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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!