retaining walls as part of landscape

What you should know about retaining walls

Retaining walls are a great investment for homeowners to either expand yard space or secure a slope. They can be constructed in many ways. You can have small walls that just add aesthetic levels of landscape or extreme walls that hold up entire hillside.

Retaining walls can be installed for a wide variety of reasons; but contractors divide them into two categories by size. Retaining walls under 4 feet are designed and built by contractors and landscape architects. Walls over 4 feet require much larger footings due to the increased lateral earth pressure. It must be designed by an engineer who will specify the size and extent of footings and steel requirements according to strict loading calculations.

Always remember that however beautiful these walls may ultimately be, they are a powerful structure that must function as designed. This can only happen when they are composed of the proper materials and constructed by quality contractors. Get these things right and you’ll be able to count on your financial investment maintaining both beauty and integrity for many decades to come. This is a construction item you should leave to professionals.

The best way to double the value of a retaining wall is to make it a seat wall. Seat walls are simply a short wall that’s designed for comfortable seating. Install them near a feature item, like a pool, fire pit, or fountain. It will create an instant welcoming area and a bonus that you won’t have to store and drag out more seating when you have a gathering.

The pricing of retaining walls can widely vary by materials used. Some averages are listed below. Of course anything custom made will increase prices:

  • Interlocking concrete blocks are about  $15-30 per square foot
  • Wood $20-25 per square foot
  • Stone $25-40 per square foot
  • Poured concrete $30-40 per square foot

Moisture is the primary issues with retaining walls and necessary measures need to be taken to make sure that the soil and backfill provide the correct supporting factors. All retaining walls must be constructed the correct way to prevent failure. Permits may be required by the city you are in, so be sure to check in with your city requirements.

There are so many factors in different stones and options it may seem overwhelming…but that’s what we are here for! Whatever size wall you install, know that it is always a sound investment. Hardscapes for residential homes have a huge return on investment. Call us today and see how we can help design and install your new retaining walls!

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