First things first: what is a retaining wall? Simply put, a retaining wall is a barrier that holds in place earth that would otherwise erode or collapse. Retaining walls can be small DIY projects or larger-scale and professionally constructed. Retaining walls can be constructed from a range of materials and can vary in size, shape, and design.
There are two main reasons to consider a retaining wall. First, because it’s physically necessary to correct a slope, prevent erosion, or otherwise level the earth in your yard. These retaining walls serve a functional purpose. In residential settings, retaining walls are necessary when there might be an abrupt separation of ground elevation. Reasons a retaining wall can be necessary include sunken patios, walkout basements, and other hardscapes. Aesthetics are the second consideration. Retaining walls can create tiered gardens or flowerbeds, which add visual interest to otherwise ordinary spaces.
Of course, landscape and hardscape elements can be both practical and beautiful. This is certainly the case with retaining walls, and is an important reason to work with a landscape architect when considering the installation of a retaining wall.
An expert landscape artist with retaining wall experience can help determine construction specifics as well as design aesthetics—meaning experienced landscapers will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various materials, placement, and size.
Remember that there are specific considerations in determining if you need a retaining wall, some of which you might not know until you consult with an expert. Among those considerations: the slope of the earth at the location and the current drainage situation at the location in question, type of soil, and weather conditions (such as freezing).
As is the case with so many projects, building a retaining wall can be a DIY project for some, but working with an expert familiar with retaining walls and your geographical area ensures that the retaining wall built will be not only attractive, but will also function as intended.
Knowing whether or not you need a retaining wall is more involved than just knowing you’re ready to build, and working with a professional landscape and construction company can help ensure all considerations: practical and financial, logistical and aesthetic, are fully researched and planned before construction begins.
Curious about retaining walls and your options? Contact us to learn more.
What was being asked of Huston Contracting?
How did we meet the clients’ needs?
Throughout the project, we made sure to include the clients’ ideas and preferences in the big picture while recreating a new backyard for them including a new basketball court and a level lawn for all outdoor activities.
What was difficult about this landscape project?
Upon completing the court, there were various drainage issues that needed addressed. We were able to solve the water problem by installing a French drain to keep water from pooling up in the newly sodded backyard.
“Anthony and the entire Huston team impressed us from day one and throughout our project which required a substantial backyard dig, grading, 120′ long retaining wall, drainage system, and basketball court. Anthony was the only landscape architect with whom we met during the bidding process who truly listened to our needs and understood what we were trying to achieve. He and the entire Huston team were always quick to respond to our questions and proactively provide updates on progress. They set a very high bar for excellent customer service. We even switched our lawn maintenance servicer to Huston after the project was complete, because we had such a positive experience working with them. We trust that whatever our landscaping needs are, Huston will provide excellent results and service along the way.”