You’ve purchased a home that sits atop a beautiful hilly landscape. The picture seemed perfect until you
attempted to enjoy sitting in lawn chairs on that leaning hill or tried traversing down the hill on foot. But
there’s a simple solution that comes with a lot of exciting design possibilities – a retaining wall. This
ancient technique counteracts soil erosion, creates usable level spaces, and beautifies your backyard all
at once. Here’s some basic information about this innovative structure.
Retaining Wall Basics
A retaining wall is a strong structure, rising vertically as a wall, that is designed to keep a hill, slope, or
section of earth in place. This relatively rigid wall supports soil laterally so that it can be held at different levels on the two sides of the wall. Unlike indoor or building walls, retaining walls receive pressure horizontally instead of vertically. Due to the weight of the earth behind the wall, a retaining structure must adhere to high construction standards.
Retaining Wall Materials
What type of materials works best to construct a retaining wall? You will need materials that are durable, super strong, and can support the land with ease. At the same time, consider the aesthetic component of the wall and select a material that meets your design goals, taste, and budget. Building material options include stone, concrete, brick, and wood. Stone provides a natural look in your landscape design that can blend in well with nature or the undeveloped land around your home.
Manufactured concrete block or brick may provide the design look that compliments your home or suits your budget. Some interlocking concrete blocks are made specifically for building sturdy retaining walls.
Poured concrete reinforced with rebar is commonly used in commercial settings.
Pressure-treated timber or wood can blend in beautifully in rural or wooded areas, although they may not last as long as stone or concrete.
Retaining Wall Construction
Although simple in appearance, these walls require much planning. Soil is heavy, especially when
saturated from a recent storm. In fact, the number one cause of retaining wall failure is poor drainage
resulting from a lack of a proper outlet for runoff. And with every additional foot of height, the pressure
of the soil increases substantially. A poorly planned and installed wall results in a weak structure that
will bulge or collapse.
Also, like all construction projects, a strong retaining wall begins with a good foundation. A good
foundation ensures that the wall does not sag or settle and that the finished wall is level and straight. It
is a key component in the wall’s longevity.
Although the most common function of a retaining wall is to stop erosion, these structures can provide
much more to your landscape design and usability. Did you know that you can change the lay of the land
from hilly to level? Installing a retaining wall in a sloped yard enables you to carve out functional outdoor spaces on previously unusable slopes. Level off an area above or behind the wall to create a patio or garden bed.
A terrace design is also an option by erecting a series of smaller retaining walls instead of one large structure. A terrace design is a series of multiple levels down the slope, keeping true to the natural lay of
the land. Terraces are visually exciting and are often used to show off blooming flower beds. And when
you install a stairway within the wall, your property becomes easily accessible up and down the sloped
Retaining Walls Installed by Createscape Landscaping Service
Retaining walls have many benefits. They increase the value and beauty of a home, support soil to keep
it in place, prevent flooding, and provide flat surfaces for functional outdoor space. At Createscape
Landscaping Service in southeastern Wisconsin, we professionally design and install retaining walls. Our design experts have the knowledge and expertise for installing a durable and sturdy wall that will protect and add value to your home.
If you are ready to install a retaining wall on your property, or if you just have questions or need a
consultation, call Createscape Landscaping Service at (262) 662-0201. Learn more about all we have to
offer for your home at createscapelandscaping.com.