Retaining Wall Design and Installation in San Francisco

Why Retaining Walls In San Francisco?

For San Francisco residents, retaining wall design and installation offers an attractive solution to the challenge of unstable and/or sloped terrains.  Custom retaining walls can be made from a variety of materials, such as: wood, stone, brick or concrete.  Retaining walls are designed to prevent soil erosion and landslides, but they can also extend the square footage of your yard/garden, transforming constrained nooks into welcoming spaces suitable for relaxing, entertaining or simply being. This is known as landscape terracing. The space created by a landscape terracing can be used to create (or expand) a patio, path, garden, deck, driveway or any construction that requires a flat surface.

Key Points for Retaining Wall Installation. 

As the name suggests, retaining walls “retain” a wedge of soil, and when properly designed and installed counteract the tendency of that soil to move down slope due to gravity or “lateral earth pressure”.   Earth pressure can push a retaining wall forward or overturn it, when improperly installed. (Click here for an example of a failed retaining wall that Tamate Landscaping replaced.)

If there is groundwater behind the wall it must be dissipated by a drainage system or it can cause hydrostatic pressure to build on the wall.  You can design and install a retaining wall to retain water, to be self-draining, or can be designed with drainage systems behind them, to reduce pressure on the wall, thereby improving the stability of the material (soil) behind the wall.

Any retaining wall over 4’ will require permits from San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspections (DBI).  Tamate Landscaping works closely with architects, engineers, and the appropriate personnel at the DBI to ensure retaining wall projects are designed and executed efficiently and with the appropriate permits to fulfill the city’s stringent requirements.

Tamate Landscaping brings over 25 years of experience of designing and installing retaining walls under myriad conditions to create structures that are sustainable, elegant, and enjoyable for years to come. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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