Asked on Mar 18, 2014

Building a retaining wall

Nancy T
by Nancy T
I am building a small retaining wall so I can level a corner of the yard in order to put a shed there - the shed is going to be 10' x 12'. The retaining wall is needed because the neighbors backyard is higher than mine by about 2 - 3 feet in that corner. My question is will I need to put in some kind of drainage to keep the water away from pooling on the shed floor. I am planning to put a 2" gravel base for the shed to sit on. If I need drainage how would I do that??
  4 answers
  • You do not want to allow water to sit below the shed even if the stone will bring it high enough so there is no puddle on the floor. The shed will trap the evaporated moisture from the ground and rust all your tools and metal objects placed inside. If your thinking about using a wood floor it will rot out in no time. Even if you use treated plywood, it will fall apart from the dampness. I would suggest that you either install a retaining wall that has a stone fill with a drainage pipe on the side closest to your neighbor so any water that does run from their yard into yours gets trapped and runs into the drain pipe that is routed away from the area. Using a rubber liner against the back side of the wall a 4 inch plastic pipe and some gravel to hold everything in place should suffice to trap and relocate the water away from your shed project. If you can take photos of the corner perhaps more ideas on how to fix this will come to mind.

    • Nancy T Nancy T on Mar 19, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental Thanks so much. I will post pictures later when the sun comes up.

  • Carole Carole on Mar 19, 2014
    I would ensure to check with your local council or local authority as they have set standards and sometimes permission needs to be gained to build this type of thing before you do anything. If it is in breach of rules or not built to correct standard, you could end up re-doing or removing it.

    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 19, 2014
      @Carole Yes, everything needs a permit now! Actually, you might want to find a better spot for your shed!

  • Terry Thomas Terry Thomas on Mar 20, 2014
    Any time you block the natural flow of water downhill you must take drainage into consideration. Otherwise the water will eventually cause the wall to fail. There are several excellent YouTube videos on building retaining walls. Search on YouTube for Oldcastle, I watched some of theirs.

  • Nancy T Nancy T on Mar 20, 2014
    Thanks very much for the YouTube tip.