Retaining walls are a useful addition to nearly any property, and when you hire an experienced Edmonton landscaper to complete the project, you’ll know that it will get done right. Unless you already have a retaining walls, then you probably don’t know much about this design feature. Here are 10 things everyone should know about retaining walls before they get started.
They Don’t Have to Be Utilitarian
Most people add a retaining wall because they need an effective means of holding back soil. A utilitarian design may be appropriate for a utilitarian purpose. However, these architectural elements can be designed to be incredibly attractive. Your retaining wall can become a focal point in your yard that also serves a useful purpose.
You May Need a Permit
Before beginning your project, you’ll need to know about local building codes. Many municipalities do not require permits if the wall is fewer than about a metre in height. Anything taller, however, and you may have to look into acquiring a permit.
Professional Design May Be Required
Similarly, most municipalities require that a retaining wall that is going to be taller than one meter must be designed by a licensed engineer. When you hire a professional landscaper to complete this project, you can trust that all building codes and requirements will be met. This not only ensures the success of the wall, but also your family’s safety.
You May Get More Usable Space
Terracing is an excellent way to make a sloped yard more usable. This technique provides you with a series of flat surfaces where you can place a table and chairs, or a gazebo. It provides a space for the kids to play, and you’ll have more room for organizing games or mingling at the barbecue.
Several Material Options Are Available
Stone, brick, concrete, and wood are common materials that are used in the construction of a retaining wall. Your personal preference may help you decide which material you like best. Brick is traditional and formal, while stone suggests a more rustic atmosphere. Wood is similarly a natural, rugged choice, while concrete is probably the least expensive option, though this does not have to mean that it is less attractive.
Many Variables May Affect Design
The incline of the slope, the type of soil, and moisture conditions are just a few of the elements that may dictate what type of wall is ultimately built. Your professional landscaper will outline your choices so that you can make a decision that gives you a safe, economical, and attractive retaining wall.
Lines Don’t Have to Be Straight
A straight line from point A to point B may be just right for some people’s landscape. However, others might prefer to see a curve in the line. Ask your designer about building a curved wall that will be a unique design element in your yard.
Make Certain There’s a Solid Base
No matter what type of wall you’re having built, it has to have a solid base. Ideally, that means digging several inches below the grade, and then compacting the soil to a uniform level. A filler like gravel goes on top before the first layer of wall material is placed. The base may require quite a bit of time, but it’s vital for it to be done right.
One of the reasons for adding a retaining wall is to keep soil and debris from coming loose in a rainstorm. This makes proper drainage a necessary part of the wall. Typically, this involves laying a drainage pipe at the wall’s base to protect its integrity.
Find a Stylish Way to Top It
The top layer of the wall can have a stylish, finished look. Cap blocks are an easy way to complete the job with finesse. These blocks look slightly different from the ones in the lower levels, providing an attractive border that is rather like the edging on a well-designed patio made from pavers.
Ask professional Edmonton landscaper for more tips and advice for adding retaining walls to your property. You’ll be surprised by all of the options that are available, and you’ll also be pleased by how affordable the project is.