Retaining walls are commonly made of concrete, concrete blocks, metal plate, or treated lumber.
But has it ever occurred to you that retaining walls can also be made of a corrugated metal roof?
This material is usually used for a cover or a roof. Yet, it turns out that with a bit of extra creativity, you can make your hilly landscape look unique with corrugated metal.
- A Single Retaining Wall Made of Corrugated Metal with a Cap
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Wooden Structure
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Treated 4x4s and 2x4s
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Slatted Wooden Fence in the Back
- Minimalist Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with a Wood Top
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Metal Posts
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with a Concrete Cap
- Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall as an Edging with Hemmed Edges
- Concrete Retaining Wall with Corrugated Metal Treatment
It might sound counterproductive to use corrugated metal only for retaining walls. Is it solid, durable, or strong enough to retain a large amount of soil?
Of course, you may need to go the extra mile to make that happen. But it’s worth the effort because corrugated metal retaining walls will fit a modern, contemporary, to mid-century landscaping with a touch of ranch vibe.
Apart from being unique and unusual, the main reason you should consider using corrugated metal for retaining walls is the price.
Corrugated metal is the cheapest option compared to other typical materials for retaining walls. It fits those who are rather tight on budget but still want to make the most of their landscapes.
Now, here are 9 creative ideas to use corrugated metal retaining walls as a cheap option to decorate your hilly landscaping:
1. A Single Retaining Wall Made of Corrugated Metal with a Cap
Corrugated metal can work like any stone or wood retaining wall. It can stand tall, not just make a low wall.
This is a vertical patterned corrugated metal sheet that runs along the hilly side of the front yard landscaping.
Following the front yard line, this corrugated metal sheet staggered a bit at the side, creating a new line in the back. This makes the retaining walls look layered, boosting a visual interest in the landscaping.
Since this corrugated metal sheet stands alone without any additional structure, it looks a bit bare.
That’s why the landscaper added a cap that seems to be made of wood, painted in a dark tone to contrast the natural color of corrugated metal.
Being aesthetic aside, adding a cap, regardless of the material, will help stabilize the corrugated metal.
If you prefer not to add any additional structure to your corrugated metal retaining walls, it’s best to consult with a pro landscaper whether it’s possible in your case, and don’t forget to add a cap.
2. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Wooden Structure
Compared to the previous project, this corrugated wall looks more solid because it has a wooden structure and frame surround. The lumber makes the posts and the caps for each sheet of the corrugated metal.
This wall runs along with the spacious landscaping. It doesn’t only work as a retaining wall but also as a border to separate the homeowner’s private area and the neighbor’s.
You see that in each frame, an extended post stands tall. It indicates that this corrugated metal retaining wall can be covered high to maintain privacy.
Adding wooden structures to the retaining walls made of corrugated metal will somehow add their height. It’s important if you want to double-function it as a fence.
3. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Treated 4x4s and 2x4s
This retaining wall also features a frame and structure made of wood. The difference is that the corrugated metal in this wall seems only work as a treatment instead of a main structure of the wall.
The owners built a panel wall at the base of the wall in a horizontal pattern. This base is used to make the retaining walls more steady.
Creating a wooden frame like this takes treated lumber 4x4s and 2x4s. The corrugated metal is used as a filler to add a ranch vibe to this wall, making it look more attractive.
The wooden frame was stained with Behr’s Water Proofing Wood Stain in S-104 Cordovan Brown, the kind of shade that mimics the dark tone of the wood.
An idea like this is applicable if you want to make a retaining wall and a fence that borders your property to the street.
To add more accent, you can add some boulders and rocks in front of the wooden framed corrugated metal retaining walls. It serves as an outer layer of protection and border for the wall.
4. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Slatted Wooden Fence in the Back
This retaining wall is made of galvanized steel roof panels, another corrugated metal type.
You may have seen this panel used as a patio cover before because this is basically a roofing material. With extra effort, you can turn it into a unique retaining wall.
We can see that this area is not actually sloped landscaping. It’s more like a raised bed, complete with a wooden fence in the back.
The wooden fence has an aesthetic and functional purpose. It can be an accent to the corrugated metal retaining walls, but at the same time, it can also offer protection and privacy to the area.
This corrugated metal wall is supported by wood posts but has a concrete top. The concrete top offers a durable structure to hold the soil and keep the corrugated metal sheet stay in its place.
If you want to adopt this idea, keep in mind that you need a proper thickness for the lumber.
5. Minimalist Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with a Wood Top
Simple and minimalist, this is the kind of corrugated metal retaining wall that will also work well for a planter box.
The homeowners used these retaining walls to hold the soil in its place, creating a planter box for their front yard. These walls bracket the ascending path that leads to the front door.
Even though the corrugated metal retaining wall has no frame or post whatsoever, it is completed with a simple wooden cap. Adding a cap to a thin corrugated metal sheet will help it stand more steadily.
Did you know that building a retaining wall out of a corrugated metal sheet is also low maintenance?
It’s easy to clean it up. You just have to wipe it clean with a cloth if you ever find any dust and dirt on your metal sheet. With a certain treatment, you won’t have to worry about rust, too.
But, some people prefer to let their corrugated metal sheet rust after some time because it adds natural beauty to the walls.
6. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with Metal Posts
Even though incorporating wooden posts to the corrugated metal retaining walls will add beauty due to their contrasting texture and color, creating a consistent look is also attractive.
It means you can achieve a modern look out of your corrugated metal sheet.
As in this picture, the retaining walls are made of corrugated metal sheets. It has no frame or cap, only a post.
But, instead of being made of lumber, the posts are similarly made of metal. It provides a structure to the metal sheet, helping to stabilize it.
Despite its stylish look, you should know that this kind of retaining wall is not as strong and solid as the ones with lumber structures.
That’s why if you want to incorporate this idea into your landscaping, make sure the sloped area is not large.
In this project, it seems that the corrugated metal retaining walls are used to retain the narrow area of the side yard.
It’s not in a large amount, so the homeowners are able to use this thin retaining wall to help stabilize the ground.
7. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall with a Concrete Cap
Want a more solid and functional retaining wall?
You can still use corrugated metal sheets to save more money, but it’s better to combine them with a concrete cap.
The concrete cap should be thick and wide enough if you want it to be functional because it can be used as extra seating, just in case there’s not enough sitting space in your yard.
Due to the width of the cap, it’s obvious that it takes more than just one layer of corrugated metal sheet. You need at least two sheets installed in parallel to provide a solid structure for the concrete cap.
It appears that these retaining walls are not simply used to retain the soil of a hilly area but to create a raised bed, a large planter box.
To highlight the unusual look of this bed, the landscaper also installed recessed garden lights on the metal sheet. Imagine how dramatic and magical this area is at night.
Adding some potted plants to the concrete cap won’t hurt. A wide concrete cap like this is versatile. You can use it for any specific reason, and surely that’s the main point of the retaining walls.
8. Corrugated Metal Retaining Wall as an Edging with Hemmed Edges
Creating an edging with hemmed edges will be unique if you use a corrugated metal sheet. It takes a very long metal sheet to create curved lines like this.
Despite the fact that a corrugated metal sheet can be used as a retaining wall, a thin sheet like this clearly won’t make it. It means that you need to think out of the box to make it work.
The landscaper of this project managed to make the thin corrugated metal sheet stands strong by using wooden posts placed strategically.
But that wasn’t enough. They added soil at the same height as the bed inside the wall in the inner corner.
The ground inside seems to be covered with mulch, while the soil in the corner looks bare. Yet, a stack of mulch is in front of it to help keep the metal sheet standing steadily.
The landscaper also used a stack of concrete blocks to retain the soil, and the mulch at the inner corner, which means that there are extra layers added just to keep this thin sheet of corrugated metal stand and become a solid edge for the planter bed.
Adding some boulders and rocks inside the walls is recommended to help retain the soil.
9. Concrete Retaining Wall with Corrugated Metal Treatment
Obviously, the corrugated metal sheet in this project only works as a piece of treatment, not as the main structure.
The metal sheet is heavily framed by what seems like concrete. This concrete retaining wall has already stood proudly even without the corrugated metal sheet.
We all know that concrete is a solid material to retain a large amount of soil.
However, we can’t deny that concrete retaining walls look plain and boring despite their durability and strength. That’s why many people prefer to decorate it with other elements to liven it up a bit.
There are many ways to decorate concrete retaining walls, actually. But the homeowners wanted to do something different to their landscape. They added a layer of corrugated metal sheet in the center of the concrete retaining wall.
It’s clear that these metal sheets are only used for aesthetic reasons. See how they complement the treated concrete.
The shine of the metal is also useful to brighten up the desert landscaping around, making it look more attractive and appealing.
We can conclude that in some cases, only building retaining walls out of corrugated metal is not enough. Sometimes, you should add an extra structure to make it stronger and more solid.
The most common additional structure is concrete. Aside from making the corrugated metal sturdier, concrete is another cheap option for building retaining walls.
Even when combined together, you won’t spend half as much as when you use treated wood.
On the other hand, you can also pair your corrugated metal retaining walls with treated lumber.
The cost may be a bit higher, but if money is not an issue, you can make a pretty combination out of corrugated metal and treated wood. The treated wood should be a structure or frame surrounding the metal sheet.
If you use wood, make sure it is pre-treated. It means that it should be added with an extra layer of protection, like waterproof material, rot-resistant, and primer if you want to paint it.
The common materials used are treated 4x4s and 2x4s for its sides.
You can still use corrugated metal only for your retaining walls, without any additional material. But, it takes professional advice to finish this task.
At least, you have to use the right ground cover or use some boulders to help the corrugated metal retain the soil.