The Different Kinds of Retaining Walls & Their Purpose

If you’re a homeowner, it’s a constant battle to understand how to truly get the most out of your outdoor space. We hope that we can alleviate some of that stress by listing each retaining wall and their purpose. Given our expertise as retaining wall Melbourne specialists, we know the best retaining fit for your lifestyle and property layout.

Timber Walls

The most economical choice given timber is a cheaper alternative to concrete. Timber includes hardwood, cypress sleeper, jarrah sleeper etc.

These are all different styles with different finishes and have different durability measurements.

They are a preferred choice for areas not susceptible to bad weather or irrigation, given that they are largely non-weather resistant.

Concrete Walls

Concrete is a viable choice given its durability, resistance to rotting and is largely insect-proof. They are also easier to clean and maintain.

They are generally more expensive than treated pine or timber given their resistance, quality of material and labour costs.

Rendered Block

Rendered block walls are always a good choice because they are versatile and bring out a nice level of simplicity to your home. They are functional, and a popular choice for low-lying areas or garden edges.

They bring an innovative flair to your home.

Brick Walls

Much like concrete retaining walls, brick walls are very durable, weather-resistant, insect-proof and is also very easy to maintain.

They make for a great flexible choice and guaranteed to never rot and their shape won’t warp or change under pressure.

Treated Pine

These walls are similar to standard timber retaining walls and are used to for stabilising earth or embankments and can be supported through sleepers like steel or timber.

They are designed to last 15-20 years without much ongoing maintenance and are a cheaper alternative to concrete retaining walls.

With timber/treated pine walls you always have the ability to reinforce them with concrete sleepers which help build their resistance.

Gabion Wall

These are essentially rocks filled into galvanised gabion baskets, which provide a unique and stylish finish to your property.

Suitable for areas where erosion may have occurred.

Choosing the best system all comes down to your budget, environment and climate for most homes.

You need to be mindful of your property layout as well as the environment, as some retaining walls aren’t suitable for the harsh Melbourne weather.

Homes are looking for more modern and contemporary finishes as well as durability, which makes sense as to why many homes decide to opt for concrete sleepers.

Concrete and brick walls are also valued because they are guaranteed to last between 50-100 years, whereas timber and treated pine have a smaller life cycle and may only last for around 20-50 years pending they are looked after and maintained.


Hopefully, you now understand the purpose of each retaining wall and the sort of value they can bring to your home and property layout.There are plenty of economical choices such as timber and treated pine retaining walls, but if you’re in the market for durability and reliability, concrete sleepers are a great choice. Gabion walls are unique and their design and may be a good fit for your property – it all depends on your budget and preserving your natural layout.

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