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Step Downs    View Complete Residential Retaining Wall Manual

Stepping Down Your Retaining Wall

Patterned retaining wall with step downs

Retaining wall with step downs

One of the unique benefits that sets Allan Block apart from other retaining wall systems is a great variety of options for ending and stepping down retaining walls. With Allan Block, you can turn retaining wall ends into the hillside with smooth flowing curves, corners or simple step downs. No other wall system gives you as many choices for finishing off your retaining wall project.



  • For a gradual step down, use the half-high blocks - AB Lite Stone from the AB Collection.
  • For a full course step down, use the AB Corner Blocks.
  • For a step down that doubles as a planter, turn the wall in 2 or 3 blocks after a corner.
  • Create a soft ending to the wall by using an inside curve while stepping down.

See more options for finishing your retaining wall.

retaining wall step down - curve

Step down curves
with retaining wall

retaining wall step down - planter

Step down doubles
as retaining wall planter

retaining wall step down - corner block

Full course step down:
use corner blocks

retaining wall step down - gradual

Gradual step down:
use half-high blocks

Retaining Wall Turn-ins

Retaining wall with turn-ins

Retaining wall with turn-ins

The simplest and easiest method of ending an Allan Block retaining wall is to use smooth flowing curves that turn back into the hillside. The benefits of curving the retaining wall back into the hillside include:



  • For a graceful, flowing end to the wall, curve the wall to create a plantable area that can soften the look of the retaining wall.
  • For a natural flow into the landscape curve the wall back into the hillside. TIP: The benefits of curving the wall back into the hillside include:
    • Less Time and Expense to Build
    • No Need for Corner Blocks
    • Superior Erosion Control
    • Attractive Design
  • For a dramatic end to the retaining wall, use a corner to turn the wall back into the hillside. See stepping up the base for information on stepping up the wall.
    • TIP: Walls with ends that turn back into the hillside help prevent erosion behind the wall


retaining wall turn-in planter

Curved turn-in
doubles as a planter

Retaining wall curves into the hillside

Retaining wall
curves into the hillside

Retaining wall turns into the hillside

Retaining wall
turns into the hillside