What do retaining walls do?
Your land may be sloped, or it may be prone to different types of erosion: regardless of the grade of your land, a retaining wall may be helpful in a variety of ways for your property. As the name implies, retaining walls retain things, typically land and soil.
Retaining walls can act as a great divider between different parts of your yard, especially at specific points where the ground slopes enough to cause issues every time it rains. Erosion tends to be one of the most significant risks to your property, and retaining walls excel at helping control this issue.
Retaining walls come in all different shapes and sizes. They can be versatile in what they are used for and can even be decorative. Retaining walls can also be used as seeding walls to offer your friends and family more places to rest around your glowing fire pit.
The variety of materials used to create the perfect retaining wall is vast and can appeal to all aesthetics. However, some materials function better than others in preventing erosion and helping with proper drainage. In addition, some materials perform better than others at creating a showpiece for your patio.
A common mistake is to assume that a retaining wall functions similarly to a wall in a home. This is a mistake because retaining walls are meant to keep soil in its place horizontally, where a regular wall keeps the ceiling or upper floors up on a vertical level. Therefore, this distinction means retaining walls are built differently.
What are they made of?
When doing your due diligence in researching retaining walls and how they can function for you and your property – like you are doing now, go you! – you will find a great deal of choice when it comes to materials that can create the perfect retaining wall. Sometimes even a single material type can have a wide variety in and of itself.
Let’s take a look at concrete, for example. Concrete blocks are one of the most common materials to create a retaining wall. Because it’s manufactured, it’s often easier to find, and the cost is some of the most reasonable. Of course, you also have poured concrete as an option, which is a little more challenging to determine the price for; however, it functions much like blocks.
Brick is another commonly used material when looking into building a retaining wall. Brick can come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, making it versatile in its use. In addition, it’s an incredibly durable and weather-resistant option which gives it a leg up on competing materials.
Natural stone is a natural choice for retaining walls. It gives off a very traditional yet modern vibe, provides sturdy durability, and is relatively easy to come by. In addition, stone, as everyone is well aware, can last virtually forever, so it very infrequently needs replacing.
How do they look?
When it comes to keeping your property value up, looks matter. When it comes to living in your dream home, looks also matter. The look of the features on your property speak volumes of the care you take of it. If you have a patio that is crumbling, flowers dead in their bed, or paint chipping off every corner of your home, that curb appeal plummets.
Your retaining wall is no different. If you decide to install a retaining wall, you want it to be an extension of the beauty you’ve created for your home and outdoor living area. Luckily, most retaining walls are built to function well – and look fabulous.
Natural stone and wood offer a traditional look with rustic appeal – the old world meets the new world. Concrete gives a clean, modern look to your property – simple elegance. You may elect for boulders as a choice for a purely unique look, perhaps with vibrant colors or a tropical sand aesthetic. Whatever look you are hoping to achieve, there is a retaining wall that can enhance it.
Can they help drainage?
One of the most prominent causes of clogged drainage for yards and other outdoor drainage systems is runoff. Runoff occurs as part of an erosive process and can be sudden or take place over time. However, it is a costly and dangerous issue that an adequately placed retaining wall can alleviate no matter how it happens.
Retaining walls keep soil where you need it to be, preventing it from running away with the first great rainfall it meets. They also add height and texture to your property, giving it a truly unique look.
Can I use them for multiple things?
If your ground is anything but level and flat, chances are you could use a retaining wall somewhere on your property – and for multiple uses.
Let’s say your lower level leads out to a lovely patio that floods ALL THE TIME, rendering it virtually useless. A retaining wall built as a boundary that surrounds your patio will not only prevent flooding and erosion – it can act as a “sectional” couch of the great outdoors.
Or perhaps you want a yard of many levels and heights, providing you ample space for the veggie garden you’ve been wanting and a dog run for Fido. Again, building retaining walls in locations that work will help you achieve this texture and more.
Is it worth the cost?
While retaining walls are not the least expensive home improvement project available, they are certainly not the most costly, either. Depending on size and material, the investment can gain sizable returns in the long run. Outdoor living spaces add upwards of 10% extra property value, and retaining walls fall easily in that category!
Can I just do it myself?
Hard pass, friends – we caution you to please not DIY this one. Retaining walls sometimes require permits, machinery that can’t be stored in your garage, and a great deal of engineering to make great. Revolution Landscape and Design are happy to meet you and see your vision made a reality with our crew of expert professionals – all with the highest level of customer experience. Create a Revolution with your landscape today!