At heart, a retaining wall is a practical installation. A retaining wall holds back soil on one side while remaining freestanding on the other. Its purpose is typically to hold up a slope for landscaping. Depending on your yard, a single retaining wall may be sufficient, or you may need a series of terraces. If you have a traditional house, install a beautiful retaining wall that complements your home and landscaping while shoring up the yard.
Mortared Stone Walls
Stone is the traditional material for retaining walls, not least because of its strength and durability. In fact, Home and Garden TV describes a retaining wall for a classic Cape Cod house that's made out of granite. The granite matches the stone in the house's façade, which is an important consideration when choosing natural rock. While it's possible to make a retaining wall out of stacked stone or even boulders, mortared stone offers a more formal look.
Building a retaining wall out of natural stone can be costly, especially if you need a long or tall one. A good solution is having a stone veneer applied to a concrete block wall. With this construction, contractors stack concrete blocks and fill the openings with concrete. The wall is further reinforced with rebar. To beautify this wall, contractors can attach a stone veneer, which is made out of actual stone but is much thinner than a wall made all of natural stone. The veneer is usually only a few inches thick, which is why it's less expensive. The veneer is only for aesthetics—the concrete blocks provide the strength and stability.
Brick Retaining Wall
Many traditional homes feature brick, so a brick retaining wall makes sense for cohesion. As with natural stone, it's imperative to match the brick color. However, even if your home doesn't have brick in its façade, a brick retaining wall can add a touch of class. Contractors have two options for such an installation. They can create a cavity wall, which consists of two brick walls that share a concrete foundation between them. Alternatively, they can construct a concrete block wall and apply a brick veneer.
Retaining Wall Design
Beyond material considerations, you have design options as well. For example, even if your slope isn't severe, you can ask the contractors to install a series of terraces instead of a single retaining wall. Beyond even that, a common addition is a seat wall. As the name suggests, this is a retaining wall with bench seating built in. This is ideal if your yard overlooks a pleasant view. You can also combine the seat wall with a backyard feature such as a fire pit or a spa.
Solve a sloped yard with an attractive retaining wall that complements your traditional home. For more information on retaining walls, contact a company like New Horizon Landscapes & Design.