Retaining Walls

By: Tellurian Gardens  01/14/2016
Keywords: Retaining Walls, Landscape Contractor, Landscape Installation

If you have sloping terrain in your yard that has been keeping you from enjoying a beautifully landscaped exterior, it’s time to consider installing a retaining wall and creating a level space for you and your family to enjoy. General Considerations One of the first considerations you will have when it comes to installing a retaining wall is the local requirements for such a structure. In some municipalities, retaining walls must meet specific height requirements while others require the approval of engineers or other construction professionals. Ensuring that you are meeting the requirements set forth by your local government will ensure that you don’t run into problems later on. Concrete Retaining Block Walls Concrete blocks have become more popular as the main material used in constructing retaining walls in recent years. They are cost effective and provide years of maintenance-free service. They are also extremely versatile since concrete blocks come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and shapes. In most cases, concrete block retaining walls are built on top of crushed gravel and potentially other materials to promote drainage. Professional installation will help prevent common problems associated with DIY installation. Rock Walls Natural rock retaining walls are also popular in that they are extremely durable and create a more natural look in your landscape. Most are constructed using basalt or granite in order to ensure they can withstand the pressure exerted. Because rock walls require specific construction techniques in order to be safe and promote proper drainage. Treated Timber Walls Treated timber is also an option when it comes to constructing retaining walls. They are easier to install and can be more cost effective than concrete or rock. In most cases, a solidly built treated timber wall should last 20 years or longer. There are several configurations to create a treated timber wall including vertical installation and open grid. The open grid technique uses less material and provides additional cost savings. Concrete Walls Poured concrete is also an excellent option. Properly installed, a poured retaining wall can last for many years. However, poorly designed walls will break and fall. Poured concrete is considerably more expensive than other materials. Brick Walls Brick is a traditional building material that is durable and beautiful. Brick retaining walls are considerably more expensive than other types of walls but will provide long lasting results. Low walls are generally constructed of a single layer of mortared brick. Mid height walls will employ two levels of brick while taller walls will use bricks to face other construction materials to provide strength. Planting to Hold a Slope In some cases, installing a retaining wall isn’t required to create a beautifully landscaped area. In some cases, the soil may be stable enough to support plantings and mulching, which will not only provide beauty, but also help control erosion. As the plants grow, their roots will provide additional stability to the soil. To control running water, the installation of a drainage pipe should be adequate. Hydro seeding can help you plant larger slopes. A mixture of mulch, grass seed and water is sprayed on the surface of the slope to ensure adequate coverage. Additional planting of trees and shrubs can provide additional benefits while saving money building retaining walls.

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