needs to hold up besides the soil itself. For example, if the retaining wall is holding up a street, the weight of the cars that drive on it will need to be factored in.    


Considering all the factors involved, this can be a complex decision to make. Because of this, you should seek out professional help from our experts at Natural Environments Corporation.



What Materials Are Retaining Walls Made of?

There are four main types of materials you can build a retaining wall out of:

  1. Concrete-based products
  2. Stone or rock products
  3. Wood
  4. Steel

The decision to use one product or another will depend on a few factors, including:

  • Load being applied
  • Space Available
  • Aesthetic preferences
  • Cost
  • Availability of the Materials



How Are Retaining Walls Installed?

Retaining walls are installed in a variety of ways depending on what the material selections are. For example, if we’re installing a boulder wall, we will construct the wall out of large rocks using an excavator with a rotating grapple attachment. We then install a geo-textile fabric behind the wall to help prevent soil from washing out in the spaces between the rocks. 

Depending on your specific needs for a retaining wall, we will determine what the wall should be made of and walk you through the installation process.

What Happens When a Retaining Wall Isn’t Installed Properly?

A poorly installed retaining wall can have cataclysmic results depending on what you’re trying to hold up. The collapse of a retaining wall is not that uncommon since they’re often improperly installed, whether by the homeowner or by a hired individual who isn’t skilled enough to take on the project.

Most retaining wall failures occur when the load that is applied to the retaining wall exceeds its effective structural strength. Whatever the application, the designed structural strength of a retaining wall will be reduced when improperly installed. Oftentimes, a failure occurs after storms since the rainwater saturates the soils and adds additional stress onto the compromised retaining wall.

Taking all those factors into consideration while designing a retaining wall is critical. Also, having someone who’s experienced and knowledgeable enough to execute the installation is just as critical as the design itself.

The best way to ensure you have experts working on your retaining wall is to call the experts at Natural Environments Corporation. With 40 years of experience creating landscapes that our clients are proud of, we’re the best choice when you’re looking for a retaining wall that’s functional, aesthetically pleasing, and on-budget.

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Natural Environments Corporation Frequently Asked Questions

Many people consider a poured concrete wall to be the strongest type of retaining wall. However, many other types of retaining walls can provide an equal or better level of strength. Ultimately, the design of the retaining wall is the most important factor for providing adequate strength.


Sometimes we may choose a stone, concrete block, wood, or steel wall instead depending on your needs, the dimensions of the new wall, and so on. We will discuss these factors during the design process and determine the right option for you. Regardless of wall type, rest assured that all of our wall options are strong enough to stand the test of time since our experts are involved in the design. 

Yes, they are safe when they are designed and installed by an expert. It is important to note that taller walls may require a guardrail due to the potential fall hazard. Improperly installed walls can collapse causing damage to property and any people who may be in the area.

On average, a retaining wall will cost between $45-100 per square foot. The cost depends on a variety of factors, such as the material of the wall and its dimensions.

Retaining walls are used on steep slopes to support the soils above it and to prevent erosion. Retaining walls are also used to create level spaces for entertainment, gardens, yards, etc. If you’re in doubt on whether or not you should get a retaining wall, you should call our experts and we can determine the best option for your specific situation.



Our landscaping services in Minneapolis St. Paul – Twin Cities include landscape design, retaining walls, boulder retaining walls, stone walls, rip rap, shoreline erosion control, patios, driveways, helical piers and more.


Phone: (763) 544-8002
Email: Contact us