There are three ways to build a retaining wall
  that have been proved over time to work and survive lots of freezing and thawing!
Oak wall This MUST be built with oak, NOT pressure treated lumber.  Pressure treated lumber contains toxic materials which can damage fish etc.

Netting is MOST important to prevent wave action from erroding behind the wall.

Advantages:

           Looks nice. Uniform height.
           With decking, easy to mow.

Disadvantages:

           Somewhat expensive.

Concrete wall Don’t use limestone, it breaks up from freezing.  Most contractors have broken concrete they are willing to deliver for free, but get it without re-inforcing rods.

Advantages:

          Inexpensive.

Disadvantages:

          Labor intensive to install
          Harder to mow around.
          Needs "weeding".

Concrete Blocks

This construction is essentially the same as that for broken concrete.

Advantages:

         Easy to stack.
         Very neat appearance.
         Fairly easy to mow.

Disadvantages:

         Heavy to install.
         Moderate cost.


HOW TO BUILD

Some lots had earth removed in front of the banks using a back-hoe. This created a "ditch" which fills up with silt. If this is your situation, you need to remove as much silt as possible, then fill the trench with compacted shot rock to create a level and stable foundation.

If your shore line is firm, you can build directly on the un-disturbed base.

OAK WALL

1. Deposit shot rock and compact if there is a trench in front of the bank.
2. Place first layer of 6 x 6 oak.
3. Drill holes and drive 5ft spikes (" concrete re-bar) every 6ft of length.
4. Lay additional layer. Each secured by 8" nails.
5. Tie-backs, 8ft by 6" x 6" must be used at 10ft intervals. These are secured by spikes. These stop the wall from tilting forward.
6. Place garden netting behind the wall This is the weed preventing roll material. Fiber glass preferred. Otherwise fine woven plastic. Water driven under wave action squirts between the features of the wall and erodes the earth behind it. This screen prevents that from occurring.
7. Small pebbles are essential behind the screen. These MUST extend above the lake level.
8. Place large rocks against the lake-side face of the wall up to the lake level.
9. Decking is optional.

CONCRETE WALL

1. Establish a firm base. If there is a trench or silt, scoop out and deposit shot rock.
2. If the lake floor is firm. Place the first line of broken concrete. These should be large pieces at least 2 x 1ft . Place at an angle towards the bank at 15.
3. Continue stacking and inter-locking.
4. Place netting behind the wall.
5. Back fill with small stones or gravel. These must extend above the lake level.