Retaining walls are a pretty common feature, they are found around many homes and vary in purpose, design, size and material. All serve a common purpose; to retain or stabilize an area for an intended purpose. In residential settings around Atlanta, retaining walls are usually constructed of either pressure treated lumber or used railroad ties. Larger, sturdier ones will be concrete. They are used mainly to stabilized hilly terrain, make a site more aesthetically appealing or to expand the usable area. We see them used to support driveways and open walkout areas of basements. Designs can be as simple as a few stacked together or as complex as multi-tiered walls with deadmen, drainage and a mix of materials. It all depends on type of property and the purpose of the wall. While common, there are instances where retaining walls will impact the value and appeal of a home, consider this video:

Most buyers will consider a modest presence of retaining walls on a property. However, we see different segments respond in different ways. Most families with small children will note the presence of high walls as a potential safety risk. Some buyers will consider aesthetics and how the walls impact the look and use of the site. Others may consider maintenance of the walls. Railroad ties are a no go to some because of creosote, they consider it toxic. When retaining walls are on site, key factors to consider include:

  • the first impression - was it immediately noticeable
  • visual and functional impact on the usable area
  • their purpose
  • possible safety issues
  • maintenance
  • quality and condition

Real estate is the most unique widget in the world, no two homes are alike. Retaining walls as well will differ depending on the specific requirement for each home. How that plays in the market is up to the buyers, but every buyer will be a seller. It's prudent to consider the first impression a retaining wall gives; it's likely to be similar to the next buyer.


The Hank Miller Team puts 30+ years of full time sales & appraisal experience to work for you. Act with complete confidence & make sound, decisive real estate decisions. 678-428-8276 and info@hmtatlanta.com

Posted by Hank Miller on

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