Retaining wall right up to coping


New member
Nov 4, 2020
I am in the ”making sketches and dreaming” phase - along with some serious reading.

so far I think I have arrived at an aesthetic/rough sketch that I really like but it may require a 5-7 foot wall ( house is under construction and while I have a site plan of what the grading is supposed to look like when finished - I doubt it will exactly match the plan).

I know the sketch is cluttered and not that clear - but this is just a rough sketch.

the oval shape that wraps around the sunroom is supposed to be an elevated sun deck with a built-in water fall feature. I want the deck to also serve as a retaining wall and I want to build it as close to the pool coping as possible. The idea is that the elevated sun deck will be level, and even an extension of the patio that serves as egress for the walkout basement. The walkout basement can then be utilized as a pool house. The walkout patio and the elevated sun deck will sit at 44’ and the pool will sit at 37’ (assuming the site plan is gospel). There are other elements in the sketch, but the main element is that elevated retaining wall/sun deck. I will likely change, add, subtract some other elements - but I am really becoming attached to this elevated sundeck/wall/water feature concept.

I plan to do a steel wall/liner kit for pool construction.

And of course the big question...Would my proposal be feasible with steel wall/ liner construction (just the main element)?

I think I am in engineered wall territory as The top will be either Hardscaping or concrete - and I think I will likely need to at least get plans form an engineer for the wall - maybe contract the construction too.

thanks for any input on this.



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Jul 16, 2012
Central MD
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Yes, very engineered. Anything is feasible by spending enough money. Your wall will need to go from at or below the level of the pool wall base to the finished upper deck level. So your wall will be 10-12' tall (7' from top of pool to upper deck height, plus depth of pool walls). I suspect for that wall you'd want poured concrete or gunite. Does the pool level deck also need support? Or is that flat. If it does need support, you could be looking at piers or a secondary retaining wall.

My concern with the concept, is the lack of visibility to the pool from the upper deck. You will have very poor sight lines to the water. I'd be tempted to get all my deck space on one level and forgo the cool factor for safety/function. Combining the space on one level also makes the space much more useful. Don't hate me! I do love a cool design, so long as it's not at the expense of other important aspects.

Can you post a few pictures of your backyard as is?


New member
Nov 4, 2020
Hmm - safety... blind spots, this is something to consider for sure.

the lot is wooded and i will have to clear it but here are some other pics of it while being constructed.

it does flatten out after about 10’ beyond the house. I’m hoping I won’t need secondary retention.