Are you looking at a slope in your garden and wondering how to make it more functional and appealing? Retaining walls might just be the perfect solution for you. These structures aren’t just practical, they transform your landscape into visually appealing and usable spaces.

In the following guide, we’ll discuss the types of retainer walls to help you understand which wall is the best for your needs.

Importance in Landscape Design

Retaining walls serve two purposes in landscape design. Functionally, they hold back soil, preventing erosion and managing rainwater flow in sloped areas. Aesthetically, they can be crafted to complement your home’s architecture, turning a simple garden into a standout feature. Their versatility makes them essential in many Australian gardens, particularly in areas with varying elevations.

The Various Types of Retaining Walls Explained

Choosing the right type of retaining wall depends on several factors, including the slope of your land, the soil type and your aesthetic preferences. Let’s take a look at the most common types of retaining Walls:

Gravity Walls: Basics and Benefits

Gravity walls rely on their mass (usually stone, concrete or precast concrete) to resist the lateral pressure of the soil behind them. They are generally shorter and do not require deep foundations. This type of retaining wall is ideal for leveling or elevating landscapes in gardens, creating raised garden beds or where the height needed is relatively low.


● Ease of installation; can often be a DIY project.

● Minimal structural anchoring is required.

● Cost-effective for lower walls.



● Limited to relatively low heights.

● Not suitable for supporting high loads.

Cantilevered Walls: Features and Applications

Cantilevered walls are reinforced concrete walls that are fixed at the base and free at the top. This design utilises the leverage of an arm that extends into the backfill for stability. They are best suited for retaining higher soil volumes requiring strong structural integrity, such as in commercial properties or significantly sloped residential areas.


● Effective at supporting large volumes of soil.

● Uses less concrete than gravity walls due to its design.

● Durable and long-lasting.


● Requires careful engineering and construction.

● More expensive than simpler retaining wall systems.

● Not suitable for DIY projects due to complexity.

Anchored Walls: When to Consider Them

Anchored retaining walls have mechanical anchors (cables or rods) attached to them. These anchors are pulled back and driven deep into the ground behind the wall.

The anchors are then tensioned to counter the force of the soil against the wall, providing additional support and strength. These walls are particularly suited for complex site conditions such as very steep slopes or where the soil is weak and traditional methods are likely to fail.


● Provides support in challenging conditions where other walls might not be feasible.

● Anchors can be adjusted to add tension and increase wall stability.

● Suitable for both temporary and permanent solutions.


● More complex and costly to design and construct.

● Requires specialised equipment and knowledge for installation.

● Periodic maintenance may be needed to adjust anchors.

Other Types: Sheet Piling, Gabion Mesh, etc.

In addition to the more common types of retaining walls, there are several other notable types:

● Sheet Piling Walls: Ideal for soft soils and tight spaces, commonly used in waterfront properties.

● Gabion Mesh Walls: Distinct aesthetic with rock-filled wire mesh cages, excellent for areas requiring good drainage and noise reduction.

● Crib Walls: Made from interlocking boxes filled with crushed stone, offering a free-draining structure.

● Hybrid Walls: Combine different techniques to address specific site conditions, such as using both gravity and cantilevered methods.

● Reinforced Soil Walls: Use geogrid or geotextile reinforcement layers within the soil, providing flexibility and movement accommodation.

● Segmental Retaining Walls (SRW): Modular block walls with interlocking structure and geogrid reinforcement, known for aesthetic appeal and ease of installation.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Retaining Wall

Several crucial factors come into play when selecting the right retaining wall for your property. Understanding these can help ensure that your wall is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Soil Type, Slope and Aesthetics

● Soil Type: The type of soil on your property influences the kind of retaining wall you need. Coarse, granular soils work well with most wall types, while clay or silt soils may require more robust solutions like anchored walls.

● Slope: Steeper slopes often necessitate stronger, more technically engineered walls to ensure stability and prevent erosion.

● Aesthetics: The desired visual outcome is also important. Some walls, like gabion mesh, offer a distinct look, while others, like sheet piling, are more utilitarian.

Cost Considerations and Longevity

● Budget: Balancing initial costs with long-term benefits is essential. While some walls, such as gabion walls, may have higher upfront costs, their durability and low maintenance can make them more economical over time.

● Longevity: Consider the expected lifespan and maintenance needs of the wall. Investing in a more durable wall type may save money and effort in the long run.

Why Professional Installation Matters

While DIY projects can be tempting, here are three key reasons to hire a professional:


Professional installation ensures structural integrity of the retaining wall and compliance with local building codes and safety standards.


Building retaining walls can present challenges that require professional knowledge and skills. Experts will know the best materials and methods for your situation.


Proper installation by professionals guarantees the longevity and effectiveness of the retaining wall, protecting your investment.

Conclusion: Enhancing Your Home with the Right Retaining Wall

Choosing the best type of retaining wall can significantly enhance the functionality and beauty of your home’s landscape. With various options available, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your property, such as soil type, slope and aesthetics. While the initial cost and installation may seem high, the long-term benefits of a well-chosen and professionally installed retaining wall provide peace of mind and a lasting addition to your home.

If you’re in Perth and looking for a retaining wall, contact us. We’ll provide expert advice and quality installation to make sure your wall is built to last and suits your property perfectly.