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What’s a Counterfort Retaining Wall?

A counterfort wall is a structure that holds back soil or rock from the landscaping. Designed to prevent downward earth slides and soil erosion, this type of retaining wall can use gravity to hold the structure together. Many are made of masonry, stone, brick, vinyl or railroad ties.

Poured concrete can also be used as a counterfort wall. Here’s how it works: vertical sections of concrete are married to a larger concrete base. Tied together, you’ve got a strong, weight-bearing retaining wall. Generally, this type of wall is formed at the manufacturer’s site and then delivered for installation.

Advantages of a Counterfort Wall

These walls are most useful in large landscaping projects. They can be built to heights of 25 feet and are the ideal retaining wall for hillside landscaping. Counterfort walls are able to hold back large amounts of earth, making it one of the best building structures for homes built on mountainous terrain or near steep vertical drops. Here’s how a counterfort wall can enhance and protect your landscaping if you live in a hilly area:

  • Holds back plenty of earth for an enhanced landscape. This type of wall allows homeowners to enjoy an outdoor patio, Japanese rock garden or backyard gazebo.
  • Help maintain and protect your property by easing pressure on large amounts of backfill and loose soil.
  • Stronger than a cantilever wall because of its extra reinforcement, a counterfort wall is more likely to withstand shifts and movement in the earth.



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