I have leveled the area between our building and the fenced property boundary, removing soil next to the brickwork, which required me to work around four fence posts. Now, I plan to build a modular brick retaining wall to enclose the exposed rocks and soil. However, I do prefer not to build the retaining wall around the post bases to minimize the reduction in the area width, as it is already quite narrow (approximately 1.5 meters or 4 feet). If the fence posts are not a concern, I can construct the retaining wall directly beneath the timber sleepers at the base of the fence. Is there any way to secure these posts while maintaining a low profile for the retaining wall (maximize the gap between the retaining wall and the building)? By the way, the neighbor's concrete driveway extends right next to the fence covering the post bases.

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  • I would use Cottage stones they're strong, look great, and easy to install.
    – Charles
    Sep 14, 2023 at 1:44
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    what is the retaining wall suppose to retain ?
    – Traveler
    Sep 14, 2023 at 2:05
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    I hope you don't get any strong wind any time soon.
    – brhans
    Sep 14, 2023 at 2:17
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    replace the posts, one at a time, with longer posts ... disconnect the panels from a post ... use the post to drag the concrete blob from its position ... dig the hole deeper... reattach panels ... install new post ... repeat
    – jsotola
    Sep 14, 2023 at 2:57
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    Hate to question locking the barn door after the horse has escaped, but have you considered water control at that location? It appears from the stain on the wall that the land sloped forward toward the camera, getting water to likely not want to flow to the house. Now the land appears to slope toward the house a little and will be a water channel. You might get water in the basement. Sep 14, 2023 at 12:26

2 Answers 2


Your proposed retaining wall will not just "enclose the exposed rocks and soil". It has to support the lateral loads from the soil behind it, and also from vehicles on the neighbor's driveway. Building codes differ from place to place, but they commonly exempt simple retaining walls from permit requirements if they are less than 3 or 4 feet tall. However, that exemption does not apply if they are supporting a surcharge load, such as vehicles on a driveway. Even though it's not very tall, it will likely require a building permit and an engineered design.


no you can't build the wall underneath the sleepers, you need to build the reataining wall on your side of the boundary line.

  • This. There's frequently a setback required for fence construction, unless both property owners agree (writing) that the builder can build the fence adjacent to the property line (but still on their side). If your neighbor's fence is X ft from the PL, and you've excavated up to the fence (i.e. X ft into the neighbor's property), you've just committed a property violation.
    – Huesmann
    Sep 14, 2023 at 10:33
  • often for a shared boundary fence the boundary is on one face of the posts, so one party accomodates the rails and palings, and the other party accomodates the posts.
    – Jasen
    Sep 15, 2023 at 0:39

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