The Function And Elegance Of Retaining Walls

Retaining walls have been around for centuries, initially created as stone fences but were adapted for other uses later on. There are a number of landscape conditions and reasons why retaining walls are built today. They can provide an architectural barrier in a yard, separating lounging areas from less attractive structures such as sheds and outdoor lawn equipment. Some homeowners may build retaining walls for esthetic reasons, using decorative Construction Equipment like colorful bricks, while others may create an elegant inlaid stone structure that enhances a fountain. Yet more often than not, landscape conditions dictate the use of retaining walls as a way to prevent water or soil erosion. Typically, these are built to keep naturally occurring slopes from sliding into structures or other parts of the landscape. Whether building for decorative purposes or out of necessity, having the right construction tools to erect a solid retaining wall is essential to get the job done correctly.

Functional Uses of Retaining Walls

Tool box full of toolsThe most common reason retaining walls are built is to keep water, rocks or soil contained. Without them, landscape damage can occur. Sometimes retaining walls are needed to prevent mudslides or flooding into or near the home or other eco-sensitive areas. If the ground is already soft, functional retaining walls may need concrete or metal posts at either end of the wall to serve as anchors. If so, construction equipment such as a 1 Man Hole-Digger by General Equipment in 4”, 6” or 8” may be needed to dig the hole where the pole or concrete anchor will be placed.

Another reason for retaining walls is that some homes are built into or near hillsides or have split ground levels. When a yard has multiple ground levels, a retaining wall is strongly encouraged as a way to prevent one part of the yard from sliding into another part. While the most common functional retaining walls use concrete blocks or bricks for their reliability, some can be built as a poured concrete wall that is reinforced with steel rods in the middle.

Retaining Walls To Protect Gardens

Retaining walls that establish boundaries for gardens can be constructed for either decorative, functional purposes, or both. More often than not, raising a garden above ground level is a practical way to prevent soil from eroding in sloped earthen areas. Gardens often require frequent watering and a raised garden bed that is protected by a retaining wall can prevent unnecessary soil loss, particularly if it is already porous and soft.

Decorative Retaining Walls

Water features such as outdoor fountains, waterfalls, or man-made ponds can serve as ideal locations to construct a decorative retaining wall. Fountains that are set higher than ground level offer special opportunities to create added elegance to the structure. Man-made waterfalls or ponds in the back yard can increase beauty even in addition to the functional element that a retaining wall provides. More often than not, high quality decorative stone or marble may be chosen for these types of walls.