How Anchored Retaining Walls Work - and are they worth it?

Installing a retaining wall on your property requires a lot of thinking and planning. After all, they are often a permanent addition to your space, and you would not want to end up regretting your decision and taking it down later.

There are many types of structures you can choose from. Gravity, cantilever, and pile walls are what we may see in many residential landscapes. There are also anchored retaining walls that are popular for their stability. In fact, they are even the top choice for projects that require a long-lasting wall. Will adding an anchor wall on your lawn benefit you, or are they just a waste of your money? How do anchor walls even work?

What are anchored retaining walls?

Anchored retaining walls are a type of wall specifically used for holding soil, water, and other matter within an enclosed space. They often function to prevent soil erosion and are also helpful when it comes to improving the landscape of a residential or commercial property.

If we compare an anchor wall to the other retaining wall types, the main difference is that the former has added supports known as “anchors.” These are tie rods that connect the wall to the ground and keep it stable at an increased amount. As a result, the wall is more able to accommodate and hold back bigger or heavier masses of soil and is more reliable in the long run.

How does an anchored wall work?

"What I try to do is the art of building, and the art of building is the art of construction. It is not only about forms and shapes and images." ― Peter Zumthor

Anchored Retaining Walls are embedded at the top and bottom using cables, which are anchored in soil or rock behind them. Cables are driven into the ground and expanded at the end, either by mechanical means or by injecting pressurized concrete into the hole. (1)

For a wall to be able to bear its designated load, an anchored retaining wall may also rely on other supports such as a “deadman anchor.” This is a structure made of reinforced concrete. Because of its clever design, it is possible for an anchor wall, also called a tieback wall, to be thinner but still provide adequate amounts of support. Additional drainage systems will also be considered to increase the lifespan of the wall.

Are Anchored Retaining Walls worth your investment?

If you want to install a retaining wall on your property, there are a lot of things you need to consider. The priority is always getting the type that will fit your needs best. Although anchor walls are strong, you would not want to get an expensive wall that will be overkill.

Before getting all the necessary materials, ask yourself the most important question: “What do I need a retaining wall for?”

If you want a decorative wall that would not have to hold much weight, an anchor wall may be too much for this purpose. In this case, a gravity wall may be your best option. On the other hand, if you expect your wall to hold back heavier loads of soil, then an anchor wall will surely be worth the investment.

For owners that do not have much space in their property, anchored retaining walls will also give you the best value for your money. Not only are they rigid, but will also consume half the space that other retaining wall types have to occupy.

After identifying the main function of your wall, it will be easier to talk to a contractor about your needs. Usually, they will suggest the wall that you need after visiting your property.

The Denver Retaining Wall Pros

Are you unsure of what type of retaining wall will fit your needs? Do not hesitate to ask us for a free consultation. You can always rely on our skilled team from the consultation and up to the planning, design, and building of your dream wall.

Aside from anchor walls, we have installed countless types of retaining walls in the Denver area and surrounding areas. For residential, commercial, and construction site projects, just give us a call and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


  1. Types of Retaining walls| Civil Wale

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