How A Functional Retaining Wall Can Improve Your Bay Area Home


Hardscaping your property is an exciting project that can take your yard from ho-hum, to fabulous! It’s an opportunity to plan and create every detail of your ideal outdoor space from the patio to the plantings, to the water feature and built-in seating.

If your property is sloped, as many are in California’s Bay area, at some point, you’ll probably need to consider adding retaining walls. Retaining walls provide both form and function to your landscape design by allowing you to create level areas in your landscape.

Let’s take a look at the function a retaining wall performs and how adding them to your landscape. Read how retaining walls can help you to achieve your vision for the perfect outdoor living space.


Retaining walls perform a valuable function in your landscape. They are used to support the areas of your yard by holding soil in place. If your property has hills, slopes or inclines, retaining wall systems are used to aid in drainage, prevent erosion, and protect your property.

There are several types of retaining wall systems that your hardscape professional may deploy depending on several factors. For example, is the soil sand, clay, or a mixture? What is above the wall: a driveway or something substantial like your pool? Will the ground below the wall be flat or sloped?

Often, without a retaining wall, you may be at risk of severe problems. Soil can quickly become unstable in some conditions like runoff due to excessive rain. This can cause erosion or worse, severe property damage. A retaining wall can solve this by helping to stabilize the soil and slow the flow of runoff.

Depending on the conditions on your property, your contractor will either build a gravity retaining wall, or a geogrid reinforced retaining wall.

Gravity retaining walls depend on their weight and setback to keep soil in place. They are typically shorter in height and are stacked together to form a setback. This setback helps the wall to retain the ground behind it. They usually have a drainage system installed along the base of the wall to release excess runoff to relieve pressure on the wall.

Reinforced retaining walls use some type of reinforcement to give them more strength improving their ability to hold the soil behind them. In many cases, geogrid is placed between the courses of block in the wall and rolled back onto the slope during installation to create a stronger, more stable structure.


Beyond its functional value, a retaining wall offers more benefits to homeowners. Many realtors will tell you that a retaining wall is a good investment in your home. Whether for functionality, or aesthetic improvement, a retaining wall can add curb appeal and value to your home.

As you plan your landscape design, you can incorporate your retaining walls to add interest to your yard. Some homeowners will use retaining walls around the pool area to create distinctive spaces like small gardens or to create privacy. You can also create levels with retaining walls. These are flat areas that can be planted with specimen plants to make a beautiful visual focal point in your landscape, and create a relaxing oasis in your backyard.


From poured concrete to stone veneer, there are a wide variety of materials available to help you build functional, and aesthetically beautiful retaining walls on your property. The final decision really comes down to two factors, your aesthetics and the shape of the wall. Some materials are easier to curve for flowing rounded walls, or going around corners. Others fit tight to hold everything in place in a straight line.

In terms of aesthetics, today, you have a more extensive selection of materials than ever before. From concrete to natural stone, you can get pavers in any combination of color, texture, shapes, and sizes to fit your needs.


If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, and your landscaping needs an upgrade, or if you have an elevated space on your property you need to access or secure, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-(866) 287-2837. Schedule a free, no-obligation estimate. We’ll help you design a retaining wall system that will not only make your home more secure, but it will also make it more beautiful too.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA, location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.


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