Information and Advice on Building Retaining Walls

by | Nov 19, 2012 | home-garden

BODY: When you first moved into your house, you might have appreciated the long, sloping backyard you had behind the house. Unfortunately, though the sloping yard might look nice, there is not much you can do with a yard with such a slope. If you want to have a pool, a garden, a patio, a shed, or even a children’s play area, you need level ground. One thing many people do in order to solve the problem is build retaining walls. Retaining walls can build your yard into a usable space with level area that you can utilize for a number of different things.

Retaining walls can be made from a variety of materials including railway ties, stones, concrete, bricks, wood and many others. If you want to build retaining walls in your yard yourself, concrete stones are a great choice. These stones often have lips on the back so they interlock with the stones around them. They do not require any mortar or other materials in order to stay together. They also provide you with a solid wall that will resist the pressure the dirt behind them will put on them in the future. They even give the wall a stepped back appearance. Since these concrete stones are curved and taper from front to back, it is also easier to build a curved retaining wall with these materials.

Concrete stones should not be used if the wall is going to be taller than 3 feet, however. You will need to find another material if you need a higher wall. Or, you could build a series of retaining walls that are 3 feet high or lower to create terraces in your yard. Even if you use concrete pre-cast stones to build your retaining walls, you are in for a lot of digging, lifting, and hard work.

Once you decide where you want your retaining walls, mark the shape of the wall with a wooden stake and some string to help you visualize where the wall will go. You can also use spray paint to outline where the wall will sit. You want to make sure that you know exactly where to place the wall before you start digging. Since materials for retaining walls come in a number of different sizes, you will want to make sure you choose the stones, wood, or other items you want before you start to calculate what you need to purchase for your wall. You will also want to check to see if your local area requires a building permit for retaining walls before you begin the process. Once you have everything lined up, the real work can begin including buying materials, digging, and putting the wall into place.



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