What are retaining walls? Retaining walls are 100% critical in East Tennessee landscaping due to the varying topography. Virtually every lot in Knoxville, TN is uneven to some degree. Retaining walls are the answer!  A well-built retaining wall allows for expanded level ground for your enjoyment. Just like you see along the Italian coastline, retaining walls provide valuable flat outdoor space by retaining the earth on a slope, creating steps, or "tiers" down a slope.

How are retaining walls built? Avant Gardens brings not only two decade sof experience in outdoor retaining wall construction, but also the design experts on hand to assist with material selection, overall design and engineering, as well as enhancements like outdoor lighting, railings, fencing, etc. A basic segmental block retaining wall can be constructed in a series of simple yet technical steps that will determine the longevity and integrity of your wall. The basic steps to installing a retaining wall are:

  • Step 1:  Creating a foundation with a gravel footing/leveling pad
  • Step 2: Installing proper drainage materials at appropriate intervals for your specific wall are imperative to its life expectancy
  • Step 3: Stacking specially-designed retaining wall blocks to the desired height
  • Step 4: Core filling retaining wall block if needed
  • Step 5: Backfilling with the appropriate amount of clear gravel, fill soil, and soil stabilization material such as geo-grid on walls over 4’ tall ( We typically use geo-grid on walls 3’ and over) can also be an imperative step and one which we consult with engineers who calculate the necessary components to create the proper plan for your wall

These are very basic and simplified steps to installing a retaining wall and a lot of times these steps can happen in conjunction with each other depending on the size of your wall.

Another retaining wall option is using classic brick or stone masonry and will start on a concrete footing reinforced with rebar. The block will then be core filled with concrete and rebar and then veneered with natural stone, brick, or other manmade materials. Backfilling of masonry walls can have similar steps as segmental walls, but deviate in some areas. What your masonry retaining wall is “faced” with—or its look—can run the price gamut, from herringbone brick to Tennessee stacked stone. The material and pattern can have big implications on the final cost of building your masonry retaining wall. How you will use the space being leveled, above or below the retaining wall, will help in the process of material selection and in its proper construction. We're here to make the process as easy as possible for you.

With Avant Garden's Two Year Hardscaping Guarantee, you know you'll be getting a quality retaining wall backed by a company who's served Knoxville with decades of combined experience right here in East Tennessee. Call to speak with one of our retaining wall experts today. We look forward to working with you

Retaining Wall Construction Gallery

Retaining Wall Services

Block Retaining Walls

Segmented block retaining walls are a popular choice, offering affordability and longevity. These manmade materials interlock with each other and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. This style of retaining wall can be used for small or large walls of varying height. Popular brands include Unilock, Belgard, Paverlock, and others.

Brick Retaining Walls

Brick is one of the most popular retaining wall materials because they often will match or complement the home's existing brick. Brick can be stacked in a variety of different patterns, with alternating courses and even different shapes or types of brick. Them mortar used also affects the final look, both in color and finish style. If you want a brick retaining wall on your property, we can make it happen!

Stone Retaining Walls

Natural stone masonry walls are a common occurrence in East Tennessee. These walls require a masonry block foundation wall, gravel backfill, professional drainage, and finally, the stone layer on the outside tied into the core-filled block behind it. The walls are often capped with stone, but brick can also be used. There are many different stone patterns—and types of stone—to choose from.

Boulder Retaining Walls

Large, stacked boulders are an easy and natural-looking way to provide level ground to areas of your yard. Each boulder can weight a couple tons, and when stacked, these walls provide great strength and an aesthetic that mimics Mother Nature.

Earthen Retaining Walls

Land can be leveled and retained with steep slopes. This is an option in areas where the homeowner would like to created a tiered landscape without the need for retaining walls at every level. Sometimes an actual wall will be needed, but when you have lots of space, sloped dirt with grass or plants can hold its own for many years.

Green Retaining Walls

There are a number of new retaining wall products that have a low environmental impact. Ask us about the latest available, such as manufactured block retaining walls designed to hold soil that allows plants to grow throughout the wall, completely hiding the block material and also offering secure and long-lasting soil retention.