The Pros and Cons of DIY Retaining Wall Installation

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If you’re a homeowner, you may be considering installing a retaining wall. While it can be a great way to add a touch of elegance to your landscape, it can also be a difficult and time-consuming task. Before you dive into the project, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of DIY retaining wall installation. Doing so can help you decide if this is a project you’re up to taking on.

Ipswich Retaining Walls has been providing professional retaining wall solutions for over 10 years. Our team of expert wall builders specialise in constructing sturdy, heavy-duty, cost-efficient, and visually attractive limestone retaining walls, concrete sleepers, perimeter walls, and fences. We also offer paving and driveway installation services for maintenance and installation. You can trust us to provide the best solutions for your retaining wall needs. But if you’re still undecided, let us help you weigh in on whether you should DIY your retaining wall.

The Pros and Cons of DIY Retaining Wall Installation



One of the major advantages of building your own retaining wall is the cost savings. DIY retaining walls are much cheaper to construct than professionally-built walls, and you can save even more money by sourcing materials from local stores or online. 

Design Flexibility

With a DIY retaining wall, you have the freedom to design and build your wall exactly to your specifications. You can choose the size, shape, materials, and colour of the wall, as well as add on features like steps or a built-in seating area. This level of design flexibility allows you to create a unique and functional retaining wall that perfectly suits your needs.


Long-term Cost

Although it may seem like a cost-effective solution in the short term, the long-term cost of repairs and maintenance can quickly add up. 

Material Selection

Installing a retaining wall yourself requires a careful selection of materials, such as concrete blocks, brick, or stone. Incorrect material selection can lead to problems, such as cracking or deterioration, and can lead to costly repairs. 

Time Commitment

DIYing a retaining wall is a time-consuming task. It requires careful planning and preparation, and it can take days or even weeks to complete. 


Installing a retaining wall yourself is a dangerous task, and it requires a certain level of knowledge and skill to do it correctly. Without the proper safety equipment and training, DIY retaining wall installation can be hazardous.

Aesthetic Quality

Doing it yourself may not always produce the best aesthetic results. If you’re not used to large landscaping projects, you may not be able to envision how the wall should look in your yard until after the project is finished and by then it would be too late to change your mind.


DIY retaining wall installation may not be as durable as a professionally installed wall. There are a lot of factors to consider when installing a retaining wall, and you need to be sure that your wall can withstand the elements.

Load Bearing Capacity

A DIY retaining wall may not be able to withstand high loads, such as those created by heavy rains or snow. These loads can cause your wall to fail and even collapse if not installed properly. 

Soil Compaction

Another thing to consider is that the wall may not be able to provide enough soil compaction to keep the wall stable. Soil compaction is the process of compacting soil in order to increase its density and strength. Compaction of soil can be done with heavy machinery such as a compactor, or manually with a tamper or roller, something that may be challenging to come by on a home project. Compaction is an important part of retaining wall construction, as it helps ensure the wall is stable and will not collapse due to the weight of the soil behind it.

Drainage Considerations

One of the common problems with DIY retaining wall installations is the potential for water build-up. Without proper drainage considerations, such as drainage pipes, water can accumulate behind the wall and cause instability and collapse. Proper drainage systems should be installed when building a retaining wall, as this will help prevent water build-up and keep the wall structurally sound over time.


Accessibility is an important factor to consider when undertaking DIY retaining wall projects. Not only should the wall be constructed in a way that it can be easily accessed by the homeowner, but any repairs or maintenance should also be easy to reach. For example, if the wall has been built with a compactor or tamper, it may be difficult to access these tools if the wall is too tall. 

As you can see, taking on a retaining wall installation project yourself can be a risky undertaking, and hiring a professional to do the job for you is the best way to ensure that the job is done right the first time and will save you loads of time, energy, and headache. This is where we come in. Contact us today for a free, no-commitment quote!