When retaining walls are built to last and perfectly placed, they can work miracles on space planning.
Essential feature in any landscape design, retaining walls play a crucial role in both maintaining the structure of your garden, as well as being a discrete element that significantly improves the appeal of your outdoor design. The usage of retaining walls can turn an area that is hard to walk on into a place for leisure strolls where other outdoor features can now be placed.
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Best types of retaining walls for your landscape design
If you’re not sure what retaining walls are, it’s pretty straightforward: structures designed to retain a certain material on one side in order to prevent it collapse, slip-away, or degrade over time.
Building retaining walls allows you to create levels onto your landscape design, as well as protect existing natural elements (such as a hill) which otherwise will risk collapsing over time.
Even more, landscape retaining walls play a dual role, both structural and aesthetic when it comes to outdoor design, though some retaining walls are not noticeable, since they’re supposed to blend into the scenery.
Below, you will find the most suitable types of retaining walls for your outdoor design, firstly having main material into consideration, and then focusing on purpose.
I. The best types of retaining walls for your garden based on main material:
Concrete bags retaining walls
This is a simple and cost-effective way to build retaining walls. The process is simple: stack up heavy concrete bags (60 lb or more) to create a vertical structure.
One added advantage of building retaining walls using this technique is that over time, the bags will degrade, but the structure will remain intact, while blending into the landscape design.
Wood retaining walls
This type of retaining wall works great if you are trying to create leveled areas for your garden, such as a deck, or a children’s play area. There are three major wood materials for retaining walls, respectively standard wood, timber, and railroad ties–with railroad ties considered the most durable.
One thing to consider when using wood for retaining walls, as any other type of outdoor home improvement, is the fact that this natural material is sensitive to both termites and water infiltration, though treating it as well as constant maintenance is being required.
Concrete block retaining walls
The most durable solution to prevent erosion, or to keep a slope in place, concrete block retaining walls also work great to level your patio area, or as an enclosure for a planting bed.
The main advantage of building retaining walls using this technique is that concrete blocks can withstand significant pressure, while also being versatile in terms of shapes, textures, and colors.
One thing to have in mind is that concrete retaining walls require precise construction methods since any small flaw will turn into an infiltration that may cause severe structural damage over time.
II. The best types of retaining walls focusing on purpose:
Gravity retaining walls
These types of retaining walls are used when a small amount of soil needs to be kept in place, being one of the most basic of structures, with gravity and sheer weight keeping the soil in place.
A wide array of materials can be used, with brick, pavers and stone being the most popular. One other added advantage is that it is a relatively easy retaining wall to build, so the construction process shouldn’t take all that long.
Reinforced retaining walls
Also called cantilevered retaining wall, this type of structure has a reinforced larger base buried underneath, meaning that the soil pressure acts vertically rather than horizontally, thus creating a firmer construction.
One thing to have in mind is that this specific type of retaining wall is used mainly on commercial purposes and can take up quite a lot of space, so think of building this type of outdoor home improvement only if other choices aren’t available.
Sheet piling retaining walls
A great solution when space is an issue, this type of retaining wall is constructed out of thin steel, vinyl and even wood, being anchored directly into the soil.
As expected, the construction won’t stand much pressure, and is only used for smaller scale projects, with limited forces applied to the wall.
Anchored retaining walls
The name says it wall, with the retaining walls being literally anchored by cables driven into the ground behind the wall and secured there.
A rather complex construction, this technique works well with high loads or thin walls, but it will hardly be ever required in a garden.
Retaining walls have their practical, as well as aesthetical purpose in the landscape design of any well-kept garden.
Making the right choice in terms of the type of wall best-suited for your outdoor design can make the difference between a troublesome and a carefree project.
For a sure choice in terms of home improvement, be it outside or indoors, get in touch with SOD Home Group. We have over a decade of experience in making Californian home owners smile.
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