Hardscape Design and Maintenance
It is becoming more and more popular to make the out doors and extension of the indoor living space. Nothing does this better than the use of stone, brick, concrete, wood and some furnishings.
In addition to adding comfort and a usable space to your property, hardscape can increase the value of your property.
A retainer wall is designed to:
support soil where there is a desired change in elevation. The base of the retaining wall is built into the ground, along with drainage, and the wall is built from there. There are a few different designs of retainer walls that rely on the soil forces.
- Gravity Wall – A single, large wall built to hold the soil with its own weight. This wall has no horizontal base structure, only a heavy vertical wall.
- Piling Wall – A wall that is built deep into the soil so it may be held in place by forces acting on the lower length of the wall.
- Cantilever Wall – A wall similar to the gravity wall but with the addition of a horizontal base buried beneath the soil extending in either direction. The base acts as a lever arm which provides additional support to the wall.
- Anchored Wall – This wall uses an anchor which is driven into the elevated soil to hold the wall in place. This method is often combined with other types to further strengthen their structure.
Retainer walls may also be built with several different materials. The most common of which are listed below.
- Block Retaining Wall – Concrete blocks are among the most commonly used materials. They are cheap, easy to work with, and very resilient. But should a block develop a crack the entire block needs to be replaced.
- Brick Wall – Brick is both a nice visual touch as well as a resilient and affordable material. While the bricks are affordable the labor costs could be much higher than that of the concrete block walls.
- Rock/Stone Wall – The rock and stone walls are similar to brick in that the labor can be costly and they are very sturdy. Unfortunately, the materials can be costly which makes these walls a slightly less affordable choice. Stone walls are known to last for many years and sometimes even decades.
- Timber Wall – While these walls have a lower cost and provide a pleasant visual they are less resilient than other choices and will have to be replaced more frequently.