Retaining Walls 101

Retaining walls are a great way to make your home more appealing. They provide privacy and can increase the value of your property, making them an investment worth taking advantage of!

The materials used to build a retaining wall are as varied and interesting as the people who use them. Some homeowners may prefer natural, earthy stones for their project while others will go with cement blocks or bricks that give an otherwise uneven landscape some relief from its slopes. The beauty of these walls is in how they can play up different aspects of your property’s features – you just need to find what suits you best!

If planning on building a retaining wall it is important to decide which material would work best given personal style sense, budget concerns, and site nuances; there are many options available including choosing between natural stone versus those made out brick or concrete block depending on one’s preference. Homeowners looking into constructing such a product often end up using one of the following materials. 

With many shapes, textures and colors to choose from; mortar-free interlocking concrete blocks are highly durable. These fire resistant materials can help with streamlining the construction process by being easy to install without any special skills required at all!

They say that concrete is a man’s best friend–not because of his strength, but rather due to its unadorned simplicity. Concrete can be made more aesthetically pleasing with paint or even stone veneer; however, this often comes at the cost of repairability and versatility.

Building a Retaining Wall

Ever tried stacking stones? It can be a fun project, but it’s not for the faint-of-heart. For most DIYers, building a retaining wall is easiest when using masonry blocks that will be stacked no taller than three feet with mortar binding them together; anything more ambitious requires experience and work from an experienced professional landscape designer.

You will need to measure the area where you are going to build your retaining wall. Don’t forget that it needs plenty of room on both sides for whatever new construction or landscaping work is planned, as well as a slope away from buildings and driveways.

First off, start by marking out the site with stakes and string line so you have an idea how big your project should be before starting any digging in earnest. You’ll also need some lumber (preferably pressure-treated) cut into neat lengths if they’re not already available at home center stores– typically 4x4s for posts; 2×6’s or 2×8’s for rails which can act like steps when laid horizontally between adjacent post pairs along their

You can’t just build a wall in one day. You’ll need to prepare the ground before you start, digging out two inches of soil for every foot your concrete will go into the earth. After that’s done and it has dried overnight, lay down some gravel or cement as a base so there won’t be any gaps where water might enter between layers.

Line the trench with landscape fabric, then set a perforated drain pipe along its length. Add four inches of gravel, leveled and tamped down followed by one inch of bedding sand to prevent water from getting into your new pond while filling it up.

Make the base for your retaining wall and then start building it one tier at a time. Fit stones together as closely as possible, fill in gaps with gravel or concrete members to strengthen the wall from below while also promoting drainage on top of large rocks; add weep holes if you want to help prevent moisture buildup when these walls are placed above ground level.

One of the easiest ways to build a wall is by staggering courses of masonry. By building it on an angle, you counteract gravity and make your work much easier!

Plant flowers and small plants along the top of your retaining wall to help stabilize it. The roots will hold together the soil, while also blending with its surroundings–creating a more visually pleasing aesthetic. Avoid planting trees or bushes near your masonry as their migrating root systems can easily weaken them over time.

Jordan Stambaugh is a main contributor to USA Retaining Walls. He runs Green Fox, a digital marketing company for outdoor contractors. From the Pacific Northwest and an Eagle Scout, Jordan has great appreciation for the outdoors and natural spaces. He believes in sustainability through design and choices in the building process.

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