Choosing the Right Design and Material for Your Retaining Wall

Retaining walls are a great way to beautify your outdoor spaces, but they also provide a certain function as well.  Knowing what you want from your landscape construction is an important first step in choosing they type of design that will be used, and selecting materials that will be both visually appealing and suit your practical applications as well.

What do you want your retaining wall to do?  Consider what will best meet your needs:

  • Protecting and preserving your land from erosion
  • Backfilling and reclaiming land
  • Defining spaces in your yard
  • Providing additional seating
  • Containing gardens
  • Adding curb appeal

Knowing what type of wall you need will help you make the most of your landscape dollars and can help you to define and design the perfect addition to your property.

Types of Retaining Wall Construction

Depending on the purpose for your new retaining wall, it can be constructed in a number of different ways.

Stacked Retaining Walls:  These are constructed using stones that interlock together.  They use their own weight and the force of gravity to retain the soil behind them.

Poured Concrete:  Forms are used to pour concrete to create custom retaining walls that will stand the test of time. These are often reinforced for a sound structure that won’t crack over time.

Reinforced or Anchored Retaining Walls:  This type of construction includes material to reinforce the structure, anchor it in place, and lend added stability for projects that require a little extra support.

Types of Stone for Retaining Wall Construction

Once you’ve established the type of wall you need, it’s time to decide on the best material for the job.   When it comes to landscape construction, there are many options to choose from:

Natural Stone and Boulders.  Anytime you use natural stone in your landscape design you end up with stunning results, and this is a bold design choice that is sure to pay off.  These are best installed professionally, however, as it is important to ensure that you have a water tight seal so that soil and rock do not shift and move over time.

Concrete Block.  Concrete block comes in many colours and textures and is adaptable to any sized project, big or small.  They are also easy to co-ordinate with existing patios and walkways, for a consistent look that will complement your entire design.

Brick.  As with concrete block, brick comes in many colours and can blend easily with existing landscaping.  While less common than natural stone and concrete block, it is a material that can certainly stand the test of time.

If you’re considering a new retaining wall, contact Okanagan Yard Works to see what options are best for you!

Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Plan your Backyard Makeover!

It’s hard to imagine that summer is over.  The leaves are falling and the air is colder, meaning it will be months before we get out to enjoy our backyards again.  If bidding adieu to your outdoor space until next spring doesn’t make you just a little bit sad, perhaps it’s time to consider a landscape makeover to turn your property into your own summer oasis by next year.

Fall is the perfect time to plan and execute a backyard makeover:

  1. You are using your outdoor space less, so landscapers won’t be in the way of your day to day life.
  2. Landscape professionals are generally less busy in the fall and early winter, so you may have more success with availability than you would in the summer months.
  3. Many bulbs and plants require planting in fall in order to flower in spring – allowing you to have colour and vitality in your gardens from the very beginning of the season.
  4. Complete stonework, retaining walls and structures with plenty of time to allow grass and greenery to grow.

How do I plan my revitalized yard space?

In order to design the perfect outdoor entertainment area, it’s important to think about how you would like to use your yard.  Do you like to have friends over in the afternoons for barbeques, or for late-night cocktails on the patio?  Do you have small children who need space to play, or pets who may damage grass and foliage?  Are you looking for a water feature for ambience or a fire table for sipping hot cocoa on a cool evening?  All of these are important considerations that help to shape the look and feel you are after for your yard.

Armed with your ideas and our expertise, we can help you to design the ideal space to entertain, relax in and enjoy.  We will advise you on feature placement and materials, plant choices and irrigation systems to ensure that your final product is everything you wanted- and more.

Get ready for spring by planning your backyard getaway this fall!  Give us a call to book your free consultation.

3 Ways a Retaining Wall Can Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

Most people can appreciate the aesthetic value of a retaining wall to add texture, colour and design to a landscaping project, but rock construction can provide some very important functional value as well.

Here are just a few reasons to consider a retaining wall for your yard:

Land Protection

If your land is sloped or you are worried about erosion, a retaining wall can be a great solution.  They help to retain soil and keep your property intact from future deterioration.  As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to hire a local landscape contractor who understands your soil and wind conditions, and can make knowledgeable suggestions for your home.

Create Tiered Planting Areas

Rock walls can create elevated planting or living spaces that make your yard more useable while adding visual appeal at the same time.  Make use of areas that are not level or flat to create focal points, living space and even extra seating for guests as well.

Improved Drainage

Retaining walls are a smart choice to manage drainage in your gardens.   When designed properly, they can slow the disbursement of rain water and help to retain moisture for your plantings, while still allowing excess water to seep out without issue.

Do I need a professional landscaper?

A retaining wall is a great way to invest in your home by adding value and character, but it’s a big job that requires skill and knowledge to build safely and effectively.  Chances are, you’ll save time, money and a whole lot of hassle by hiring a pro.  We are experienced with the design and architectural requirements needed to complete the job to your satisfaction, and can make sure that there are never any costly and frustrating issues with buckling, cracking or crumbling bricks.

At Okanagan Yard Works, we use superior products like Alan Block and Basalite Block to ensure an end result that is as strong as it is beautiful.  From planning to design, and right through to installation, we’re here for you every step of the way.  Call us today for a free consultation to see how we can help to beautify your property and improve its functionality as well!