When done well, a hardscape and landscape will work together to create a functional and beautiful outdoor area. Retaining walls play an important part in the design of a well planned outdoor space. Find out more below about how retaining walls can work for your space and why it’s best to have a professional design and build your wall.
Using Retaining Walls
A retaining wall is used in landscaping when two areas need to be separated. A wall can be used to prevent erosion, holding soil back and stopping it from running off into the rest of the yard. For uneven yards with a slope, a retaining wall can save the landscape by preventing flooding or water damage caused by runoff.
Retaining walls aren’t just used for function, though. When designed well, they can also become a decorative focal point for your outdoor space. With a variety of materials to choose from, there are plenty of options when designing a wall. Getting creative with design can help the wall to fit in with the other elements of your landscaping and hardscaping.
Factors To Consider
The idea of a structure used to prevent erosion and flooding is simple enough, but there are many factors that will go into designing a wall, creating a timeline, and determining the cost of the project.
- Materials: Choosing a stone for your retaining wall will make all the difference in how it looks when completed. You’ll have many options to choose from and each option will affect the cost of your project. If the materials you choose are local, you can often get a better price and cut down on the amount of time it will take to get them. A different material may take longer to have shipped and could put a larger dent in your budget.
- Size: A larger project will require more planning and more materials, causing the timeline to get longer and the budget to increase. When surveying your yard, the project may seem overwhelming. The team at Circle D Construction can evaluate the area and create a design that makes sense.
- Landscape: The type of ground you’re building on could influence the type of materials best suited for the job, along with the design plans. It’s important to consider the soil or foundation that the wall will sit on before making any decisions about design.
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Because retaining wall design seems so simple, many homeowners attempt to take on the project on their own. There’s always a danger with taking on a large DIY project. The following are a few of the most common mistakes made when building a retaining wall without professional assistance, and some that even contractors without hardscaping experience have faced.
- Choosing Materials: As we mentioned in the section above, different soil types call for different materials. While some types of stone and concrete may look beautiful and match the style you’re looking for, they may not be the best option for the type of ground you’re dealing with. The material you choose should be a balance between form and function.
- Inadequate Drainage: Because the reason for building a retaining wall is most often to keep water from damaging an area, it’s important to consider how that water will be handled. Simply building a wall to stop it isn’t enough – the water needs to go somewhere. A wall without the proper drainage methods in place can lead to flooding.
- Craftsmanship: Stacking stones to create a wall sounds easy enough that anyone could do it. It’s true that anyone could give it a try, but those without experience will most likely encounter some construction problems. In many cases, walls that aren’t built properly will end up falling when soil and water put pressure on the rocks. Building a strong wall takes practice and skill and isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.
Choosing A Professional
Knowing about potential mistakes is one thing. Avoiding them and creating a well designed, strong, and dependable retaining wall is another. Choosing a professional to take on your project can help to ensure that your landscaping won’t suffer with the first heavy rainstorm of the season. There are plenty of reasons to call in the pros when designing your retaining wall.
- Less Effort: While some homeowners may feel up to the task of taking on hardscaping in their yard, it’s a lot of work for most. The project tends to take much more time than anticipated and costs can quickly build up, especially if there’s a problem that needs to be resolved.
- Resale Value: A well designed and well built retaining wall can increase your home’s resale value. The wall will improve your landscaping, and letting potential buyers know that it was installed by a professional will give them peace of mind.
- Aesthetic: A retaining wall is just one aspect of a full landscape design. The experts at Circle D Construction will take the full design into account when creating a plan for the retaining wall. In the end, you’ll have a cohesive look that combines landscaping and hardscaping in one beautiful space.