Thursday June 5, 2014
Retaining walls are solid structures designed to prevent soil erosion and hold land back when there is a drastic change in elevation. They help to stabilize the land and can prevent mudslides and home foundation shifts. (Think of basement walls, they act as retaining walls.)
There are variations in retaining walls that can be used, depending on the mass/weight that they will be required to hold back. Gravity, cantilevered, sheet piling and anchored are all types of retaining walls and are used to address different requirements.
Generally speaking, this is one project that requires an expert to help you determine the height needed for your project, formulas to use, and knowledge of local town permit requirements.
For those who struggle with sloping backyards or hillside property, landscape design can be especially challenging. Garden ideas can be limited when addressing steep declines or inclines in back or front yards. Homeowners, who yearn for flower beds or an outdoor living space, turn to retaining walls for the answer.
Most any home improvement will increase your home's value, but a retaining wall that serves to stabilize the home (as well as provide usable outdoor space) adds square footage to your home's living space.
Retaining walls expand landscape design options and allow you to add outdoor living spaces. By incorporating garden ideas into your original plan you can allow form to follow function. There are lots of plants that can repel bugs; provide privacy and shade, and produce fresh herbs for cooking.
Stone and cast veneer stone are most commonly used both for their durability and beauty. Homeowners can choose finishes in Brick, Pennsylvania Field Stone, Ledgestone, and Rustic Cobblestone; just to name a few. Wall color and texture are generally meant to provide a backdrop for focal points and should blend naturally into the landscape. Homes with preexisting hardscaping installations should look for finishes that complement, rather than match, the original hardscaping.
Consider adding decorative walls that can further add interest to your hardscaping plans with elements that include walls with built in seating, outdoor kitchen islands, and fire pits and water fountains. These walls can hide outdoor air conditioner units and pool pumps, and create the perfect atmosphere for newly-trending natural outdoor showers. A well thought out retaining wall should be anything but boring and should add beauty and interest to your home; as well as increase your property's functionality and value.