A retaining wall is a solid and sturdy structure that, as the name implies, retain any materials such as oil from sliding and eroding. The main function of a retaining wall is to resist the pressure of the soil thus holding it back. If you are living in a sloping area, retaining walls are very crucial in protecting your house from eroding away down the bottom. However, it can also be built as part of the landscaping of a particular area. So if you are planning on hiring a retaining wall contractor, there are several things that you need to know first. Thus, below are the things that you need to know about retaining walls.
Types of Retaining Wall Types
Retaining walls come in different types thus before you build one, make sure that you know about the different types of retaining walls that are available for your property. In smaller projects, there are two common types of retaining walls that include gravity and sheet pile retaining walls. Gravity walls, as the name implies, are used on hillside properties and are made from stone or concrete to resist a mass of materials behind it. Sheet pile retaining walls, on the other hand, are made from a variety of materials such as vinyl, steel, and wood. They are built by driving a part of the steel or wood to a particular depth on the ground. Other types of retaining walls include brick and anchored walls.
Retaining Wall Use
Retaining walls are constructed out of different functions. They can be used to protect hillsides and shorelines from eroding. They are also used to support roads and bridges. While these are the bigger industrial functions of retaining walls, they can also be installed in homes. In fact, many people install retaining walls in residential areas as part of their landscaping so that they can make distinct areas in the backyard and front yard.
Types of Materials to Use
The types of materials used in making retaining walls depend on the purpose of the retaining wall that you want to build. While it is common to use concrete for retaining walls that function to protect the integrity of the soil, other materials can be explored if you want to build one for landscaping purposes. These include stones, wood, timber, as well as brick. The type of material that you want to use depends not only on your aesthetics but also on your budget. For instance, if your budget is not so tight yet you want a sturdy material, you can use stone. So, when choosing the materials of your retaining wall, consider your budget and the function of the structure first.
Costs Involved in Building Walls
As mentioned earlier, the cost of the retaining wall depends on the type of materials that you use. Other factors that influence the cost of retaining walls include the size of the structure as well as the labor required to build the material. You can reduce the cost down if you decide to build the wall for yourself. However, a DIY retaining wall may lead to a lot of disasters so make sure that you hire a reliable retaining wall contractor. If you are really on a tight budget, scout for a contractor that will be able to give you a sustainable offer.
It is important to determine if there are sources of water nearby your property. The thing is that accumulated water such as a small pond can cause a lot of danger to retaining walls. Thus, it is very crucial to maintain good drainage on the retaining wall. Drainage management on retaining walls can include installing drainage sheets or to drill weep holes in the wall to allow water to pass through. Draining pipes can also be installed behind the wall to allow water to escape.
Are building permits necessary before building a retaining wall? The answer depends on the type of retaining wall that you are planning to build. Zoning permits are often required when constructing retaining walls that are more than 12 inches in height from the ground. On the other hand, building permits are also needed for walls that over 4 feet in height while walls that are 6 feet higher often require commercial engineering review.
Retaining walls are great ways to improve the value of your property but if you are planning on installing one, make sure that you learn about it before building one otherwise you might experience a lot of problems. This is the reason why it is so crucial that you hire a professional retaining wall contractor that specializes in building retaining walls. For more information about commercial retaining walls, visit Dirt Connections today.