Tips When Planning to Build a Retaining Wall on Your Property

Posted on: 15 October 2021

Retaining walls hold back soil on one side, so they need to be strong. Plus, they bring colours, shapes and dimensions to a home property. You may have decided to go ahead and have one of these structures built at your place. Here are several tips when planning your structure.

Wall Type

The construction of retaining walls differs depending on their height and the soil load they're bearing. So a barrier in your garden will vary from one built beside a freeway. Your contractor can give advice on the appropriate style for you. Options include a gravity wall, in which the heaviness of stone blocks or other wall materials are robust enough to hold back the soil. These structures may be ideal for a home wall, which isn't usually gigantic. Another option is a cantilevered wall. These structures don't rely on the weight of the wall material alone. They're built with an inverted T-shape that is buried in the earth. The weight of the soil presses against the bottom of the T and the wall simultaneously, keeping the structure firm. They don't require as hefty a wall material and work well in small spaces.

Property Layout

The wall structure will also depend on your property layout. A retaining wall may line a driveway, and it has to cope with the weight of the driveway paving and vehicles. Or else, a retaining wall may encircle a pool, which is heavy, especially when filled with water. Alternatively, the wall might surround a small raised circular garden bed in the middle of your yard, so it won't need to be so robust. Your contractor may enlist the help of a structural engineer to examine the structure and its soundness. They may enlist a geotechnical engineer or soil expert who can assess the earth, whether it's sandy and dry or more clay-like and moist. With wet soil, you may need to pay special attention to drainage.

Wall Materials

The fun part of building a retaining wall is choosing the materials and visual design. You could opt for natural stone boulders, which an expert can arrange to create a secure lower wall. Alternatively, you may opt for golden sandstone blocks. Concrete is also moulded into interlocking block systems and imbued with textures and colours to mimic rock and timber. As well as the material, think about the lines of the wall. For example, do you want it constructed in straight lines with right angles or river-like bends and curves?

Reach out to a local paving contractor to learn more about retaining walls.