What is an Allan Block retaining wall? How they are built, what they cost, and what to expect when having one installed

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Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

The main purpose of a retaining wall is to retain soil; however some walls are a focal point for homeowners that are looking to spruce up their yard. A retaining wall can help bring out the look of flowers beds and surrounding landscape, and the height of the wall can make your entire property stand out. 

If we haven’t met before allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Back 40 Landscaping and our expertise is in retaining walls and hardscaping. We also like to bring education to those looking for retaining wall solutions.

What Is A Retaining Wall?

The simple definition of a retaining wall is that it is a structure that holds, or retains soil behind it. Retaining walls are designed to restrain soil to a slope that it would not naturally keep to (typically a steep, almost vertical, or vertical slope). Areas that retaining walls are used in are areas where the landscape needs to be shaped severely, and engineered for a more specific purpose, like hillside farming, or roadway overpasses. A professional engineer should always be brought in when necessary to ensure the integrity of wall. 

What does an Allan Block retaining wall cost in the Fraser Valley?

The Average Price For A Small Retaining Wall That Is 25 Ft Long And 4 Ft High Starts At $15k

The Average Price For An Average Retaining Wall That Is 80 Ft Long And 4 Ft High Starts At $40k

The Average Price For A Large  Retaining Wall That Is 100 Ft Long, 4 Ft High And Terraced With A Staircase Starts At $80k

What to expect when having a Allan Block retaining wall installed?

 Retaining walls come in a variety of materials that can be used to build wall systems. 

These include concrete blocks, poured concrete, treated timbers (Wood retaining walls), rocks and boulders. All of these materials can retain soil, but some will have a shorter lifespan than others. Other than wood, concrete walls typically come in a variety of colors and shapes that homeowners can choose from, allowing the wall to either blend in with the surrounding area, or act as a focal point to the space.

Pros Of A Retaining Wall

When retaining walls are built correctly:

  • They prevent soil ( retained soil)  from eroding and coming into your yard
  • Keep surrounding structures ( like flower beds)  safe from elements that could damage them
  • Prevent flooding in your landscape ( proper drainage) 
  • Great decorative feature for any yard ( Walkways can be put in in front of the wall system) 

Cons Of A Retaining Wall

  • The retaining wall can fail causing damage to property
  • Can be costly to redo the retaining  wall, causing a headache and possibly financial strain
  • If you have a wood retaining wall the lifespan of the wall is 10+ years, meaning eventually it will need to be replaced