A Beginner’s Guide to Retaining Walls

Although there are many unique hardscapes you could potentially feature in order to improve your landscaping, the retaining wall is one of the most functional and attractive options around. When your landscaping needs a bit of extra structural support, a retaining wall can be a welcome solution that adds to the beauty of your property. And since 60% of potential homebuyers believe a well-landscaped yard influences their purchasing decisions, there's arguably no better way to maintain all that hard work and increase your home's value. In today's post, we'll discuss some of the finer details of retaining walls and why you might want to consider contacting your hardscaping professionals to install one.

What Are Retaining Walls?

In general, walls are used to keep something in and/or keep something out. But retaining walls are used to keep something in the same place. A retaining wall is a structural element that aims to provide support for the land mass around it. It's usually used to combat the force of gravity and ensure that the earth behind it does not erode or move downhill.

There are several different types of techniques used to install retaining walls, as well as many different styles utilized to create the desired landscaping effect. Some hardscaping design ideas involving retaining walls may include natural stone or rocks, wood, or concrete to create the final structure. They may vary in difficulty of installation, durability and lifespan, and final cost, which means there are a range of options available to homeowners.

Why Use These Unique Hardscapes?

As stated, one of the main uses of retaining walls is in the prevention of erosion. This is particularly useful to individuals who live on properties located on or below hilly land. A retaining wall can keep soil from sliding downhill or causing damage to homes through the diversion of runoff. Other homeowners will use a retaining wall to add more usable, flat land to their property or even to create definition and seating areas on hilly ground.

What Are Some Ways to Make Retaining Walls Stand Out?

Just because a retaining wall serves an important function doesn't mean it has to be boring or unattractive. There are plenty of ways to make retaining walls into beautiful landscaping features. For instance, you can incorporate landscape lighting or built-in seating areas into your retaining wall. Alternatively, you can make water features part of your wall or make the area surrounding your retaining wall a real focal point by adding an outdoor firepit. Adding lots of colorful vegetation will also help your retaining wall to stand out for all the right reasons.

What Are Some Best Practices to Follow When Building a Retaining Wall?

When it comes time to install a retaining wall, you'll want to keep some tips in mind. First of all, you'll need to ensure that the area surrounding your wall has sufficient drainage. Otherwise, your wall may start to crack and be unable to fulfill its intended purpose.

You should also use a material that will be both functional and visually appealing. While there are some basic retaining wall block options available at many home improvement stores, these aren't always the best-looking materials at your disposal. You may want to inquire with a landscaping company to learn about other options that are available.

You'll also want to follow all local ordinances in regards to building walls of any sort. Keep in mind that your community may require you to apply for and obtain a permit prior to constructing your retaining wall, which means you'll have to create plans for your wall and submit them for inspection. Be sure to factor the costs and time associated with permits to your calculations.

Finally, you should seek out professional help when installing these unique hardscapes. Your wall will be more likely to last and comply with industry standards if you contact the experts. What's more, the final product will look more fully integrated with your landscaping when you go this route.

If you're planning on installing some unique hardscapes this spring and summer, you'll want assistance from a qualified landscaping company in Delaware. To learn more about our services and how we can improve the look and value of your property, please contact us today.

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