Category Archives: Building

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.

DIY Building A Firepit

When you decide that you are going to build a backyard fire pit, you will want to make sure that you do it properly. If you do not do it properly, the fire could easily get out of your pit and spread around the yard. Since this is the case, you may want to have some DIY building a firepit advice to help ensure that you can build your firepit and keep the fire contained. With that being the case, here is some advice that will make the building of your fire pit go quickly and safely.

Land Survey

This is going to be one of the first things that you need to do and is often one of those things that gets overlooked quite a bit. If the land is not level, then the bricks that you are using to build your fire pit up with will not be level. This also means that when you are burning a fire in the pit their is a chance that the wood can roll around.

Then you will have the problem of the wood putting to much pressure on the outer wall of the pit and this can cause it to collapse. To avoid this issue, you need to find land that is level or if you cannot do that, dig down a little bit to level the land off to ensure the pit is built up properly.

Material Choice Matters

Just like any DIY project you will need to be careful with the materials that you select to use for the building process. This may seem as a shocker for a lot of reasons, but with a fire pit you need to get brick to do the inner lining, unless you do a fire ring that is rated for direct flame exposure.

If you do not do this, their is a chance that you could end up getting a brick that when you light your first fire inside of it will fail. Then you will have problems with the fire coming out of the side of your bricks where it is not supposed to be coming out. Not only that the fire bricks that are meant for the fire pits tend to have a higher temperature rating, which means they will deflect more of the heat back into the fire or the chimney direction to keep it from burning people who are by the fire.

Seal The Fire Pit

Losing the heat that you have generated in the fire pit can be a bad thing if it is coming out the sides. Since this is the case, you may want to consider the different ways that you can seal the sides of the fire pit. This way you do not have to worry about the flames coming out of the sides of the pit, but nor do you have to worry about the fire pit having the heat come out as radiant heat directly from the flame. So you will be able to protect yourself and the visitors that you have coming over from getting hurt by the fire pit that you have worked so hard to get put into your back yard.

Way To Stoke The Fire

This is a challenge that you tend to overlook until you have your first fire in the pit and the flames are roaring. That is how are you going to put the wood into the hot fire that you cannot get close to. In most of the fire pits they are just a big giant open hole, but some of them are going to be more elaborate and require you to put the wood in at a specific area to keep the fire going and not block any air flow. Since this is the case, you need to make sure you consider how you will be able to put the wood in and make sure you do not get burned.

Cooking Utensil Selection

When you are completing a DIY building a firepit project you may be tempted to start to cook on the fire right away. While this is a great idea, you need to make sure you select the proper utensils to cook on the fire with. This can include something as simple as a fork that has a really long handle to roast marshmallows on or something as complicated as a stew pot that has to be held over the fire on a wooden tripod. All of these are going to make a difference in how well you can cook, but it will help you know if the fire pit was built properly and can be used in the manner you want it to be used.

When you decide to do a project around the house, you need to realize it can be a lot harder to do than what you think. This is when you should use some advice when you are doing these projects to avoid making any mistakes. This is very true when you do a DIY building a firepit project. When you do this, it is going to make it easier for you to get the project completed and know that it is done at a level that is going to keep the fire pit going for years to come, but also avoid any type of injury people may experience from the fire pit and flames.

Main Causes Of Retaining Wall Failures

Large retaining walls are becoming part and parcel of civil engineering, but that does not mean they are as successful as you would like them to be. In fact civil engineers consider these walls as being the most risky because of how often they fail. While, they may be easier to put together and set up, there are too many risks involved that puts civil engineers off. Here are some of the main causes of retaining wall failures and why engineers hesitate.

High Failure Rate

Retaining walls have a larger failure rate and this puts them in a disadvantaged position immediately. It has a lot to do with how they are constructed and how they are unable to deal with the pressures that are put on them. Now, the rates that are established state it is only 1 retaining wall every 1000 that is going to fail.

This might not seem high, but in the world of engineering this is a significant issue and one that is going to cause problems for those who are trying to find a solid option that is going to last.

Size Causes Weakness

A larger retaining wall tends to be more prone to falling apart and that is never fun to deal with, yet in many cases a larger option is the only way to go for the team that is behind the project.

Therefore, the large retaining wall is often going to see failure before anything is given a chance and that is never easy to deal with for the team.

A lot of the times, larger retaining walls are refrained from because of this reason alone as certain environments are not conducive for a larger retaining wall.

Poor Communication

This is one of those reasons that most people would assume does not take place, but there are a lot of people involved in the project and when the communication lines start to cross up, the retaining wall does not get put together as it should have been and the results are awful in the long term.

When the communication is fine, the large retaining wall is able to do well for itself, but when the communication is off, the wall does fall apart over time no matter what is done.

Water

One of the main causes has been pointed towards water and how it tends to weaken the retaining wall. It is not the water that is the sole reason for the retaining wall started to weaken and therefore falling apart, but it does have a major role to play as it chips away day after day.

Over time, the water tends to do a lot of damage that has to be corrected before the wall falls apart completely. If the water levels are not assessed properly, the damage will come in thick and fast. This is why engineers have to be careful of the direction they go in with the project.

Too Much Analytics Involved

One of the reasons that is cited for this being a reality has to do with the analytics that are involved with number crunching going on into what is being done with the retaining wall. This can be frustrating as there is nothing worse than numbers being used as the sole reader into whether or not the retaining wall is the right option and how it is going to be put together.

When only numbers are being used, it can lead to a false image being produced where the engineers assume everything is fine when it is not.

These are just a few of the main causes of retaining wall failures that have to be kept in mind before a decision is made one way or another. While, it might sound the most appealing option, these main causes of retaining wall failures should be enough proof to indicate how this is not an option most people should be going for in the modern age. Civil engineers and their project teams are looking to stay away unless they are positive about the results and are able to make sure all the checks and balances have been done in advance before a decision is made.

Retaining Walls as Fences

If you live in an area where the terrain is not smooth and flat, which is the majority of the country, there are several things that you can consider in order to protect your land. Not only do you want to prevent the soil from erosion, you are likely to want to implement some type of privacy measures as well. One way that many people like you have decided to do this is by using retaining walls as fences. This allows you to accomplish both tasks in one project.

There are a lot of questions that you will need to answer before you begin. First of all, you will need to determine the area that you are wishing to block. Is it just one edge of your property, or do you wish to install the retaining wall at more than one? Perhaps you are only interested in using it for a portion of the border because there is already something else in place.

If you have not had the land surveyed in recent years, you need to do so prior to beginning your project. Using retaining walls as fences requires a great investment in time and money. Not only that, it should be a permanent structure. Making sure that you have it laid out in the exact location is belongs is important. Even a few inches over on the property line could become problematic years down the road. For instance, if your neighbor sells their home and the new one has a survey done that determines any portion of your retaining wall structure is on their property. The new owner could demand that you remove it, and you would be legally obliged.

When you are looking at using retaining walls as fences, you have a lot of options when it comes to design and style. You are not limited to ugly concrete cinder blocks. Explore the materials that fall within your price range to see what you may want to do. Since this is a structure that will be visible, you want it to be as attractive as possible.

It should work with your landscape and any buildings that are on the property. If you have gardens, trees or anything else on the land, think about how these things will influence the appearance. You want the property to be aesthetically pleasing for you and others. Also, if there are trees near the borders, you will need to think about how the roots will grow in the coming decades. You do not want for the walls and roots to clash with each other at some point. This type of situation can cause tremendous headaches.

Consider what you will do at the top of the new structure. If you have issues regarding intruders or concerns about intruders, you will need to take that into account. Of course, different measures will need to be taken depending upon whether these are animals or people. Either way, remember that security is one of the essential reasons that people build fencing around their property.

As you are selecting your supplies and gathering information, you should also consider the ground and waterways beneath it. The various components of your soil can influence which type of materials will work best when creating a retaining wall. If there are underground water paths, which is very common, you need to make sure you do not disrupt these with your construction efforts. Otherwise, you may end up with problems that you have not even considered. Of course, the water would need to be fairly close to the surface for this to happen but, there are plenty of places on the coast where this is the case.

Talk to others in your area to find out about their experiences as well. They may be able to offer you advice that can assist you in making smart choices. This could be local contractors or older members of the community who have seen a great deal of construction during their lives. The more you know going in to the project, the easier it will be for you to make smart choices that provide you with a secure fence.

Use Timber For Gold Coast Retaining Walls

There are a lot of different materials available for building retaining walls. The basic use of a retaining wall is to create a structure that can stabilize and contain the soil and rock behind the system. They not only prevent soil erosion but these are also extensively used in landscaping and can make a setting attractive.

As far as the choice of material is concerned, it depends on the design of the wall, height of the wall as well as steepness of the area and the amount of soil that needs to be contained. For instance, there are some materials that cannot be used for making a retaining wall more than 4 feet high.

The best way to choose the right material for the retaining walls is to hire the services of an expert landscaping professional who has the knowledge to suggest you the right material and design of the retaining wall. Also, an experienced landscaping professional is aware of the local laws.

There is a reason that most of the consumers who are looking for a retaining wall choose timber as the material over other materials. One of the biggest advantages of a timber is that it has a natural charm of its own that makes a timber retaining wall so appealing. As a material, timber for retaining walls is one of the best ways to add decorative appeal to the garden at a low cost and in an environmentally friendly manner.

Another benefit of using timber for retaining walls is that there is a lot of timber available in the market today that has been reclaimed. It means that you do not necessarily need to use fresh timber for creating the retaining walls. Timber that has been treated in the right manner lasts for a really long time and is naturally resistant to many natural elements.

As mentioned above, the biggest advantage is that it is a completely natural product. Also, it does not cost as much as some other high-end building materials. As far as durability is concerned, properly treated timber last for a really long time and is very strong. It can be very attractive if used in a smart manner for landscaping. Its installation is easy and does not take too much time. Also, one can easily change the color decor of the landscape by repainting it.

Timber has its advantages but it also has certain disadvantages. For instance, it is not fire resistant and is available in some particular shapes only. Also, it can be used for only small retaining walls, as it is not strong enough for higher walls.

Overall, timber is an excellent and affordable material for retaining walls if it is used in a judicious manner.

Retaining Walls As Fences

Building a fence is a pain, but sometimes they are necessary for various reasons. However, when people are living close to a hill, an item that is required to prevent them from falling down the hill is a retaining wall. Normally this wall is going to be installed by the hill, but sometimes people will want to research why retaining walls as fences is such a great idea. Without this, people are going to have trouble in seeing why this is such a nice idea to use.

With the retaining walls, they are typically already going to be in place. Since they are already in place, it makes sense to take advantage of what is already their. This in turn will make it easier for people to build their fence and know it is going to work for what they need it to do. Without this, people may struggle to get the fence installed because of all the preparation steps that are needed.

Strong and durable materials are needed for a fence to be installed. With a retaining wall, it is already going to have some of the strongest materials already installed to hold the hillside in place. Since these are already made from strong materials, it will be easy for people to add these into their fence and know it is not going to go anywhere on them.

Ease of adapting the fence and the retaining wall together to make them look the same is something else which people will enjoy. While most of the time people do not think about this, the retaining wall and the fence is actually very easy to blend in with each other. By getting these two elements blended together it is rather easy for people to have a fence that is part retaining wall and not have to worry about either of them becoming structurally unsound for a long period of time.

When people are trying to get a fence installed on their property they may find it is more of a challenge than what they think. This is when some people will notice they already have a retaining wall in place on their property. What they do not realize is the retaining walls as fences is going to be a good option they have available. All people need to do is realize this and they will have an easier time than what they imagined in getting the fence they want installed.

Quality Timber For Retaining Walls

When people live on or near a hillside, they know that a heavy rainfall can easily take the hill and wash it out. The problem with this is when the hill is washed out, it can easily take the home with it. To solve this problem a lot of people have started to install retaining walls to prevent the dirt from washing out. However, people need to make sure they know the benefits of using timber for retaining walls, instead of using anything else to keep the dirt in place.

Timber has been around for years and has withstood the test of time. Yes, the timber can start to break down over time, it is going to last for a long period of time. So people are able to have a great look they want to have and not have to be concerned about their wall they have built breaking down quickly. Instead, people will have an easier time in getting the wall installed and know it will only need to be installed once or twice.

Different aesthetics that are present with the timber walls versus a metal or concrete wall is something else which people will enjoy. With most of the retaining walls people see, they will notice they are going to look the exact same and is not going to look any different. However, with the timber walls they will be looking completely different than what people think and this allows people to enjoy the great look.

Allows for the release of some of the water in a controlled and natural manner. With a lot of the concrete or steel walls, they have to get drains installed in them and this can detract from the great look that people want to have with the retaining wall. However, with the wood walls, they are going to have a natural ability to allow the water to flow down and out, without causing any major problems.

As many people have found out, living on the top of a hill can be exciting, but it also can be dangerous because the hill may wash out over time in a heavy rain fall. This is when people should know the benefits of using timber for retaining walls. By knowing about these benefits, it is going to be easy for people to have a great time in getting the retaining wall they need installed.

Structural Retaining Walls

Retaining walls form the cornerstone of most landscape projects. Unless you build on a near level site there will be some need for a retaining wall. Whether it be ground stabilization, changing land contours, creating level areas or as a landscape feature, retaining walls are an integral part of most landscaping projects.

Retaining walls can be built from many different materials and constructed in many different ways. Besser block, linkwall block, timber sleeper, concrete sleeper, natural stone just to name a few. Not all are suited to every situation and most times only one
or two types of wall will provide the best solution. If you are planning to engage a contractor for your project make sure they are capable of providing you with all the options available to ensure you end up with the best result.

Feature retaining walls can be used to create an eye catching feature in your landscape project. Split face block, rendered block, natural stone etc. are just some of the finishes that can make your landscaping look amazing.

At Bluestone Landscaping we are licensed and capable of building any retaining wall you may require. We construct retaining walls from any material. Because of this we can offer our clients the best retaining wall to suit their situation, from a 2 metre high structural wall to a 600mm feature wall in the front garden.

Locate The Best Gold Coast Timber Deck Builders

Building a deck is not something most people want to challenge as a do it yourself project. However, finding a contractor to build the deck for you is a challenge as well. This article is going to explore some helpful hints that makes it easy for you to narrow down the contractor selection battle.

Previous work on timber decks is a must. When you are building a deck, some of the contractors have no experience with timber and have only used regular wood for their decks. However, the timber construction is completely different as the wood needs to be worked down and transformed into usable pieces. Since the job is different than most of the decks people build, experience is a must for people to get the best results possible.

Proper tools to complete the job is something else you want to make sure the contractor has. While you may think the contractors will have the proper tools before they make a bid, some of the contractors do not have these tools. So you need to verify they have the right tools to do the job, but also if they do not have the right tools that the cost of the tools is not going to be passed onto you as a whole.

Ability to source the wood you want to use is something else you need to think about. While you may think the wood is easy to buy, you need to realize if you want rough timber it can be quite a bit harder to get. So you need to make sure the contractor is able to buy the lumber and know the cost of the lumber. This way you will not be shocked at the cost of the deck you have built at your home. However, you should also be mindful of the expertise of the contractor and listen to the type of wood they suggest using as well. This is because some of the beautiful wood types you want to have may not be durable enough to last in your region.

Speed which they can complete the job is a final factor for you to make. When you want to have quality work, you need to realize it does take time to get it done. So you need to allow the contractor some time to do the work. However, you need to know how long the contractor will spend getting the job done. This way you can start to enjoy your deck for a big party or holiday.

Building a deck is not something you should tackle on your own. However, when you are trying to find a contractor to help you build your deck you may find it is just as challenging to locate a contractor to help you out. By using the helpful hints on what to look for in the contractor provided here, it is actually a lot easier than what you imagined to locate a contractor.

Choose The Best Gold Coast Decking Builder

A deck plays a very important role in the overall look of the house. It not only makes the house look more beautiful but is also extremely functional. It is one of the best areas in the house to entertain and sit around during the day and night. The truth is that planning an outdoor wooden deck is not a big deal.

In fact, it can be said that planning is the easiest part. However, many other factors play a more important rule to get that amazing looking and fully functional deck.

Even the most enthusiastic DIY’ers find it better to hire the services of a professional outdoor wood deck builder to ensure that the deck is constructed in the safest manner. There are a lot of professional deck builders available in every city. Also, most of the deck builders advertise their services on many classified websites and it is easy to hire one. However, when it comes to hiring, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you are hiding the best timber outdoor decking builder.

Begin Your Search

To find the right outdoor timber deck builder for your house, you need to start by asking your friends and family for any deck builder they know. It is always considered best to hire a recommended deck builder as it means that the person who has recommended that builder already has great experience in working with the builder.

However, this does not mean that you should hire the first name recommended to you. You also need to search on the search engines and also put out an ad on the many free classified websites. It is important to have multiple options to ensure that you are hiring high quality deck builder at the right price.

Check Reviews

When you have shortlisted up to 3 professional deck builders, it is now time to check their reviews. There are many discussion forums as well as review websites that let you easily search reviews of particular deck builders.

Ask for Quotes

When you are satisfied with the customer reviews of deck builders, you need to call those deck builders and ask for an estimate. In addition to the cost, the estimate should also list the timeframe and the construction material that is going to be used by the builder. It is important to keep in mind that the best deck builder will use the right materials that will last you a lifetime.

Many people make the mistake of choosing everything based on the cost. However, in the case of a deck builder, you need to have a closer look at the information provided in their quotes. For instance, the best deck builder will offer to use only the best construction material. Therefore, there is a high possibility that their quote will be higher than the other deck builders.

The bottom line is that you should not decide only on the basis of cost and also need to look at various other factors such as the construction material and experience of the deck builder.

Asked for Previous Work

It won’t hurt you to ask the deck builder to show you some of his previous work. In this manner, you will be able to get an idea about the quality of construction as well as the functionality of the deck space. Also, you may get in touch with the owners and ask them about their experience in working with the deck builder.

Overall, it is important to choose the right deck builder. The right deck builder can be the difference between a beautiful outdoor deck that is highly function and a deck that screams wasted money.