Best Water Feature Builder Gold Coast

Adding a water feature to your yard or garden is a fantastic way to create a beautiful, relaxing space. Not only can a well-designed water feature enhance the overall look of your property but it can also increase the resale value of your home. That means that you can usually recoup your investment when it comes time to sell your home in the future.

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that installing a water feature is not very complicated. However, it is far more difficult than you might think. Not only do you need a good eye for design, but you also need knowledge of how best to deal with any plumbing, electrical, or water treatment related issues associated with the project.

For instance, if you want an outdoor pond with a fountain, you will need to figure out how to get the water into the pond and how to operate the fountain. This usually requires both plumbing and electrical work. On top of that, you also need to figure out how to properly treat the water in the pond so that it doesn’t grow algae or develop other issues. This can be a rather complex topic. Learning everything that you need to know on your own can be a bit overwhelming.

Because of that, your best bet is probably to hire a contractor to install the water feature for you. The following tips will help you find the best water feature builder for your yard or garden:

1. Get recommendations. One of the best ways to find a reliable contractor that specializes in water features is by asking around. Start paying attention when you drive around town. Are there any water features that you love? Feel free to check out both commercial and residential properties as you drive by.

Make a note of your favorite water features. Then, stop and ask the owner of the property who did the work. Usually, they will be more than happy to provide you with the name of the contractor. In fact, they will probably be quite flattered that you liked their water feature enough to stop and ask.

2. Check online. The Internet can also be great for finding a reliable contractor. Start by searching for contractors in your area who specialize in water features. Next, for each contractor you find, search for reviews from their past clients. This can help you get a better idea of how easy they are to work with and how skilled they are at their jobs. Jot down the contact information of any companies that look promising.

Next, spend some time viewing each contractor’s website to see photos of their past work. Most contractors will post images of projects that they have worked on in the past. This should give you a good idea of whether the design style that the contractor uses is a good fit for the overall look that you are going for with your property.

3. Check with your local lumber yard or building supply company. Another way that you can go about finding the best water feature builder is by talking to other professionals in the construction industry.

Consider asking around at your local lumber yard to see if they can recommend someone who does a great job of installing these types of outdoor features. Chances are, they will have a good idea of which contractors are the most popular and well-respected. They are highly unlikely to recommend a contractor unless they are sure that they will do the job right. This can be a great way to find a builder that is reliable and well-respected within the industry.

4. Get more than one estimate. Even if you find a contractor that you love, you should get estimates from several other contractors as well. That way, you can be sure that the price you are being quoted is fair. Granted, there will naturally be differences in price from one company to the next. However, these differences should be relatively minor. If one company is far more expensive than the others, you should try to find out why. There may be a good reason for it.

For instance, they may use higher quality materials or have more experience in the business. In other cases, however, they could be trying to take advantage of you. It is important to know what a fair price for the project is so that you can determine whether or not the prices you are being quoted are reasonable.

5. Ask about ongoing maintenance. Before you decide to go through with the project, you should talk to the contractor about what steps will be required to maintain the water feature in the future. Ideally, you should choose a low-maintenance option. Otherwise, you could find yourself quickly getting tired of dealing with ongoing maintenance. A good contractor should be able to make recommendations for low maintenance water features that still look amazing.

Finding the best water feature builder for your yard or garden is all about doing careful research. Although the process can be time-consuming, in the end, it will be worth it. The better job you do of choosing a reliable contractor, the more likely you are to get a water feature you love. Not only that but by working with a well-respected professional, you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t paying any more than necessary for the work.

Best Timber Fencing Builder

The best timber fencing builder is not someone who is going to be ready for you as soon as you enter the market. There has to be a certain amount of research done on the subject to make sure you are going with a builder that is committed to the process and has a good reputation in the market.

Let’s take a look at some of the key qualities you are going to want to see in the best timber fencing builder and what they should be bringing to the table for you and the project that has to be completed.

1) Professionalism

Begin with their professionalism. A great builder is one that is going to showcase professionalism from start to finish. They are not going to make you run around nor are they going to make you wait at any point. They will set out to do the work based on your needs and will make sure they do just as they have said.

This is the best part about going with those who are the real deal and are not going to waste your time or look to cut corners as they are building the fence.

2) Great Reviews

What about the reviews they have got previously? Do they have good reviews in the area? If you are going to have fencing being put in, you will know it is a must to look at this with care and think about what you are getting and how it is going to impact you.

If the reviews are not great, you will not be happy, and that is rough.

Be smart and make sure you are pouring through all of their reviews to see how their fencing is in the eyes of those who have gone with them. It will shed a lot of light on what you are getting into.

3) Best Materials Are Used

The materials that are going to be used will matter for some reasons. The reason you are going to want the best materials is so the fencing looks great and you know it is going to last when it has been put up. You cannot go with fencing that is going to start to crack as soon as it starts raining because that does happen with poor-quality wood.

You have to go with those who source their wood with professionalism and are going to spend time on this before they bring it over to you.

4) Modern Equipment

What equipment are they going to be using for the timber fencing that is going in? You want the best equipment that is not only quick but is safe as well. This is vital when you are having work done on your property because if there is damage that takes place, you are the one who is going to lose out.

It is your property that is going to be on the receiving end of such damage, and that is unacceptable.

Go with those who use proper equipment and care about these details when it comes to their work.

5) Immediate Setting Of Deadline

The deadline is important when you are hoping to get things done the right way. Many people are not smart about the deadlines, and this can lead to things getting delayed. If you are getting work done with a timber fencing builder, you will know a deadline is necessary.

It should feel like they have a sense of what is required and can give it to you in writing.

You should have it set on the contract, so you have legal backing.

6) Fair Quotes

What about the quotes? You want to know they are going to give you a fair quote right away. They should not be delaying things nor should they be slowing the process down to waste your time. The best service will know you are in a rush and want to get things moving along if they have been called in.

They will list out a quote and have it in writing so you are not left guessing as to what you can do and how it is going to work for you in general.

This is why you have to go with those who are fair.

7) Warranty

Are they able to give a warranty for what they are going to do on your property? This has to be noted because without a warranty you are not going to be in a fair position. You want to make sure you are going with those who can back their work both when it comes to the materials and what they are doing.

Until this happens, you should not be choosing them as they won’t justify the value you are hoping to get in the long-term.

The warranty that is present is a must and will help relax your nerves.

The best timber fencing builder is one that is going to have all of these qualities, and they will be clear for you to see. It should not get to a point where you are hoping to see them and have already hired the service. You want to feel assured about the work they’re going to do as that is the first step.

Until this happens, you have to take a step back and go through what they bring to the table.

Best Outdoor Timber Deck Builder Material

If you are going to build a deck outside of your home, you are going to need to use the proper material. There are many different types of materials that can be used that will all work very well.

You may have a personal preference when it comes to the way that the material will look, and how durable it actually is. Let’s take a look at some of the best outdoor timber deck builder material that is out there today that you may want to use.

Pressure Treated Lumber

One of the best materials that you can use, and one of the most popular, is called pressure treated lumber. This lumber is popular due to its affordability, and how available it is across the nation. It is most commonly made of Southern Yellow Pine, and once it is cut, it is chemically treated.

This will allow the wood to resist rot, bugs, and fungus that could compromise the lumber if it wasn’t put through the chemical process. As long as you are able to do an annual power washing, and stain in the wood regularly, it will last for several decades. There is another choice that many people like due to the way that the wood looks and smells and that is using either redwood or cedar.

Redwood And Cedar

These are used by people that really enjoy the look and feel of this type of lumber. They are considered by many people to be the most beautiful. However, they are not treated with chemicals and are softwoods that can decompose much more quickly.

They do have tannins and oils that will help them stay resistant for many decades, preventing dry rot and decay. The best lumber to get is going to be heartwood. This simply means that it is going to be taken from the near center of the tree. This lumber will be very hard in comparison to anything cut on the outside, and is a top choice for those that like this type of lumber that is made without chemicals.

Exotic Hardwoods

This lumber is actually taken from countries overseas. Examples of this would be Philippine mahogany. There is also tigerwood and ipe which are going to last a long time because of how incredibly dense this lumber actually is. Because of this, bugs will not be able to move in as quickly. However many people stay away from these because of how heavy they actually are.

They are so dense it is necessary to drill holes into every piece of wood before even putting a nail, and therefore is going to be more work when it comes to using these for decking. There is one other type of decking material that you might want to consider which does not fall under the category of the best outdoor timber deck builder material. That is because it is not made of lumber at all. It is called composite decking.

Composite Decking

Sometimes confused with plastic lumber, it is slowly becoming the most popular of all decking materials. They are made from a couple different chemicals including polyvinyl and polyethylene, and they can be purchased in a wide range of colors. These are very popular with people that are environmentally conscious.

They will purchase this type of decking to preserve trees. They will also purchase it from people that are going to use recycle plastic. Although this does look like lumber, it is obvious that it is not. The primary benefit is that you do not have to ever treat this type of decking material. However, we are trying to determine what is the best outdoor timber deck material.

Which One Is The Best?

The best type of material is going to be determined by a couple different factors. Treated lumber is simply going to last longer than hardwoods, whereas redwood and cedar is going to look a lot better. The choice that you make will depend upon what you find to be the most important factor.

If you want something hands-free, treated lumber is the best way to go. If you want something that looks elegant, redwood and cedar would be your top choice. If you would like to use a decking material that does not need to be treated, dense exotic decking material would be right for you.

One Final Factor To Consider

There is one other thing to consider when choosing the best outdoor timber deck builder material. That is the overall cost of using this material to initially build the deck, and the subsequent cost of maintaining it. If you have a substantial amount of money to work with, and you do not want to get treated lumber, exotic hardwood decking is the best choice for you.

It may cost more up front, but it will cost you less over time because it will not need to be treated ever again. If you would prefer paying less up front, treated decking is the best choice. Best of all, it will last much longer than exotic hardwoods.

The most expensive would likely be redwood or cedar because it is expensive on the front and back end. However, if your goal is to have the most unique and beautiful deck, and you don’t mind spending the money, these would be your top choices.

This basic overview of trying to determine the best outdoor timber deck builder material should lead you to one of these products. Although we did mention composite material, if your focus is having all-natural wood, one of the other three choices will be right for you.

Best Timber Retaining Walls Builder

Are you searching for a retaining wall contractor? If you are, you’ll want to find the best timber retaining walls builder in your area. Constructing retaining walls can be challenging, and you’ll want to make sure that the contractor you hire is able to handle the task.

If you haven’t hired a contractor for a job like this in the past, you may not know what you should be looking for. Here are a few of the things you should keep in mind as you search for the perfect contractor.

Ask People For Recommendations

Reach out to the people you know and ask them if they can recommend a contractor to you. They may be able to point you in the direction of someone that can build retaining walls for you.

Many contractors specialize in a certain type of work, and not every contractor handles retailing walls. With that said, seeking recommendations can only help you. If people provide you with suggestions, you’ll know which contractors you should be taking a closer look at.

Research The Top Contenders

Start taking a closer look at the contractors that build retaining laws. Look at the work they have done for other people. Have they satisfied their clients in the past?

You may want to see if a contractor is listed with the Better Business Bureau. If they are, you should check to see what kind of ranking they have. Have any of their clients had to file a complaint against them?

You should also ensure that contractors are licensed before you reach out to them before information. Never work with a contractor that doesn’t have the proper licensing.

Interview The Contractors You’re Considering

Once you’ve managed to put together a list of contractors, you should start conducting interviews with them over the phone. During this time, you can ask them any questions you might have.

There is a lot of information you will want to gather from the contractors that you interview. Don’t just ask them about what they typically charge. Find out how much experience they have; see if they have built retaining walls with timber before. Try to determine whether or not they will be a good fit for the job that you’re hiring for.

Meet With The Top Contractors

If a contractor made a positive impression on you during your phone interview, you should try to meet with them face-to-face. When you meet with a contractor in person, you can get a better sense of who they are and how they approach certain tasks.

While your job is completed, you and your contractor will be in constant contact with each other. You need to make sure that the two of you can get along with each other. A contractor may seem pleasant over the phone, but may be brusque in person. If you can conduct these kinds of meetings, you can find a contractor that you can get along with.

Start Taking Bids

Once you’ve found the best timber retaining walls builders in your area, you can start taking bids from them. You should take bids from several contractors and compare the bids against each other.

Naturally, you will want to make sure that the contract a builder gives you will match what they offered in their bid. In order to secure this, you should have them to obtain a bid bond. Bid bonds are an industry standard, and no contractor should object to them.

Come Up With A Payment Plan

Building retaining walls is very expensive, and it is unlikely that you will be able to cover the full costs of the job at once. Because of this, you and your contractor should work together to come up with a payment plan.

In most cases, the person that is hiring a contractor will make an initial payment up front. The contractor can use this payment to purchase most of the materials that they need.

Once a certain percentage of the work has been completed, another payment will be paid. For longer jobs, there may be several payments like this.

When everything has been finished, you can make the last payment. If a contractor has failed to complete the job satisfactorily, you may be able to withhold that last payment. Make sure that the payment schedule and the terms of each payment are a part of your contract.

Make Sure Everything Is Writing

Spend a lot of time drawing up your contractor. Have a lawyer go over your contract and look for potential issues. Don’t rush through the contract process, and don’t sign a contract that you haven’t read. This contract is legally binding, and you need to make sure that the contract protects you.

If you are hiring a builder to take on a major job for you, you need to make sure that the job will be completed properly. The contract between you and the builder will determine how this job will go.

A qualified contractor will want to take their time with a contract. After all, these papers will protect the both of you.

If you are trying to find the best timber retaining walls builder in your area, you are going to want to take your time. Look at many different contractors before you make your final choice. Interview contractors and see if any of them might be a good fit for your job. Find someone that can build solid timber walls for you.

The Best 7 Garden Drainage Solutions

In some areas of the world, rain and humidity are quite rare, which can rather easily make gardening quite difficult. On the other side of the coin are parts of the world where water is perhaps too abundant, which provides its own types of problems for gardeners.

Among other problems is draining water out of the garden before it can force an excess of water into plants, which can be just as damaging as a drought in a particularly wet year. Here then are 7 garden drainage solutions that are useful in nearly any overly wet region of the world.

Suffuse the Soil With Organic Matter

Among the best of 7 garden drainage solutions is the simple addition of extra organic matter to the soil itself. For a garden that gets too much water, the addition of extra plants can soak up the water that would otherwise transform into an excess of water in more fragile plants without forcing another plant to go without water.

Organic matter such as plants do tend to soak up water. This is also true of compost. In addition to providing wonderful nutrients to a garden, a regular infusion of compost can also provide extra organic matter to soak up excessive water in a particularly wet or humid area.

Plant With the Water in Mind

Some plants do better with excesses of water than others. A garden focused on growing plants that do well with an excessive amount of water coming in frequently is known as a rain garden or a bog garden, and while the plants may not be every gardener’s favorite, going with the natural order of things is one of the best of 7 garden garden drainage solutions.

A few plants that absolutely love heavy amounts of water are ferns, astilbe, maples, beebalm, willows, canna, a number of irises and mint. These plants can also be added to gardens to soak up water from other plants that would otherwise suffer from excess water, as mentioned above.

Reroute the Water

Digging diversion channels for water to send it somewhere besides your more vulnerable plants can also serve to keep your garden in better shape. Understanding where water tends to pool up in your garden and then digging channels to move it somewhere else is a good idea for areas with excessive rain. However, be careful where you route the water to go.

One way or another, the water should find its way into a storm drain, which every wet region of the world will likely have. That said, high amounts of fertilizer in this run off is bad for the environment, and one should either use as little fertilizer as possible or only use fertilizer when recommended.

Garden In Raised Beds

When gardening in raised garden beds, it is easier to control the soil inside the beds, meaning that there are more ways to deal with excessive water, be it adding specialized soil, water absorbent plants or extra compost.

Building raised garden beds can be difficult, no doubt, but plans for these projects are widely available on the internet and do not require a great deal of building know how to create a passable gardening bed. It can take some getting used to in order to make the most of a raised garden bed, but the control is quite astounding.

Improve Air Circulation

In particularly damp regions of the world, excessive water can provide an opening for plant diseases to attack your garden. Improving air circulation can help dry the garden out faster, before the excess of water can allow diseases to take root in your plants.

Pruning overhanging growth that create shady spots can not only allow plants to get more sunlight, but can also prevent water from building up. It can also help to add extra water at the roots rather than the foliage of the plants when watering your garden, allowing the plants to absorb extra water with minimal risk of disease.

Rain Barrels

If rain from your home’s gutters are part of the reason your plants are getting too much water, setting up rain barrels to catch that water is likely a good idea. Setting up rain barrels in strategic locations to catch that water before it gets to your garden will require some forethought ahead of time to put them in the right place where they can be moved and emptied without damaging your garden.

It is also a good idea to empty these barrels regularly as they tend to be a lot harder to move if they go neglected for too long. Ideally these barrels should be emptied in a place where they will eventually reach a storm drain.

Set Up a Drainage System

For particularly severe problems where the rain just keeps coming and the plants can’t take it, it can help to dig a system of gravel lined channels throughout your yard and use them to empty the water into a place where it will not damage your garden. Once the channels are dug and lined with gravel, specialized plastic piping should be installed to send the water where you want it to go, before covering the pipes up.

Doing this requires a great deal of forethought to set up the water channel system and this article can not possible cover the full complexities of such a project. Still, the information for this sizable gardening undertaking is widely available on the internet. So keep these 7 garden drainage solutions in mind when you set up a garden.

Everything To Know About Retaining Walls

As the name suggests, a retaining wall is a structure that is used for holding soil behind it. There are a number of different types of retaining walls used for a variety of purposes. Also, a number of different types of materials are used for creating retaining walls such as concrete, rocks, boulders, treated timber as well as concrete blocks among others. Here is everything you need to know about why use a retaining wall.

Why Use a Retaining Wall?

Typically, a retaining wall is used when one part of the ground is at a much different height than the neighboring part of the ground which leads to a too steep slope between these two parts. The retaining wall is used for maintaining the slope in place and supporting the soil on higher level.

One of the biggest uses of a retaining wall is to slow down erosion. Soil on a sloping land tends to erode over time as gravity, wind and water causes it to slowly travel downhill. This may lead to a variety of problems and may even compromise the structural integrity of the land. A retaining wall helps in preventing soil erosion by holding back the soil on the higher part of the ground at that particular level and prevents it from flowing downwards.

Another common use of retaining wall is for increasing the usable space in a property. In case you own a property that is highly sloping, you may not be able to use all the space on your property. In such a case, a retaining wall can be of great help as by getting a wall system installed on your property, it will allow for the space to be leveled off.

In simple terms, you will have a lot of additional space which can be used for a variety of purposes. Once a proper retaining wall has been erected, the low land can be backfilled for leveling the ground which will provide completely usable flat land.

One of the main problems associated with sloping land is that it leads to drainage issues. On a sloped land, water always flows in a particular direction which is down the slope and this may lead to huge challenges in terms of drainage. For avoiding flooding and improving drainage, retaining walls are often built for preventing the water from travelling downhill.

Retaining wall system can also be used for redirecting water to improve drainage. Redirecting the water can be especially helpful in case the land slopes towards a building or house where it may lead to internal flooding issues. Redirection of water is also useful in case the land slopes towards a driveway, patio, parking lot or any other usable space.

Retaining walls are also being increasingly used for enhancing privacy between two properties. A retaining wall can be constructed in to enhance privacy when one building or home is on a higher land as compared to another. It is important that the proper type of retaining wall is used to make sure that it not only provides privacy but also prevents erosion and drainage issues.

Retaining walls are also increasingly being used for enhancing the visual look of a property’s landscaping. The retaining walls not only prevent drainage and erosion issues but can also be used for creating a variety of visually interesting levels and the overall design.

For enhancing the overall visual appeal of the space, a number of different types of attractive and colorful materials can be used for creating the retaining wall. Some of the common materials used for landscaping include concrete blocks, stones, pavers, natural stone and other such things. Professional landscape artists design retaining walls to coordinate with the surrounding features.

As mentioned above, there are a number of different types of retaining walls and each of these types of retaining walls is used for a variety of purposes. Some of the common types of retaining walls include gravity walls, sheet pile walls, cantilever walls, anchored walls and counterfort falls.

The gravity walls usually have a maximum height of 4 feet. As the name suggests, it relies on its own weight for retaining the soil behind it. The base of gravity wall is much thicker than its top and it leans backwards. Due to this inclination that is known as battering, the structure remains strong.

Over time, the material behind the wall keeps pushing it forward which may lead to bulging of the wall outwards. If the wall is deformed, it means that it’s unstable and needs to be constructed again. While this type of retaining wall is great for smaller slopes, these are not meant for taller slopes as the base needs to be much thicker than the top. Gravity walls require a lot of construction material.

Cantilever walls are built in uniform thickness with the base of the wall connected to a slab for additional strength. These walls are not only capable of holding back significant amount of soil but these can also support tall slopes. As far as the strength and capacity of this wall is concerned, it depends on the structure of the wall. This design is quite complex and therefore, it is recommended to hire the services of an experienced landscaping company to get this wall built.

The counterfort wall is similar in construction to cantilever wall with the only difference being that it also includes thin vertical concrete walls that are known as counterfort at regular intervals. These counterforts connect the base and top of the wall together which reduces the bending and shear forces due to the soil behind. In simple terms, the counterfort provides additional strength to the wall.

Overall, there are a number of different uses of retaining walls.  Hopefully, you now know why use a retaining wall.

What Are Windsor Retaining Walls

Retaining Wall Systems
Retaining walls were traditionally built to hold soil in place. If a home, for instance, sits on the leeward side of a mountain, the soil might start falling into the house or filling in the yard. Walls are built to prevent erosion by keeping the soil in place. They add a visual appeal to the landscape while playing such a practical role. Read on to learn more about these walls.

Variations on retaining walls exist based on the materials used to build them and how they are secured. Not all walls are made of stone. Even today, wood railroad ties or timbers are anchored into place with rebar. Other retaining walls are made from stone. While the secured walls use rebar, others have a wide base that pushes force back against the soil to retain it.

What Are Windsor Retaining Walls?

Not all retaining walls are straight. Adding curves into the equation in an attractive element to add into the design that is sometimes necessary to follow along with the natural landscape. The curves on either side of the wall define what are Windsor retaining walls.

In gardens throughout the world, shorter free-standing retaining walls are used to section off parts of the yard to distinguish them from one another. One popular placement is to section off the outdoor patio and eating area from the rest of the yard.

Windsor retaining walls may stand up to two feet tall on their own, and are a popular option among homeowners for their versatility, beauty, and relatively easy setup. The design options are widely varied to beautify any landscape.

If the wall is four feet or more in height it will have to be secured into place by a professional. Any sized wall that will abut a driveway requires the common sense of an engineer to sign off on the plans. In addition, professionals need to be hired to perform the work. Usually, the local building codes will follow along these lines.

DIY Systems
Beginning in the 1990’s retaining walls became much easier to build. Interlocking blocks tossed the need for a mason every time a wall was to be built. It also made mortar compounds a thing of the past. It marked a turning point in retaining wall systems where homeowners could take on the task of building their own wall thanks to the help of interlocking block systems.

Wall Block Calculator
Decide on the length of the wall, and factor in the size of the blocks you will use in your wall. Locate a wall block calculator and input the information to calculate how much material you need to buy and how much it will cost. Plan on paying extra for the safest no-hassle delivery.

For many homeowners doing it, yourself is not an option. Fortunately, the online calculators will feature a section to include local information. The main aim of this entry is to give you a quick-reference list of local retaining wall specialists who will professionally install the wall or walls for you. Call on them for consultations, and for written quotes prior to beginning any work.

Calculating It By Hand
If want to figure out how many blocks to buy without an online calculator, or by hand, here is the equation. Estimate the number blocks you need for each course.

Figure out the entire length of the wall in inches. Then, divide by the length of an individual block. The results tell you how many blocks to purchase per course.

Cap Stones
Be sure to top off the wall with an eye for the finest design with good cap stones. Be mindful and choose cap stones that complement and match the overall design of the rest of the retaining wall.

Stone Colors
Stone colors generally fall into an array of earth tones and grayscale. They range from yellow and  tan to browns all the way down the line to encompass a grayscale too. Reds and rust are at the other end of the spectrum and can add warmth to the backyard scenery.

Lights
LED lights offer a great advantage over traditional or even fluorescent bulbs. They have no bulb to burn out on you. When you are making a fixture such as a retaining wall and want to add light, LED’s are a great option for their long-lasting durability and variation.

They are different not only in their operation but also in the amount of light that they project. In other words take time in coming up with the right lighting scheme by playing around with free-standing LED’s before committing to an LED lighting plan for your retaining wall.

If you are building the wall on your own, then what are Windsor retaining walls and why should you use them? They are stylish, and these days, easy to build without much in the way of tools. There is no mortar, sand or joint compound to concern yourself with because of the easy click and place retaining wall systems available today.

The Windsor retaining wall is beautiful in the manner it hugs the landscape. Lighting and plantings divert the onlooker’s attention from the purpose of the wall, onto the pretty view before them. No one has to know how easy it was for your to build it yourself. Take satisfaction in knowing wherever you need a wall, you can get to work, whether winding Windsor walls are called for or an abutting retainer is needed.

What Are Keystone Retaining Walls?

Do you need a retaining wall for your home or business? These walls are usually meant to hold water or earth in place and to keep it out of other areas. In some cases, they can even be used for a building’s structural support.

If you are going to add this piece of landscaping or building, you might consider some advantages of Keystone retaining walls. These walls are made from a product that has been engineered to last, get installed quickly, and be competitively priced.

What Are Keystone Retaining Walls?

It might help to learn a bit about the history of this company first. Keystone started in the 1980s with an idea to create a landscaping system that was different than what had been produced before. This was mostly the idea of a landscaping contractor named Paul Forsberg.

He wanted to create a way to build retaining walls and other landscaping structures that would meet these criteria:

* Easy to install
* Flexible for different needs and designs
* Cost effective

Thus, Mr. Forsberg conceived of the idea of his Keystone system to build retaining walls and other kinds of structures that would be used outdoors for landscaping. This idea turned into a very successful company.

Keystone Retaining Walls have been around for over three decades. Now the company has evolved into a network of producers and distributors. This industry leader has sold over 700 million square feet of their products in the last 30 years.

Contech purchased the company in 1999. This company already worked with soil and water control systems, so the two companies were a very natural fit together. This joining helped expanded the use of this product even further, and now they can be found all over the US and in other North and South American countries. Retaining walls in the Western Hemisphere are very likely to come from Keystone products.

How Do Keystone Retaining Walls Work?

So, actually what are Keystone Retaining Walls. As the name implies, these modular walls are constructed from cement components that fit together like keystones. The original products have evolved many times into a very durable product.

Even better, these products can be made to look like all sorts of other natural materials. They are called “engineered” products because the materials are carefully developed according to formulas that are held by the company. Of course, the goal is to make a product that is very durable and very aesthetically pleasing.

For example, it’s possible to purchase the components to look like types of natural stones, bricks, and so on. After the retaining walls have been adhered into place, a casual observer won’t guess that they are anything other than what they look like. A visitor might think the project was made from rusty bricks or even cut stone, but it will really be made out of the “engineered” concrete that Keystone supplies. This is a better and cheaper solution.

This means that these products can be used for almost any sort of landscaping requirements. For example, the walls could be made to look rustic, modern, luxurious, and so on. Keystone walls are used in the landscaping of modest homes, neighborhoods, mansions, and office buildings. They can satisfy people with tight budgets and people with very high standards. That’s probably why they have grown so popular.

Flexible Designs

The walls can also be built in different shapes. For many uses, a straight retaining wall might be fine. For other uses, it might be better to have the structure curve or even form an oval or circle. The walls can even be tiered with levels or steps.

It’s possible to create almost any shape and design with these products, and yet, they fit together almost like a puzzle or children’s building blocks. Really, the only limit is the designer’s or engineer’s ideas for the project.

Types Of Keystone Retaining Walls

Of course, there are many different kinds of walls that can be constructed from these products. These are some of the most common examples:

* Structural: A structural retaining wall is actually meant to help support the weight of a structure. At the same time, they look beautiful and blend or contrast with the architecture of other structures around them.
* Landscaping: Most homeowners considering using a retaining wall for landscaping. For example, they can be used to plant a raised flower bed. This can add beauty and make the plants easier to care for.

Besides structural and landscaping retaining walls, these Keystone products also have plenty of other uses. For example, they can be used to pave a path or drive way or to edge a garden. Some people may want to have matching or contrasting stones for different parts of their landscaping project.

The company not only markets the actual engineered stones for many purposes, but they also offer accessories that are used to hold the stones in place. By using the entire system, it’s possible to bring almost any idea to reality in a fast, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

What Are Keystone Retaining Walls Good For?

These products were revolutionary when they were first introduced over three decades ago. Today, they are even better because the company keeps working to improve their products. They are the choice of many architects, engineers, and homeowners for landscaping and even structural products. They are great for retaining walls, paving, edging, and many other uses.

The Right Retaining Wall Builders

There are many different types of retaining walls such as gravity retaining walls, cantilever retaining walls, soldier pile retaining walls, brick retaining walls and a variety of other types. All these types have their uses in particular situations. As far as choosing the right type of wall and building material is concerned, it depends on the contractors and this is the reason that experts recommend putting a lot of thought into choosing the right contractors for building a retaining wall.

It is not just a decorative element or landscaping feature but it also serves a very important function which is to prevent ground from sliding and slipping. Sometimes, these are decorative in nature but are a must for other areas. As far as choosing a contractor is concerned, you should not choose the first contractor you come across. Here is a list of some of the factors you need to consider to choose the right retaining wall builders.

Choosing the Right Retaining Wall Builders

Build a List

One of the first things you need to do is start building a list. To build a list, you may search online or ask your friends and colleagues to recommend some reputable retaining wall builders. There is no dearth of such builders and a simple search will return hundreds of results. Once you have a big list of such builders, it is time to check their reputation.

Search for their name on Google and try to find out more about the company. If they have been mentioned on forums or review websites, those pages will be returned in the results and you will be able to find out more about the reputation the company has in the community. It is also recommended to search for the phone number of the company.

Sometimes, contractors may change their name slightly over the years to distance themselves from some bad jobs but they usually retain the same phone number. It is important for you to search the phone number to find out everything you can about the contractors.

Knowledge

One of the ways to make sure that you are hiring the right builder is to know as much as you can about retaining walls. There are a number of resources available online that can help you in learning everything you want to know about a retaining wall. For instance, you need to learn about various types of retaining walls and where they are used.

You also need to learn about the type of materials typically used in building retaining walls. Similarly, you can find out more about the cost of various materials and how much contractors usually charge for a particular type of retaining wall. You also need to figure out about any licensing or other requirements that a contractors needs to satisfy to start working on a retaining wall.

Also, all these professionals are usually part of one or more professional associations and you can check out the membership of that association to find whether the contractors you have shortlisted are members of that organization. Do not forget to check the local regulations. Once you know a lot about building retaining walls, you can confidently question the contractors and find out whether they know their craft or not.

Check References

You should never hire a contractor who isn’t ready to provide a quick reference list. Ideally, they should give you a list of 3 to 5 past clients. However, many people make the mistake of restricting themselves to only asking about a reference list and not actually checking the references. You should not make this mistake and call all the references to make sure that the contractor has worked for them.
Many people will happily tell you about their experience of working with that particular contractor. It is also recommended to get on the ground and take a look at the work done by the builder up close to make sure that you are satisfied with the quality of the work done.

Check Reviews

There are a number of reviews as well as discussion forums where you can find out more about a contractor. Go to these review websites and read the reviews left by real users. Check out the positive as well as negative reviews to make up your mind. Needless to say, do not work with a contractor who has mostly negative reviews.

No Subcontractor

Some builders always subcontract their work. You need to find out who will be actually coming to your home and you need to ensure that you are comfortable working with them. One of the best ways to figure out whether they use subcontractors is to drop in at an active job and ask the people working there. It will ensure that you will know about the people who will be coming to your home for building the retaining wall.

Price

Price is always an important factor but it should not be the sole basis for choosing contractors. You should ask for estimates from at least three contractors and compare them side by side on a feature by feature basis. Make sure that all the contractors have quoted their price for similar quality materials and number of hours of labor. You also need to ensure that the estimate given by a contractor contains the dates of the schedule.

The estimate given by the contractors should also contain information on the guarantee for workmanship. If a contractor isnít willing to offer any warranty for their workmanship, you should start looking for another one.

Landscaping and Drainage

Landscaping is in essence as much about what you don’t see as what you do see. Aesthetically landscaping needs to look good and it also need to be structurally sound and functional. one of the most important aspects of landscaping is the drainage. The only time drainage is appreciated is when it is raining. The rest of the time it doesn’t even really get noticed, especially if the drainage is well done. Anyone can dig a large trench through the middle of your yard to give the water somewhere to run, however it does not look very good.
Drainage should be considered as part of the landscape project as a whole and include solutions such as:-
-setting landscape levels to ensure that water is directed to drain points, street, away from the house.
-implementation of swales and spoon drains
-the use of gravel drains and agg pipes
-the use of pits, strip drains and concealed drains.
-underground piping of water, including extra drain lines if required to accept flows of stormwater
-as a last resort the use of pumps, sumps and pit drains.
Most drainage solutions are not very aesthetically pleasing ,so good landscaping will be built around making the drainage work whilst making it, if not invisible, at least as well concealed as possible. When you are planning your landscape project make sure you consider the drainage first. Ask your contractor what solutions they intend to implement during the construction of your landscape project.