Retaining walls

Anyone have any good pictures or illistrations pertaining to retaining walls.

I have a client with an future inspection that I would like to be able to attach an illistration.




what type of wall system are you talking about?




I am not sure since I have not inspected it yet.

Was hoping someone had some pics from the illistrated home or Inspection depot.

I would think it is either block/wood/concrete.

Will post when I get a photo.



Here is a pic of an example of how not to build a retaining/garden wall:roll: . They sank RR ties then nailed on 3/8 plywood that is currently totally infested w/ termites.
Then they planted a palm tree thats currently about 30’ high and leaning towards the covered patio and the house.:shock: Of course this wall is not considered an engineered retaining wall since it is only @ 2’ to 3’ but because of the leaning palm tree and termites I defered it anyway…



Concrete Retaining Walls:

A major RW contractor with various tech info:

If you look up the Army Corp Of Engineers they have a series of Tech Manuals that also include retaining walls.


Knowledge is power! But sharing knowledge brings peace!!

Wern’t the Army Corps of Engineers involved in the levee construction along the Mississippi river? Remember 1995 and 2005 levee breaks.

The thread for the retaining wall company is a help.
I just booked an inspection tomorrow with a 8’ tall rock and brick wall. All I can do is check for movement and take some measurments and tell the buyer of this new home that when he hires me to perform the 11 month inspection I can re-check the wall to see if it has moved.

It’s amazing how this message board helps me sometimes. Kinda like youall are thinking what I am thinking and wondering. :wink:

Jerry Yost
Golden Rule Home Inspection

What’s an 11 month inspection? does it have to do with your warranty?

Of what magnitude are we talking about??

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Yes, Russell.

Retaining walls are not CHEAP to install, repair, or replace.

Unless you have a good understanding of soils, compaction, drainage, and the associated physical properties involved. I see nothing wrong with deferring.

The last one I did where problems were discovered was $48,000.
Pool overflow, yard drainage, and landscape vegetation issues.

This didn’t have to happen and the inspector involved will be hearing from an attorney even though it is not covered under the state or other SOP.

It wasn’t disclosed nor was it mentioned or omitted in the report.

Common mistake I see around here is items not included in our promulgated report go unmentioned. This can lead to a world of hurt for an inspector.

If it is present and not inspected say this in the report and make the client aware by having them initial those items.

ie: fencing, retaining walls, fountains, any or all exterior landscape features…

Thanks Barry, the wall was 8-10’ high and 400’ long installed by the builder, it spanned the back yards of at least 10 houses. I talked at length with my client, took some measurements and told him that if he sees any sink holes or gets and ideas that the wall is moving to call me to come out and check the measurements against my original measurements. I informed my client that I am not an engineer, and I don’t pretend to be one and that I could not certify or tell him that the wall was professionally built. I told him to contact an engineer if he wanted a document.

Jerry Yost
Golden Rule Home Inspections


8’10", 400 Ft. long is a lot of wall, holding A LOT of expansive soil!!! Anything over 47" in height is required to have an engineered design. These plans should be on file with the local AHJ as part of the platting documents. You can also advise the client to check the plans out and speak with the builder if there are any concerns.