Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio

Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio

Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio


I recently ran into a situation where we needed to place a retaining wall on property line. If my foundation encroaches on the adjacent property is there any problems with this? I have looked for codes / rules against this to no avail. Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio

This will depend on the property boundary laws in your area. At the least, you will have to obtain permission from the adjacent property owner to encroach and legally you might have to be granted an easement for the foundation and for the construction.

Next you have to be concerned about the effect your retaining wall might have, both during and after construction, on the adjacent property. If their property is higher than yours and you are retaining their property, then you will have to protect their property from ANY lateral and vertical soil movement, particularly if they have a foundation within a zone of influence of your retaining wall. Further, it is difficult to install a retaining wall without some form of vibration. That can cause settlement of adjacent foundations and wall cracking. Be aware of this and mitigate vibrations by the selection of the construction technique.

If your property is higher than theirs, you have fewer issues to deal with, but there is still the issue of vibration and access during construction.

I would suggest a very thorough pre-construction condition survey of the adjacent property, noting and mapping any existing cracks, setting pins in the wall to check vertical movement and documenting all with notes, photos and video. The termination of all cracks should be marked so you can see if crack migration occurred during construction. You have a duty in the design and specification of the wall construction to protect the adjacent property. Approach carefully.

RE: Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio

I fully agree with Ron here.

Additionally, you will be designing an inherently inefficient wall (an L shaped wall) with the footing probably being as high as the height of earth retained, and the height retained height of soil also limited by the allowable soil bearing.

You may also have sliding stability issues and need a key at the base.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: Retaining Wall On Property Line Ontnio

You also might need to verify that there is not already some form of easement such as a utility easement. It was typical in one larger city where I worked to have property within the city limits having a 5' utility easement on either side of all property lines. Building a wall in that easement would require some sort of variance approval since you would be proposing placing a permanent structure in an easement if that applied to your case.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close