When we talk about outdoor fireplaces, we’re talking about large, built-in structures. Nothing portable, and…
Do You Need a Retaining Wall? How to Tell
Have you noticed after heavy rains that you have mulch and dirt in your yard or driveway? Is there an area of your yard showing evidence of erosion? Does your property sit at the bottom of a hill? All of these are indicators that you may need a retaining wall.
Does your yard include a hill that you can’t really do anything with? You may want one or more retaining walls so that you can use them to level off your land into several terraced sections. This turns a hard-to-mow hill into a terraced garden or creates space for a play area or swimming pool.
Speaking of pools, you can use a pool retaining wall to feature a cascading or natural waterfall or other water feature.
Benefits of a Retaining Wall
A retaining wall or series of walls can transform your yard into a thing of beauty, as well as protect it from Mother Nature and the forces of gravity. The many benefits of a retaining wall include:
- Stops soil erosion
- Prevent flooding by guiding water elsewhere
- Extend the area of usable space
- Add beauty
- Add seating
A retaining wall is different than a free-standing short stack of landscape rock around a tree or garden bed. They include geogrid material, stone, and drainage pipe in addition to the decorative side.
We can build a series of low retaining walls for a terraced garden. Higher retaining walls are good when building a pool on a slope, or around your patio. We can also add wall caps to create extra seating around a patio or an area for you to place decorative outdoor items such as potted plants and art pieces.
Choosing Retaining Wall Materials
In keeping with our reputation for designing and installing landscape and hardscape projects of the highest quality, we recommend using high-quality and long-lasting retention wall materials. For us, this includes building a natural stone retaining wall or using prefabricated interlocking retaining wall blocks from manufacturers such as EP Henry and Techo-Bloc.
For a retention wall that needs to protect your property from heavy rainfall and flooding, we might suggest a poured concrete retaining wall with a stone veneer. In general, we do not recommend a wood retaining wall, as the wood will eventually rot.
You want to select a retaining wall builder with technical expertise. They’ll not only be able to evaluate your property, but also design and build a wall that will fit in with your aesthetic as well as protect your property. For higher retaining walls, you will likely need to consult with a firm that has an engineer on staff or works with one.
In fact, Section R404 of the Maryland residential building code requires retaining walls that retain more than 48” of unbalanced soil or retaining walls exceeding 24” in height that retain additional loads in addition to the unbalanced soil to be designed by a Maryland State Licensed Design Professional. A retaining wall like this is not a DIY job, and not a job for a handyman.
Following standard engineering design practice ensures stability against the retaining wall from falling over, sliding, being subject to excessive foundation pressure, and water uplift.
Make It Exceptional. Make It Woodfield.
At Woodfield, we believe retaining walls can be both functional and beautiful. We can incorporate a retaining wall (or more than one) into a larger project such as landscape design, new pool installation, or patio installation.
Our team can also design and build a retaining wall as a stand-alone project, based on your needs. We turn your retaining wall ideas into reality. To request an on-site estimate, fill out the contact form or call us at 443-299-6500. We serve homeowners throughout the Baltimore region, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties.