A retaining wall is a specially designed structure that holds soil on one side and is free standing on the other. They help to accommodate changes in grade in a landscape with uneven topography. These walls often allow steeper cuts to a slope to yield more usable space on a cut-and-fill hillside lot. Hard working retaining walls can be key to creating a level sports lawn or driveway too.
Retaining walls are also used on level ground to raise living spaces above the surrounding ground plain. A well designed retaining wall can elevate planting areas for improved drainage while at the same time creating a seatwall. There is no end to the benefits of these heavy barriers, but they can be costly and must be strictly constructed to prevent failure.