Change Your Yard: Eight Reasons to Build a Retaining Wall and Add a Drainage System

Does your yard need a face-lift? Or just a lift? A retaining wall may be the answer! Read on to learn if this useful landscaping tool is for you!

Big Bend Landscaping tiered retaining wall
Big Bend Landscaping retaining wall backyard
Big Bend Landscaping water feature and retaining wall

Just exactly who decided to build a retaining wall as a part of a drainage solution first is unknown, and where the idea originated varies depending on which historian you talk to. Some say it was the Irish and others say the Egyptians. Either way, it’s safe to say that humankind has been using them to solve ticklish landscaping problems for at least 5000 years and likely longer than that.

This landscaping feature remains a popular solution to a lot of homeowner headaches. And these days, they’re built out of a variety of materials, including wood (timbers), masonry, poured concrete, and interlocking concrete blocks called pavers. They can just be utilitarian or they can be attractive AND utilitarian.

When you add a drainage system you’re not only protecting the foundations of your home and your landscaping, you’re also adding to the value of the home.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re either wondering if one or both of these could be the drainage solution you’re looking for or if it could prevent one you haven’t had yet. Big Bend Landscaping builds retaining walls in all shapes and sizes and for many purposes. And if you live in the St. Louis area, we can help! Let’s look at a few of the reasons you might need one.


Big Bend Landscaping Retaining Wall sloped yard

Reshape Slopes and Prevent Erosion

Steep slopes are the number one reason customers seek us out to build a retaining wall. And with good reason. Slopes present several challenges to homeowners. Among those is the loss of topsoil during heavy rains. This translates to the loss of grass, shrubs, and trees.

And it’s not just unsightly. If the hill runs toward your home, you risk the weight of all the eroded soil damaging the foundations. And if the hill slopes down and away from your home, it can slowly wash the soil away from the footing, exposing and shifting the foundations, and causing damage to the structure of the house.

If that slope angles downward toward your neighbor’s property, or a roadway or drive, and there’s a mudslide, it could potentially damage the road or vehicles traveling there, opening you up to lawsuits.

In situation, you need a drainage solution before the drainage becomes a problem.

Hiring professionals like Big Bend Landscaping to construct a wall for you can resolve all of this. The slope can be leveled and the wall will hold the soil in place. You get to keep your grass, shrubs, trees, and plants. And you don’t have to worry about a shifting foundation or unhappy neighbors suing you. When we build these, we add a drainage system in part to protect the integrity of the wall and in part to direct run-off to an area where it won’t do any harm.

big bend landscaping french drain system DP


Add a Drainage System to Control Flooding and Manage Water flow

Living in St. Louis, you are probably familiar with flooding and the damage it can do. Chances are, you’ve experienced it and perhaps experienced the resulting damage. What a mess, right?

Big Bend Landscaping often recommends these paver walls as part of a larger drainage solution to our customers when we add a drainage system because they can prevent much of that mess by helping to hold soil in place and redirecting any excess water into areas where it will do less harm. We lay in socked drain tile, then alternating layers of mesh, gravel, and soil to absorb and direct flood waters such as a dry creek bed that empties into a sewer, creek, or a rain garden.

In some situations, we can combine a retaining wall with the installation of drainage systems like the French drain, channel drains, and dry creek beds. So we can not only provide you with a drainage solution, we also provide attractive landscaping features.


Big Bend Landscaping Sinkhole

Build a Retaining Wall And Prevent Sinkholes

You’ve seen pictures of them on the news and you’ve wondered what causes them and if it could happen to you. The answer is—it’s possible. Especially if you live in an area plagued by weather extremes like weeks of rain followed by drought followed by more rainstorms. Sinkholes are often the result of dissolving limestone and the collapse of substrate.

They are only dangerous if they are beneath a roadway or someone’s home. But they can happen anywhere—including your yard. The warning signs include:

  • Fresh cracks in the foundations of houses and buildings
  • Cracks in interior walls
  • Cracks in the ground outside
  • Depressions in the ground

Combining a professionally built wall and drainage system can be the perfect drainage solution to stop water from pooling in areas adjacent to your home or drive, saving you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Big Bend Landscaping retaining wall usable space

create usable space with this drainage solution

If you have a yard with a long, steep slope, it’s hard to enjoy doing anything in it beyond appreciating the view beyond it. Outdoor play equipment requires a level surface; gardening is a challenge because you risk plants being washed away; and entertaining guests on an uneven surface is difficult, if not dangerous.

A wall built from interlocking concrete pavers can either help eliminate the worst of the slope or allow you to make use of it with a series of terraces.

When you ask Big Bend Landscaping to install one for you, we will show you CAD drawings of how your yard could look and help you decide which one meets your needs.

Big Bend Landscaping Belgard raised beds


Beautify Your Property

Paver walls aren’t just utilitarian. They can be used as raised beds to contain flowers, shrubs, trees, and even food crops. Caring for your yard has never been easier. Plants are easier to maintain in raised beds. You can combine planters with standard walls and turn your yard into a work of art. Combine them with paver walkways and landscaped green space and your yard will become your favorite botanical garden.

Dry creek beds are an especially attractive method of channeling water away from foundations and patios.

Big Bend Landscaping Retaining wall seating wall

More places to sit

When we build a retaining wall for you, be sure and ask us if it could do double-duty as a seating wall. If you don’t already have a fire pit, this might be a good time to add one. And they are a handy option for extra seating when placed at the edge of your patio. Then you’ve not only solved a landscaping problem, you’ve created a new outdoor living feature that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Big Bend Landscaping retaining wall water feature

Easily Customized

When someone comes to us looking to build a retaining wall, Big Bend Landscaping recommends interlocking, concrete pavers. They are highly attractive, relatively easy to install, and come in a wide variety of looks that can be mixed and matched based on your preferences. Whether you like a clean, modern look or a rustic one, the companies we work with will have the look you want.

Big BEnd Landscaping retaining wall home value

Enhances Your Home Value

Market research has shown that prospective buyers are drawn to homes with attractive landscaping and an existing outdoor living space. They also prefer homes in which someone has already prevented or resolved all of the problems. Once again, these walls do double-duty. Professionally built, attractive walls don’t just solve problems; they will increase your home’s value. And a yard that already has a functioning drainage system means the new owner won’t have to install it themselves.



Big Bend Landscaping is the home owner’s go-to-choice for building beautiful, long lasting paver walls and other outdoor living features. All of our hardscaped features are built using only the best products on the market, such as Pavestone, Romanstone, and Belgard products. Each of these companies provides lifetime guarantees for normal use pavers. And they all offer a wide variety of looks that can be mixed, matched, and customized.

We’ve been building patios, firepits, pathways, retaining walls, and seating walls in the St. Louis area for over 25 years. We have 56 five-star reviews on Google and an A+ rating with the BBB. Our crews have a Level 1 Certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association. This means we’re experts in our field. Check out our testimonials to see what our customers are saying about us.

Our experts can come to you and help you design an outdoor living space you will never want to leave. We will give you a CAD drawing of the space we discussed and the projected costs. Once we start the job, you will find us to be efficient and clean. And we will never make a change without discussing it with you first.

Big Bend Landscaping knows how to help you make the most of your outdoor living space. When you’re ready to make a change, check out our website for more details and contact us for more information!