Retaining Walls for Structural Integrity
Retaining in simple terms means holding. Retaining walls are one of most integral part of residential and commercial civil projects. You may build it for multiple purposes, including providing strength to soil, holding the structure, or just beautifying the overall scene. These walls can be of any size from few mm to more than a meter high. Depending upon its height and distance from other properties, you might have to take council permission before constructing it.
Why Build a Retaining Wall?
If you want to design a slope or you need to create an intrinsic structure, then retaining walls can be your best answer. They are useful for creation of a pathway to move into your lawn and in making section to better segregate plant types. A well-designed retaining wall can add elegance and yet provide robustness to your exteriors. They can be designed in various stunning colors that can fit in all kinds of exterior environments and artistic preferences.
Which Type of Wall to Choose?
Retaining walls are mostly available in 5 types as below:
- Timber Retaining Wall: One of the most used retaining wall materials is timber. It is used mostly for home garden sections and commercially for inner walls. All timber used in making walls should be treated so as not to get infected from termite and that can handle moisture from soil in the garden. These walls usually last for 15-20 years. People also use railways sleepers, either new or reclaimed ones, to create timber retaining walls, again a great option, but you need to take care of pests.
- Concrete Besser Blocks: Besser blocks are durable concrete blocks that are available in various shapes and sizes. Walls made of these blocks last for a very longtime. They sometimes last close to 50 years. They are molded ones, so can be done in shape of your choice and are available in multiple colors. They add a definitive appeal to your exteriors.
- Concrete Blocks: If you are a DIY fan, then concrete blocks are best choice for you to build retaining walls. They are available in moulds and are easier to use than Besser blocks. They are designed as interlocking tiles to lock into place. Moreover, if you need variety like curved blocks or multiple colour options, it is available too. A drainage system is a must below a concrete block retaining wall and there are multiple options available to put one below this type of block.
- Gabion: This type of retaining wall is made from stone filled gabions tied together with wire. You do not need to dig a foundation for this type of wall. A well-structured gabion wall lasts for close to 40-50 years. They are less expensive than concrete options.
- Brick Retaining Walls: Most elegant walls are made of bricks, but they require to be installed by professional masons. You should ideally get them designed by a structure engineer and plan for right drainage system. Some people prefer natural look of the bricks and some do beautiful rendering on the bricks to make them appear more appealing.
DIY or Professional?
When it comes to constructing a retaining wall, you have two options, either Do It Yourself or get it designed and developed by professionals. If you live in a hilly terrain, you need to watch out for soil erosion, speedy water jets during rainy seasons, and such natural phenomenon. You might want to appoint a professional to take care of these factors while building an exterior structure. But if you know how to create small short steps and have required construction knowledge, just go ahead, and build it.
Retaining walls which are beautiful structures add the required appeal and add additional aesthetic sense to your lawns and backyards. So, go ahead and make it beautiful.