Retaining Walls & Steps
Retaining walls can be used for a variety of reasons in landscaping and outdoor living design. Not only can adding retaining walls add aesthetic value to a landscape, but they can also be used to address issues and remedy problems. For example, retaining walls can aid in the correction of a drainage issue within an area. During the design process, any existing issues will be taken into consideration so as to create the most helpful solution as well as add interest, beauty and value to your property.
The Construction Process
Both natural stone and concrete retaining wall systems are available for the construction of retaining walls and steps. The largest deciding factor in choosing what materials to use is personal preference. Natural stone and boulders tend to be utilized where a less formal look is desired because of their natural form. Natural stone is available in cut or chopped uniform pieces that are perfect for a more formal design. Although the concrete retaining wall system lends itself to a more “formal” setting because of its uniformity, there are styles available that have a natural stone look.
As with any type of construction, the foundation is the most important part of the project. Excavation of the existing soil and a compacted, level gravel base is essential for the structural integrity of retaining walls and steps. The finished height of the wall will determine how the foundation is constructed.
Additionally, steps can be incorporated into the retaining wall during design and construction. They may be placed in a sloped area to allow access to the different levels, or, in some cases, steps may be the only way to access an area because the grade is too steep.