It is important to understand what retaining walls really are. Retaining walls are essentially outdoor walls that are utilized for holding the land in place. It may comprise of stone, brick or wood and is utilized to hold the earth in place over a slope to plant flowers and veggies. Another wall may be required to retain soil and prevent erosion. When selecting the services of a professional who provides retaining walls, there are a few things you must know.
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Planning the Wall:
- How high should the wall be?
- What are the materials needed to build the wall?
- How aesthetic should the wall be?
- What is the purpose of the wall?
It is important to know the answers to all of these questions and the best way to find the answers is to ask a professional.
Once the place has been chosen, knowing the length and the shape of the wall will help the installer understand numerous important things. It can also assist them in choosing the right materials. A good installer has the ability to create an image with the help of string lines, stakes and sticks.
Another significant consideration is the wall’s height. Strong forces such as large quantities of soil go against the retaining walls. The wall has to be strong enough to withstand such forces and it should also have the right drainage to make sure that the additional water weight does not end up collapsing the wall.
After the contractor has understood the goals in terms of height, length, and look of the wall, the professional will know the exact amount of material needed.
Good contractors should provide you with the following:
- Business License
- Permit for Project (if required-depending upon the code of your city)
- Engineer Design (this may not be mandatory and is dependent on the code of your city)
In case the contractor is unable to provide them, you will have to look out for another one.
Selecting Retaining Wall Materials
A few of the most popular materials include:
Concrete: Concrete blocks are extremely stylish and strong.
Concrete with stone veneer: While they may take longer to build as concrete has to be poured and set before constructing a stone veneer, after completion, the wall will resemble a stone structure.
Pre-cast blocks: These concrete blocks offer the same kind of elegance as pavers while offering a symmetrical and even look. The walls are comparatively easier to construct and do well at places that require curves.
Brick: While bricks make a great choice, it is best to hire professionals when constructing a brick wall.
Stone: There are numerous kinds of stones. While they provide the same benefits as brick, they should be designed properly to avoid any form of cracking.
The method of construction will vary depending on the type of material chosen. For instance, if you choose timber, the professional you hire may advocate the fixing of posts for resisting lateral pressure. If you are planning to use brick, you will perhaps require a proper drainage system and concrete reinforcement. Do not take chances. The landscaping expert with expertise in retaining walls will recommend the right path to take.