A Guide to Beautiful Masonry Retaining Walls in Dana Point, CA

Constructing retaining walls in Dana Point, CA, is preceded by numerous considerations. The type of soil, projected wall height, what’s above the wall, and other important questions need to be answered before excavation even begins. That’s why it’s important to choose an experienced and skilled landscape contractor like D.L. Hickman & Son Inc. to make sure the job is done right the first time. Here is a detailed guide to beautiful masonry retaining walls:

Retaining Wall Considerations

To create a quality masonry retaining wall for any project, the first determination is what type of structure is best. The Dana Point area is made up of nearly fifty percent ALO Clay, with other soil units including loam, clay, sandy loam, and clay loam to name a few. With the high content of clay, which is a heavier soil, it is beneficial that there is little chance of freeze expansion in this location. Another factor that should not be overlooked is if the ground is sloped or level, as this can determine how much reinforcement is needed, or if the wall can support its own weight. The same goes for what is built above the wall, for example something heavy like a pool, or a driveway which would be lighter. With these considerations carefully explored, it’s easier to decide on the type of retaining wall required.


Types and Reinforcement Options

A Guide to Beautiful Masonry Retaining Walls in Dana Point, CA  

Gravity retaining walls are supported by their own weight in order to stave off pressure from the soil behind them. These are usually built at shorter heights and are reinforced by a “batter” setback. Walls that are four feet or less make it easier to plan and construct. For walls above that height, cantilevered, and geogrid reinforced retaining walls work better. Reinforced concrete is the basis of cantilevered walls, which are made up of a base slab and thinner stem – T-shape. Another reinforcement option is to use the flexibility of a geogrid’s synthetic mesh material. “Grids” as they are known, are made especially for earth retention and slope stabilization. Professional landscape contractors can help you choose the Geogrid strength, size, and material to get your job done.  


Materials for Building Retaining Walls

Brick, stone, cinder block, and rock are good choices for constructing a sturdy retaining wall. The reliability and easy installation procedure for brick allow the contractor to control slopes, and properly manage soil and rock distribution on hilly properties, for example. Stone works well for retaining walls with the main purpose of being aesthetically pleasing, and can be combined with concrete and brick materials, to create reinforced walls that are pleasing to the eye. Vertical score, ribbed, and split-faced cinder blocks are among the types that can be used for a retaining wall build. They work well to strengthen and widen existing walls. As for rock, different sizes and shapes can be used to achieve the desired design effect, and with an expert landscape contractor, maintain natural charm, without being less reinforced.


Extra drainage is required for retaining walls with a slope leading to it. To use a pipe for drainage, other necessities must be put in place to avoid clogging at the pipe’s base. Keeping a pipe unclogged is important in order to avoid the need to uproot and unclog it later on.

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