Retaining Wall Structural Engineering

Do you need help reshaping your property or work site? Anderson Engineering can help with your retaining wall design and engineering-stamp requirements!

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Retaining Wall Design Process

In Utah, there are restrictions for commercial and residential retaining walls, regardless of whether a permit required or not. The retaining wall design process is guided by the following factors:

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Desired Wall Materials

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Drainage Needs

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Property Slope

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Desired Wall Materials

Blending Form and Function

A retaining wall should be the perfect blend of form and function; it should be something that complements your site while serving its purpose. It needs to withstand lateral forces, whether it’s modular or solid, made of block, concrete, or stone.

Leave the Hassle to Us

Any retaining wall that exceeds four feet in height should be designed by a structural engineer. The engineered design will ensure you comply with construction regulations, keeping your project on time and within budget. When you partner with Anderson Engineering for a retaining wall, there’s no need to worry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Retaining Wall Design

While a contractor can build a retaining wall on your property, they cannot design it and submit plans for a building permit unless they are also a licensed, professional engineer.

If you’re planning to build a retaining wall, it’s essential to hire a licensed professional engineer for the job. A retaining wall is not just any ordinary structure; it must be designed to withstand the pressure of soil and water behind the wall. At Anderson Engineering, When designing your retaining wall, we consider factors such as soil type, groundwater levels, slope stability, and drainage requirements When designing your retaining wall, we consider factors such as soil type, groundwater levels, slope stability, and drainage requirements we analyze the site conditions and design a retaining wall that meets local building codes and safety standards. Hiring a licensed professional engineer ensures that your retaining wall is not only functional but also safe and durable in the long run.

If the wall in question is going to be four feet in height, a building permit is required. Additionally, a wall that fits this category must be designed by a licensed engineer in Utah.

In Utah, a retaining wall is a rigid wall that laterally supports the soil. If the wall is greater than four feet in height, it is a retaining wall and requires a permit. A garden wall can provide structural support, but if it’s shorter than four feet, it may not require an engineered design or a permit for construction. Often, a garden wall is considered more decorative than structural.

It depends on where the wall is being installed, but typically if the retaining wall is in the front of the property or facing a street, most likely local codes will not allow fencing to be installed on top of it.

Potentially – based on local codes. But typically, retaining walls can only be installed within ten feet of the property line. Walls closer to the property line are possible but may require approval of adjacent property owners and the city building department approval.

There are some other restrictions regarding the placement of a retaining wall. We will work with you to check local codes. Additionally, they cannot block access to utilities or obstruct the flow of stormwater runoff.

Retaining walls provide additional support in the ground to prevent erosion. The presence of the retaining wall offsets the force of a slope. They can also terrace the land to make it more suitable for its intended purpose.

To get a permit for a retaining wall in Utah, you may need to submit a proposed engineered design and stamped drawing to the City or County building department.

Permit fees may vary by county, but the cost for the building permit is usually between 1% – 5% of the project’s total cost. The average price for constructing a retaining wall is $23 per square foot, depending on the materials used.

If the wall is greater than four feet tall, it must be designed by a licensed engineer. The build must be supervised by the engineer, and inspections must certify that the wall was built to its original specifications.

Ready to Get Started?

Retaining walls can be built without a building permit if they fall within specific parameters. However, for anything four feet in height or taller, there is a process to follow.