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Wall Systems in Williamsburg
retaining wall with greenery planted on top
As VA’s leader in brick and stone, Batchelder & Collins has everything you need for exciting home projects.

Wall Systems in Williamsburg

Key Takeaways:

  • Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil from lawns, walkways, and other landscaping areas by resisting horizontal pressure.
  • Several materials are available for retaining walls, but stone, concrete, and brick tend to last the longest.
  • A garden wall is smaller than a retaining wall and separates soil with mulch from other soil or the rest of an outdoor living space.
  • While retaining walls have functional benefits for your landscaping needs, they also offer a visual appeal that can increase property value.

Retaining walls can be an integral part of any home improvement project, especially when you need something to hold back soil while boosting your property’s overall aesthetic. Homeowners looking to take their homes to the next level or engineers working on large-scale construction projects can benefit from retaining walls, but you’ll need to know what kind of retaining wall would work best for your unique circumstances.

Considering the variety of materials and styles available for retaining walls, it’s important to understand what your options are and which would work best for your needs. At Batchelder & Collins, we offer a variety of materials for retaining walls that can take your project to the next level. Take a closer look at how retaining walls work, and discover our showroom full of brick, stone, and more.

What is a Retaining Wall?

retaining wall with colorful flowers and greenery planted

As the name suggests, a retaining wall is a landscaping wall that retains soil behind it to keep a hill or mound of earth in place and protect the line between two areas of different elevations.

What is the Difference Between a Retaining Wall and a Garden Wall?

The primary difference between a retaining wall and a garden wall is height, as garden walls are much shorter. They are typically only two feet in height at most and are designed to separate a mulched part of the lawn from the rest of the property. Meanwhile, retaining walls can be much larger and are designed to hold back soil that’s substantial enough to create horizontal pressure.

When Does a Slope Need a Retaining Wall?

In most cases, the necessity of a retaining wall is dependent on the intensity of the slope. If the slope exceeds 4:1, a retaining wall could be beneficial. Additionally, retaining walls can benefit slopes that are prone to landslides or soil erosion.

The Four Types of Retaining Walls

Gravity Retaining Wall

  • Use weight to resist horizontal pressure
  • Typically large in size, with wall heights of up to 10 feet
  • Can be constructed from a variety of materials

Anchored Retaining Wall

  • Used in areas of limited space
  • Generally thin compared to other walls
  • Uses deep wires or cable rods to anchor walls in place

Cantilevered Retaining Wall

  • Uses an L-shaped structure or T-shaped structure with a stem and base to support the wall
  • Base is set underneath the ground level while the stem is visible
  • Can be built to a wall height of 33 feet at most

Sheet Pile Retaining Wall

  • Made from sheet metal
  • Weaker than other materials, but potentially cheaper and strong enough for some circumstances
  • Only economical to a maximum height of 20 feet

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Retaining Wall?

multiple different retaining walls with flowers and greenery planted

The cost of a retaining wall varies based on its size and the materials used in its construction. On average, a retaining wall costs about $6,000, but a smaller wall can be as little as $1,200. Meanwhile, larger retaining walls can more than double the average cost, especially if it’s a stone wall or made from another high-value material.

Why Our Customers Choose Batchelder & Collins

When you work with Batchelder & Collins, you’ll find a massive selection of materials available for all your retaining wall and hardscaping needs. Whether you are looking for form, function, aesthetics, or a mixture of it all, our showroom has got you covered. Take a look at what some of our previous customers from Williamsburg and the surrounding areas had to say about our offerings.


“Way better selection and prices than the big box stores. Also, the older man who loaded us up was extremely nice. I’ll be back simply because of him.” — W.G.

“Friendly and helpful. Got myself a pallet of bricks and they shipped it to their location within 24 hours for me to pick up with my truck. Inquired about some pavers for my driveway and they gave me an address to see what it looks like in a real example. Loved it. Will be coming back.” — Michael C.

Frequently Asked Questions About Retaining Walls

Here are questions we often receive from customers.

What Are the Most Durable Materials for Constructing a Retaining Wall in Williamsburg’s Climate?

The most durable material that can deal with Willaimsburg’s hot and humid summers and moderate winters tends to be brick. While other materials like concrete and stone can work too, brick retaining wall blocks are durable, weather-resistant, and tend to work well with the colonial aesthetics that so many homes in Williamsburg have.

What is the Most Cost-Effective Retaining Wall Option?

The most cost-effective material for a retaining wall is poured concrete. It is relatively inexpensive as a material for retaining wall installation and strong enough to last a considerable amount of time.

Do I Need Drainage Behind a Retaining Wall in Williamsburg?

Yes, you do need a drainage system behind a retaining wall, and that means using aggregate as a backfill behind the wall. Aggregate like crushed stone or gravel allows runoff to flow through the openings instead of getting caught in the soil.

What is the Lifespan of a Retaining Wall?

The lifespan of a retaining wall largely depends on the material used.

  • Brick: 50 to 100 years
  • Timber: 20 to 30 years
  • Concrete: 50 to 100 years
  • Natural stone: 50 to 100 years

Supplies to Create the Home of Your Dreams

Whether you are looking to upgrade your landscape design or build the home of your dreams, Batchelder & Collins is happy to offer all the supplies you need for a quality retaining wall in Williamsburg. Learn more about our inventory by calling 757-625-2506, filling out our online contact form, or stopping by our store to explore your options for retaining walls, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, garden walls, outdoor kitchens, and more.