Important Things to Keep in Mind While Building Retaining Walls
Retaining walls can be best described by putting forth the example of basement walls. They are used for holding the lateral pressure of the soil with their major use being in erosion prone areas. They are also needed where a steep change is needed in elevating property. Since retaining walls are all about proper engineering, certain points need to be kept in mind so that they can be made the best use of. While building one in your garden or yard, you should be looking to optimize usable space and also control erosion. Similarly, while planning out a basement wall the concerns shall be different. However certain basic requisites are important while considering the designing and building of these.
Along with your budget and style, the type of material you use has also to be in line with the purpose you are building the retaining walls for. There are several building materials that you can take into consideration. Stones, brick, timber, concrete are among the few options you can avail of. Brick walls are solid and durable, but the drainage accommodation needs to be kept in mind. They however make good options for landscape and traditional homes. Stone is always the best option to go for. They blend easily with any style of yard and are available in a wide range of colors and shapes. Concrete walls are a good choice for most of the yard, garden, and home exteriors. They are designed to offer maximum strength and durability and come with the added advantage of variety in colors, shapes and designs. Timber provides a good choice for traditional styled homes.
This is a very important feature to be kept in mind while building retaining wall. Efficient drainage is extremely necessary for prevention of the seepage of water and soil through the wall structure. Without sound drainage, the wall built would be structurally unsound and very difficult to make it last for a long time. Whether you are building it for your garden, yard or basement, drainage features are responsible to a great extent in keeping the wall upright and properly functioning.
#3. Characteristics of soil:
Soil characteristics are an important factor that determine a lot in what kind of wall will be built and how long it shall last. The texture of the soil defines the time that shall be needed for the construction, the techniques that are to be adopted and the materials to be used. Seepage of underground water into the wall structure might affect its durability thus the imperviousness of soil to the ground water is an important factor to be kept in mind. If a lot of seepage is due and the ground water conditions are unstable then it might be necessary to choose a different location for wall construction in order to prevent unsuitable conditions in the future.
#4. Style and Additional finishes:
The function of a retaining wall is not simply limited to stopping erosion and holding back soil and its lateral pressure. They can do marvels to your yard by changing the entire look of it. Thus, it is very important to choose the right kind of style. Short walls can make for very appealing flower beds. You can also exercise your creativity by building small benches into your wall. You can give your wall a curved shape to present a nice and aesthetic look. With regard to additional finishes, your creative side can do wonders out there while achieving a small engineering feat in your home or yard. For instance, a water feature or an outdoor fire pit can be incorporated into your retaining wall. Wall caps and contrasting lighting are also a good fit together.
All the above-mentioned features go ahead for creating the right wall for your yard, garden or house exteriors.