Ideas for Your Retaining Wall Design
Once you know you have the correct construction materials and design for the size and height of your wall, you can consider the aesthetics of your retaining wall. There are a great many ways to enhance a site, and your wall installation doesn’t have to be functional alone – it can also be gorgeous.
Creating a look you’re happy with is a key part of retaining wall construction. Your contractor should consider the existing walls, the house, landscape details and your design preferences as well as the proper methods of construction.
What is the Best Type of Retaining Wall?
There are several different types of retaining walls, as well as different materials that can be used, and each can be considered.
Concrete is tough, and will last for decades without rotting. Concrete is also very versatile. Concrete dyes let you create a variety of looks, and you can also texture concrete or use imprinted concrete to copy stone or create the illusion of blocks. You can even add a gravel, stone or brick veneer to simulate nature or improve compatibility with surrounding structures.
Poured concrete retaining walls are particularly suitable for the popular cantilever retaining wall design (used by Xpress Engineering), and they’re very tough as well. They can even be reinforced with steel for a stronger design. While concrete is a great choice for a retaining wall, and one that can be created in a variety of shapes to suit your site, there are other construction materials you can consider as well.
Another popular choice is a CMU concrete block retaining wall design. There are various types of blocks available, which may be referred to as cement blocks, cinder blocks or CMU’s (Concrete Masonry Units). Any of these types of block can provide excellent materials for commercial, municipal, industrial, or residential retaining walls. However, those that are hollow allow for greater structural strength, and are the type of block that we recommend.
A CMU block wall is suitable for many purposes, but because of the modular components, they may not be quite as strong as poured concrete. The most typical block used is a large, hollow, and lightweight concrete (or “cinder”) block, sometimes called a “CMU” (Concrete Masonry Unit). This type of block is both strong and durable, and can be reinforced for greater strength.
Wood retaining walls can offer a more casual style, and are especially suited for smaller and less demanding residential landscapes.
Xpress Engineering can provide professional retaining wall designs for CMU/concrete blocks, poured concrete, and also for pressure treated wood retaining walls as well.
Solving Problems with Retaining Walls
Once you know you have the right construction and appearance for your retaining wall, you’re well on the way to solving your landscaping problems. But how do people use retaining walls? Let’s take a look.
Sloped Back Yards
Most of us consider our back yards the heart of the home. You want a place where you can have fun and live in. On a gradient, however, you may encounter many issues. Rain may pool or flood. Flower beds may become unstable. Or you might not have a nice place for a fire pit, BBQ, or entertainment area.
Imagine how beautiful a stone block fire pit could look with a retaining wall faced with the same material. Or how much more you can get from your garden with an attractive retaining wall in the background to build the flower garden of your dreams.
Sloped Front Yards
Your front yard is the face you present to the neighborhood. You want it to be beautiful! Attractive concrete or block retaining walls, especially with an attractive facade or surface, can turn a dull uphill trek to the front door into a cascade of beautiful layers of lawn, flowers, and maybe even a gravel bed or stone path.
A Driveway Retaining Wall
When your property isn’t flat, creating a driveway can be a hassle too. Smart use of a well-designed retaining wall can allow you to level part of your site for a driveway without it flooding in the rain.
Retaining Wall Fences
Of course, a retaining wall can be used as a fence alternative, or paired beautifully with a fence above the wall, for added privacy. Even out height disparities between your site and the neighbors, make your boundary look spectacular, and/or provide more room for landscaping. Smart backfill and drainage can help redirect rain, too.
Entertain with a Patio Retaining Wall
Just as you can create a freestanding entertainment area, you can use a beautiful retaining wall to lead to your patio. A well designed retaining wall can look great for this purpose.
Build the Perfect Retaining Wall Fast with an Xpress Engineering Design
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