Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>Grading/landscaping to remove retaining wall?
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Grading/landscaping to remove retaining wall?

Hello all,

We recently bought an old fixer upper with 2 acres. It's nice, but there is a hill that breaks up the property with a retaining wall ~30 feet from the house.

Our/my dream vision is to get rid of the retaining wall and grade the hill so that there is less of a slope (the retaining wall goes from 1 foot on 1 side to 4-5 feet on the other side).


1. Is this ridiculously expensive?
2. How would we go about it?
3. Would we need to consult with an engineer, as this could affect the water flow to around our home, to our neighbors, etc.
4. In general, is this a bad idea?

We would have extra loam for anyone who needed it?! We have a cousin or something that is an excavator, so he would be able to help with the actual execution of the project.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Grading/landscaping to remove retaining wall?

Removing a retaining wall and moving dirt around is a very expensive project. I doubt if your relative can volunteer lots of his personal time and machine time to remove and haul away the debris and regrade the property. The other problem you have is maintaining the slope after you grade it. A typical maintainable slope is 3 to 1. Three horizontal feet to one vertical foot. If you can not get that grade then you can not safely maintain that slope with a mower.

The job is much much bigger then you realize and without proper equipment and a trained operator you could end up with a big mess, an unmaintainable slope and water drainage problems.

Timothy Miller
Re: Grading/landscaping to remove retaining wall?

Howdy, in the small town in Nebraska where we have a place the soils are real sandy & or loam so most yards have 2' retaining walls along the fronts with sidewalks below. These were made without footers and over 50 to 100 years have fallen apart. The easiest lasting repairs were to remove the wall and roto till the hillside slightly so one can mow up it and place sod on the hillsides this has made a great looking replacement for many yards there. The extra soil can be removed by wheel barrow and pickups - seems some one can always use a little dirt. Some yard moguls were made with the dirt and planted to look good.

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