Can You Build A Retaining Wall Against Fence? [Explained]

Can You Build A Retaining Wall Against Fence? [Explained]

Are you looking for a way to add a fence against a retaining wall? Well, if so, then you have landed at the right place. Adding a fence against the retaining wall is possible and relatively simple when done systematically. Find out what you need to do to add a retaining wall against the fence here.

So, read through the article and get to know everything you need to know about the retaining wall and fence.

Can You Build A Retaining Wall Against A Fence?

Yes, you can build a retaining wall against a fence. When it comes to your landscape, adding a fence to a retaining wall adds safety and seclusion. A fence is not required for every wall, although it is beneficial for some. You can add a fence to the front, back, or on the retaining wall.

How Close To A Fence Can You Build A Retaining Wall?

In some cases, the fence can be built just next to the retaining wall, while for others, you will be required to keep a gap of a few feet. The strength of the wall determines this gap between the fence and retaining wall in the following manner:

Sturdy and new wall

If the wall is strong and new, one can install the fence right against the wall. Also, if made from poured concrete, it will be much easier.

Weak and old wall

If the wall is old and weak, it is not suggested to build the fence near the wall as the fence footing can interfere with the wall. A 2-3 feet distance is suggested to create the fence for such walls.

What Do You Do With The Gap Between The Fence And The Retaining Wall?

The first thing to know here is that You should fill up the gap between the fence and the retaining wall. Also, if left unfilled, it should not be more than 10mm as it can cause waterlogging or even other damage. After clearing the debris, you can fill epoxy in the gap, which is simple.

How Do You Build A Retaining Wall Around A Fence?

There are various ways when you are planning to build a retaining wall around the fence. Securing a fence to your wall can be done in various ways, including surface mounting, face mounting, embedding a fence, and using a post-in system. Every technique has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

What Are The Different Methods Of Building A Retaining Wall Against Fence?

The different methods of building a retaining wall against the fence are as follows:

Surface Mounted

Retaining walls that have previously been created are perfect for surface-mounted fences. To secure the fence to the wall, this approach employs mounting brackets and anchor bolts.

Face Mounted

Instead of being installed on top of the retaining wall, you might mount the fence on the side or face as it can be stronger than the surface mount. The mounting bracket for surface attachment is only about 6 inches tall.

Embedded Posts

Instead of utilizing a mounting bracket, you can directly embed fence posts in the wall. Because you can bury the posts deep inside the wall, this is a highly strong approach to building a fence, and it’s perfect for new walls.

Post-in System

Cantilevered anchoring slabs attached underground behind the wall are used in this arrangement. The mechanism acts as a counterbalance, allowing you to maximize your landscape space.

What’s The Best Way To Build A Retaining Wall Fence?

The type of wall and fence determines the ideal approach to constructing a retaining wall fence. The following are some general considerations:

  • Build the fence directly on top of the wall if the wall is strong enough to sustain it.
  • Insert the posts into the wall when constructing a new retaining wall.
  • Build the fence a few feet back if the wall can’t support it.
  • When it comes to constructing a fence, always begin with the posts.

Can Your Retaining Wall Not Support An Added Fence?

This might happen if the walls are too short or the material is too weak. In these situations, you can still build a fence; it just has to be at least 3 feet behind your blocks. A fence can even relieve some weight on your retaining wall’s foundation. But you will need to complete a thorough check before starting.

What Are The Benefits Of A Retaining Wall Against Fence?

There are various reasons why adding a retaining wall against the fence is good. The main benefits are as follows:

Enhance Overall Property Value

Adding a retaining wall can increase your home’s overall appearance and value. It’s a simple and practical approach to making your living area more versatile.

Durable and Low Maintenance

Retaining walls are a great investment when it comes to landscaping structures. They are built of strong materials that can withstand extreme weather.

Extremely Functional

A retaining wall is both practical and capable of supporting enormous loads. It may be swiftly installed and hold back water or soil for a long time without requiring any maintenance.


Retaining walls are a green alternative since they create minimal harm to the natural environment. They are usually made of economical and long-lasting ecological materials.

Prevent Erosion

Erosion can wash fertilizers away, create sinkholes, and degrade your environment, resulting in costly damage. A retaining wall can help keep your plants in place while reducing erosion.

Security To Space

A fence also increases home security by providing an additional obstacle for a thief to overcome before entering your home. It provides more security as it gets higher and harder to climb.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can A Fence Be Used As A Retaining Wall?

A fence should not be used as a retaining wall in most circumstances. Earth, water, and soil provide lateral forces that fences are not built to endure. A kickboard, on the other hand, if planned and built correctly, can help a fence retain a little quantity of dirt.

When Do You Need A Fence On Top Of A Retaining Wall?

When the drop is greater than 30 inches, a fence is usually necessary on the retaining wall. A retaining wall holds back dirt and flattens the land at the base, and produces a sharp drop at the top. A fence will assist keep people and dogs from falling through the cracks in the wall.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Make A Retaining Wall?

The cheapest type of retaining wall is poured concrete. The average cost starts from around $4.30 per square foot for poured concrete. Using this method is beneficial and affordable with the other supplies and labor.

How High Can A Retaining Wall Fence Be?

The height of the retaining wall fence is based on various factors. If you’re going to build on top of your wall, make sure it’s strong enough to sustain your fence. The maximum fence height from grade is 6 feet, including both the wall and the fence. In general, 3-4 feet is sufficient for safety.

How Long Do Retaining Walls Last?

Different retaining walls have different lifespans based on the material used and durability. Retaining walls made of stone stay for 40-100 years or more. Wooden retaining walls have a lifespan of about 40 years. Concrete retaining walls can last for 50-100 years. Brick retaining walls can last for over a century.


Building a retaining wall against a fence have multiple benefits to the house owner. From holding back the soil to being a strong support to the fence, retaining walls add aesthetic appeal. So, building a retaining wall after consulting with an expert can offer benefits for quite an elongated period.


Alice is a writer who grew up on a beautiful homestead in rural Old England. She now lives in New England with her fur babies and is on a mission to return to the land for a simpler, greener, and all-round kinder existence.

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