You might not always notice them, but retaining walls are a very common landscaping feature. If you look carefully, you’ll see them in your neighborhood, near your kids’ schools, and outside of various offices and retail stores. Preventing downhill erosion is one of the most common purposes for retaining walls, but they can serve a number of other functions. If you’ve been considering a retaining wall for your home or business, here are four specific reasons to go for it.
1. It controls downhill erosion
If your home sits on or near sloped land, downhill erosion is almost certainly an issue. As water runs over a sloped area, the soil and grass erode. The greater the surface area of the slope, the more erosion you’re likely to see. Retaining walls are frequently used to control this problem by interrupting the flow of water. This allows rainfall (or snowmelt, for that matter) to “soak in” to the grass and soil, instead of running over the surface and causing erosion.
2. It creates more usable space
Whenever a portion of your property is on a slope or incline, the space tends to become less usable. Kids might love running up and down a hill, but sloped terrain isn’t the best for gardening or spending time outdoors. By adding in a retaining wall (or multiple retaining walls, depending on how much space you’re dealing with), you can turn that sloped area into a terraced or “stepped” design that has more practical usage.
3. It adds visual interest
Don’t assume that retaining walls have to be boring or “cookie-cutter” in terms of design. Depending on the space and material you’re working with, there are countless ways to give your retaining walls an attractive, landscape-enhancing appearance. Consider including curved elements, or varying the height of the wall to add visual interest to your property. A custom built retaining wall is also a great way to add unique and additional seating areas to your yard. Very simple retaining walls are possible on a DIY basis, but for more robust or customized walls (or if you just want to be sure of the best possible results), it’s important to consult with a specialist to make sure your project is feasible and structurally sound.
4. It doesn’t break the bank
Considering the functional and aesthetic benefits of retaining walls, the investment required is very low compared to many other landscaping or home renovation projects. Most people are surprised when they how affordable it is to build a custom retaining wall, even if the best local specialist is hired for the job.
The best results?
Regardless of your reasons for building a retaining wall, it’s always important to work with a trusted and reputable retaining wall specialist. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that any professional landscaper or lawn care specialist has the experience, skills and tools to built an excellent retaining wall. Finding the right contractor may take a little extra research up front, but the end result will be worth it.