Retaining Wall Design and Installation in San Francisco

Why Retaining Walls In San Francisco?

Retaining walls are an important part of the landscape in San Francisco. They can be used to prevent erosion, to level a sloped yard, or to create additional terraces for planting.

These walls can be made from a variety of materials, including stone, brick, concrete, and wood. In addition, there are several different types of retaining walls, such as gravity walls, cantilevered walls, and anchored walls.

When you build them correctly, you create walls of plants, natural stones, bricks, wood, steel that are an attractive addition to any landscape, and the fact they increase the value of your property, isn’t a bad deal. It’s a win, win all around.

If you’re considering adding a retaining wall to your home or business, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

For San Francisco residents, retaining wall design and installation offers an attractive solution to the challenge of unstable and/or sloped terrains.

Let me remind you these landscaped slopes are not only 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. (Here is a failed retaining wall that we 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.

Add Extra Space to Your Outdoor Living

Retaining walls are an aesthetically pleasing way to create more outdoor living space while reinforcing a pre-existing retaining wall system.

In San Francisco, where our microclimate is perfect for outdoor living, large planters and a variety of textures can be added to add character and charm. Natural stones, are particularly popular in San Francisco because they fit in with the natural beauty of our city.

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.