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Pros and Cons of 3 Types of Retaining Walls

Posted by James Snyder on Sun, Mar 30, 2014 @ 55:05 PM

Here are 3 types of retaining walls available for your project. They all have their pluses and minuses – let’s check them out.


Wood Tie retaining wall – Although sometimes referred to as a railroad tie retaining wall they are rarely made from railroad ties anymore. They are simply wood ties that are fastened together to perform the duties of a retaining wall.

Price:  $$$$, 2 out of 4      Difficulty:  ****,  2 out of 4


  • Cost – A wood retaining wall can be very cost effective.
  • Easy – Wooden tie retaining walls are often installed by do it yourselfers. They require few tools and can be installed quickly by homeowners and landscape companies alike.
  • Beauty – A wood retaining wall can look great, making it the “old reliable” choice for many landscaping companies.


  • Wood Rots – Wood will eventually rot. The new pressure treated stuff is amazing, but there will be a time when you will need to call your retaining wall installer to replace it.
  • Strength – While great for holding up a two foot tall plant bed A wood retaining wall would not be my first choice for more complex projects.

Wooden Retaining Walls Monroe NYA wooden retaining wall - Monroe, NY

SRW Block Retaining Wall – SRW’s are Segmental Retaining Walls that use high quality concrete blocks to create a retaining wall.

Price:  $$$$,  3 out of 4      Difficulty:  ****4 out of 4

  • Versatile – They can be used in a variety of situations to create curves, corners, stairs, columns, and more. SRW’s are often the choice of Landscape and Hardscape contractors.
  • Strength – One of the strongest, longest lasting types of retaining walls on the market.
  • Beauty – Block Retaining Walls look great, one of the mail reasons for their popularity, besides the two reasons above that is. 
  •  Speed – SRW’s install fast.


  • Color Choice – SRW walls are only available in the colors that you see in the catalog.
  • Installers are not regulated – I have seen many block retaining wall failures and poor craftsmanship as a result of inexperienced retaining wall installers. While a small project may be just fine for a “new guy” the more complicated jobs require more experience.

Retaining Wall Builder Monroe NY

A Concrete Block (SRW) Retaining Wall, Monroe, NY


StoneMakers Concrete – StoneMakers concrete retaining walls are built with high strength concrete and then textured to look like stone.

Price:  $$$$, 3 out of 4      Difficulty:  ****4 out of 4

  • Versatile – StoneMakers concrete retaining walls can be created in just about any shape you can dream up.
  • Strength – Normally a tie with block, but StoneMakers walls can be made thicker in areas where more strength is needed.
  • Beauty – StoneMakers concrete retaining walls are an attractive alternative to standard concrete.
  • Speed – StoneMakers retaining walls install fast.
  • Trained Dealer Network – To install a StoneMakers retaining wall, dealers must attend training where they learn from the best in the industry.
  • Permanent – You will need heavy equipment to dismantle a StoneMakers retaining wall.

Retaining Wall Installers Monroe NY

Another Happy Customer! -This retaining wall was built in Orange County, NY

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