Everything You Need to Know About Retaining Walls Built With Versa-Lok

Retaining walls can offer a huge benefit to sloping landscapes that are very common in the Pittsburgh area. Hilly terrains require structural support in order to keep soil in place so your landscape doesn’t slide forward and turn into a landslide. A well-built retaining wall can prevent this from happening while giving your yard an attractive focal point.


Selecting the right material and brand can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started with your landscape project. Retaining walls must be durable and long-lasting to keep your yard looking its best, that’s why our landscaping experts opt for Versa-Lok segmental retaining walls units for the best results.


retaining wall with shrubs and rocks next to driveway

How to Build a Versa-Lok Retaining Wall The Right Way

Versa-Lok blocks are the most structural and cost-effective option for retaining walls. They come in different colors allowing you to customize your wall and they are all generally the same price. The blocks pin together and are very heavy, increasing the life span of your wall but they must be built correctly by a professional to get the most out of it.


Compaction is Key

We build retaining walls for our clients on a compacted stone base. Compaction is the most important part of the job. Failure to thoroughly compact the base is devastating to the longevity and appearance of a Versa-Lok retaining wall. We own multiple types of compactors that are best for specific situations. A drain is installed behind the wall along the bottom, and then we fill behind the wall with clean 2b limestone.


excavator digging yard

Use The Right Material for Soil Reinforcement

Most yards require soil reinforcement to prevent erosion. Because many Pittsburgh yards have soft soil, you should select your material wisely. Our team can assess your yard and determine if soil reinforcement is necessary for your retaining wall.


We utilize geogrid for retaining walls where applicable to increase the strength of the wall by anchoring the wall to the backfill behind it. The heavy-duty net-like fabric is laid between two rows of blocks and then stretched back into the hillside behind.


The fabric is then covered with the next lift of stone backfill and the process is repeated a few times per wall depending on the height of the wall. The weight of the soil behind the wall stops the wall from being able to bow out.


Below is an illustration of geogrid in a Versa-Lok retaining wall:


geogrid rendering for versa-lok retaining wall

Blocks May Need to Be Modified to Fit Your Retaining Wall

No two yards are alike, and blocks may need to be cut to accommodate your retaining wall’s design. You must have the right tools and be extremely careful when cutting blocks in order to prevent injury. It’s recommended to leave block cutting to the professionals. Our team is trained to precisely cut blocks to create a beautiful finish for your retaining wall.


We use a block cracker to cut blocks so they will have a finished rough face like the front of the block. Sometimes we will do the caps one shade darker than the wall block if a client is looking for a little more variation and unique design. We are also able to build under cap lighting into retaining walls if desired to elevate your landscape and add dimension.

retaining wall with under cap lighting illuminated at night

Choose The Right Professionals to Build Your Versa-Lok Retaining Wall

Building a sturdy, attractive retaining wall that complements your yard is no easy task, especially if you are a novice landscaper. Getting your Versa-Lok retaining wall built by a professional is certainly an investment, but we can guarantee the end result will be much better than DIY and will last for years to come.


Choosing the right Pittsburgh landscaping team is crucial to ensure your retaining wall is built correctly and has the exact design that you want.


While you’re shopping around and getting estimates from various contractors, don’t always assume the cheapest option is best. Q&A Landscaping has strong roots in the Pittsburgh area and we know exactly what it takes to build a custom retaining wall that’s best for your landscape.


The difference between a great retaining wall built by us and an average wall built by a semi-professional is clear:

  • We have built over 100 walls and have been in business for over 10 years

  • Our team uses professional-grade equipment to give your wall the best structure and appearance

  • We fix your yard after the project as a courtesy so your landscape has a polished look

  • We work efficiently to complete your project as quickly as possible

  • Incorporating your vision into your project is the number one priority

As with any trade, there are levels of expertise. We have been perfecting our craft for over 10 years now and continue to do so every day. We worry about details that a lot of other landscaping companies don’t even know exist or care to address.

If you’re looking for a professional landscaping company that won’t waste your time or money and will make your dream landscape a reality, get in touch with us to discuss your retaining wall project!