Category Archives: retaining walls

Benefits Of Best Rock Retaining Walls

There are so many things you have to look at when you are trying to figure out what to do as a property owner. One of those topics is going to involve the best rock retaining walls and what they can bring to your property that wasn’t there before.

You will have to do a lot of work as you are trying to figure these things out and that can bother people.

You will enjoy a plethora of benefits, and the main ones that are going to stand out will be mentioned here for property owners to soak in.

1) Durable

There is nothing worse than going with a solution that is hard to manage and isn’t going to provide value. You need to make sure you are dealing with a solution that is durable and will be able to provide real quality as time goes on. If not, you are not going to enjoy the durability at all.

These walls can deal with moisture, pests, and more without eroding.

So many other walls will break down but with rocks, you are looking at something that is naturally sound and will do a good job against those issues as they pop up.

2) Functional

For a lot of property owners, the main attraction is going to involve its functional use. Remember, these rock retaining walls have a purpose when they’re put up beyond aesthetic appeal. They are designed to make the most out of what you are doing.

You are going to see real value as you focus on figuring out how to stop the soil from getting damage.

If that is the goal, you will need a good retaining wall, and that is a given. However, what you choose to do for the retaining wall is up to you, and that is where this solution becomes uniquely powerful and handy.

3) Variety

With variety, you have to realize there are so many options, but with rocks, you have a lot to work with. You can mix things up, and that is going to give you the sort of control that most other options won’t provide. Why go with something that is rubbish when you can choose to use rocks instead?

These retaining walls are made to look great but are going to do well when it comes to the variation you are after.

As long as that is the goal, you will feel on top of the world, and that is going to win you over in a hurry.

4) Beautiful Walls

You always want to go with something that is beautiful because what is the point of anything else in this day and age? Always look to go with a solution that is as beautiful as possible because it will be worthwhile and you are going to enjoy looking at it as you enter the property.

Many retaining walls aren’t doing a good job in this regard, and that can be a real issue over time as it erodes.

These rocks aren’t going to erode nor are they going to look unappealing.

5) Eco-Friendly

You are getting a solution that is eco-friendly, and that is going to matter a lot as well when you try to figure things out. You want a solution that is going to help the soil prosper and make everything around it stable. If that is the goal, then you need to go with these walls.

They are fantastic for this purpose and are going to do a job that you are unable to overlook.

Eco-friendly solutions are a big part of what you should be thinking about.

6) Good For Flooding

One of the worries property owners can have while putting up walls is the chances of water getting through. This becomes a real issue if you live in a region where flooding is a real possibility. If so, you need to get walls that will be able to keep that rushing water out.

When you are looking at all of the options that are out there for you as a property owner, you will know it is these walls that are going to do the best against flood water.

You will feel assured as you look out and notice the walls can hold their own against flood water.

7) Resistant To Pests

With best rock retaining walls, you are going to see them block pests straight out of the gate and that is useful for property owners. You don’t want pests to cause issues that are going to be hard to manage. For most people, the best route to take is by using these rock retaining walls and putting them into place as soon as possible.

The walls can manage the pests in a seamless manner and keep things safe.

These are the main benefits of choosing from one of the best rock retaining walls when you are looking to protect soil and get everything into place. People are going to inundated with options, and those variations can start to confuse after a while. You don’t want to make this a hard choice because it doesn’t have to be in this day and age.

You should be looking for something that is simple but will do its job on a regular basis. This is why rock retaining walls are ideal and do an excellent job for you.

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.

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.


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 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.

Retaining Wall Landscapers

Landscaping is a major undertaking and one that people are going to want to have some professional help with if they can afford it. This is very true if people have a retaining wall because these can be so unsightly and ugly at times.

However, what people need to know is they should only use the best retaining wall landscapers to help them in getting their retaining wall decorated properly. With that being the case, here are some of the reasons why people should only be using the best landscapers in the land to complete this job they have.

Proper Knowledge On The Walls

When people are thinking about landscaping these walls, they need to realize that it is going to be important for people to know more about how the walls and how they are built. With the experts they have this knowledge and it will make it easier for people to get the landscaping put into the retaining wall without having to deal with the walls structure being compromised. So people need to make sure the landscapers they are looking at are going to be experienced at dealing with retaining walls and how they are built.

Experience Of Putting The Plants In Properly

When people are growing in a retaining wall, they need to realize it is going to be a lot harder than what they think to get the plants in the wall properly or in the little outlets for plants. With that being the case, the experienced landscapers who have worked with retaining walls before will know exactly how to put in the plants  to ensure they are going to grow right. So people do not have to be concerned about the plants being put in wrong and dying off because they were not planted properly.

It is important to note that some of the experienced landscaping companies will know more about how to properly cut in the little planting holes for the plants to grow in. While some retaining walls will already have these holes in the wall, their are some walls that are a solid wall and do not have the planting holes. This means they will have to be opened up and the properly trained landscapers are able to do that to get the plants planted without causing any major damage to the wall or breaching its structure.

Plants Selected Will Grow Properly

Since this is a retaining wall, people need to know about the plants that are going to be planted and how this is going to grow. Since these plants are going to root down into the plants. So this is something that people are going to need to look for as well. With these landscapers they know which of the plants are going to be able to go down into the walls and not damage them, but also know which ones are going to have the proper root system to grow into the walls without having any type of problems. Without this, people are going to have a challenge in selecting a plant that is not going to cause them any issues.

Use Items Outside Of Plants

Sometimes people will never think about this, but they need to realize with the landscapers often will have experience of working with something other than plants all the time to make sure the place looks great. For example, an experience landscaper knows that it is not just the plants that make the place look great. Instead, it is often the way the entire place looks. So people need to make sure they look for a landscaper that is going to take the entire picture into account and come up with a design that is not going to be wholly focused on the plants. So this will make it easier for people to enjoy the retaining wall and know that it is not going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Retaining Wall Landscapers Should Be Insured

When people start to use the best landscapers around they will often find the best ones are going to have some form of an insurance policy that is going to help them out. With this being in place people will have the comfort of knowing that their home will be protected if their is any problems with the work the company did, but also know that the wall and the landscaping can be replaced if people start to have some of the issues they had before with the wall failing. Without this, if the wall were to fail and do some damage they would have to take the company to courts and sue them directly, which can lead to a long and drawn out affair without any real chance of settling for the money needed to do the repair work.

When people are looking at the different ways they can improve the look of their retaining wall they will often find it can be a difficult thing to do. However, if people want to make their walls look great on a regular basis they should know about why they need to use only the best retaining wall landscapers. By knowing this information it will be easy for people to get a great looking wall and know it is because of the landscapers they hired to do the work for them to make the improvements.

What Are Sleeper Retaining Walls?

Perfecting one’s home is oftentimes the work of years, if not a lifetime. Whether it’s as simple as rearranging one’s reference materials or a full fledged remodeling worthy of a house flipping plan, improving one’s home is always a long term project.

One particular means of home improvement is through retaining walls, walls that are built specifically to hold back soil crafted into unnatural slopes. Most prominently, they can bind earth and soil at a different elevation then the elevation beneath it.

These measures are typically used to reshape earth and soil that have slopes the owner doesn’t want or situations where the landscape needs to be seriously altered for purposes ranging from gardening to highway construction.

One particular type of retaining wall is a  sleeper retaining wall. These walls used wooden or concrete planks, usually built for use in railroad tracks (parts called sleepers since they simply lay in place and allow for trains to glide along them) to form the structure of the retaining wall.

For most home owners, wooden railway sleepers will do the trick, though some heavy duty projects or very long term uses of retaining walls may call for the use of concrete railway sleepers. While many retaining walls are ideally made out of materials custom made specifically for use in those projects, sleeper retaining walls and their use of railway sleepers, new and used alike, can often be a cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing means of building a retaining wall.

Like all retaining walls, sleeper retaining type walls are designed and built to resist pressure from soil when a builder wants to alter the ground elevation in a way that goes past the soil’s angle of repose, the steepest angle at which a length of soil will slant.

Most of the time retaining wall refers to cantilever retaining wall rather than basement walls, though technically basement walls do count as retaining walls. Retaining walls must be built to resist the pressure of the soil wanting to slide past, over or even through the walls, and sometimes must also be built to resist water pressure for walls that need to survive situations ranging from flooding to torrential downpours.

Sleeper retaining walls are meant to support what is referred to as a wedge of soil, which is any earth and soil that stretches beyond what is referred to as the failure plane. Increasing the height of the wall the size of the sliding wedge is reduced and lowers the pressure of the retaining wall.

Retaining walls made of railway sleepers can be somewhat difficult to make a properly high wall to hold off the soil wedge, though many builders overcome this probably by tightly stacking sleepers together to for a wall, as well as shoring up their sleeper retaining walls with anything from buried cables to water drainage systems to address the fact that soil that starts retaining water will only put more pressure on the wall, pressure a builder will need to address if water pressures build on the earth and soil of their region.

There are a few different types of retaining wall, some of which are better suited to building retaining walls out of railway sleepers. A gravity wall, for instance, functions heavily on the weight and strength of the wall itself to hold back the soil, meaning that oftentimes, wooden sleepers will be less than ideal for use in a gravity retaining walls.

Concrete railway sleepers, on the other hand are are suitable for gravity retaining walls. Piling walls can make use of wooden sleepers, as can cantilever walls, though these walls can also function with concrete sleepers. Anchored walls are a bit unusual among retaining walls in that they are an addition to the other types of walls; anchoring cables are driven deep within the sloping soil to help fix the retaining wall in place.

There are actually two types of piling walls, sheet piling walls and bored piling walls. Sheet piling requires building a sheet of material partially into the earth and partially out of it to change the elevation of soil and keeping it from falling through the wall.

This process is particularly useful if one wishes to use wooden sleepers and it certainly creates a pleasing wooden wall. However, in areas where the vibration and noise needed to make this happen may be too undesirable, bored sheet piling is an alternative that also tends to call for anchored retaining walls, reinforcing beams, shotcrete reinforcement and at times even a concentrated effort to improve the soil to be more tractable to the wall itself.

Of course, the end results can be dazzling. A raised flowerbed or stepped garden held up by pleasant wooden railway sleepers can make an impact on any garden or yard. The appearance of a stepped yard or garden can be particularly striking when combined with a stable stairway, which can also be made of railway sleepers, though concrete railway sleepers are often preferable than wooden ones for safety concerns as stairs.

An elevated garden also adds something of an otherworldly appearance to a yard, perhaps evoking a tiny bit of the grandeur of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, in addition to making working in the garden some what easier on the back. Over all, a sleeper retaining wall is not the easiest project to make work, but the results, if done properly and safely, will be amazing.

Various Types Of Retaining Walls

Retaining walls may be defined as ground retaining system that serves the dual purpose of enhancing the looks of the landscape and retaining the soil and rocks behind the wall to prevent them from flowing down. Usually, reinforced concrete frames, wood, heavy blocks, cinder blocks, stones and various other such building materials are used for creating these retaining walls to counteract the pressure of the soil behind the wall.

Sometimes, these retaining walls are also anchored in to the ground with a steel beam. Retaining walls have been in use for thousands of years. Many different types are extensively used all over the world.

There are many different types of retaining walls and the choice of a particular type depends on the purpose of the retaining wall, soil in the area as well as availability of the building materials. Here is a small list of different types of retaining walls.

Types of Retaining Walls

One of the most common types is gravity walls. As the name suggests, mass of the wall is used for resisting the pressure of the soil behind it. Usually, these walls have a height of 3 to 4 feet. These are typically made from masonry units or mortar-less stones. These walls are made from a huge volume of material which is stacked together tightly. The force of friction created by the building material packed tightly is able to resist the pressure of the soil behind the wall.

In this type of retaining wall, the thickness at the base is more than the thickness at the top to keep it stable. The wall tilts backwards as the height increases. Battering is also done for enhancing the life of gravity walls. Since huge quantity of building materials is needed to build a higher gravity wall, these walls are typically used only for short heights as building taller walls gets more cumbersome.

When it comes to creating taller retaining walls, cantilever walls are generally preferred over other designs of retaining walls. As the name suggests, these walls have uniform thickness from top to bottom. These walls are usually tied to a footing for stability and strength. It is important that these walls are designed by a professional to ensure that these are able to hold back the required amount of soil.

One of the most common examples of such retaining walls is the basements in a house. These walls are designed in the form of an inverted T. This design allows the wall to transform the horizontal pressure from soil behind the wall into vertical pressure on the base of the wall.

It is important that the base is made wide enough to prevent it from tipping. Reinforced concreted is usually used in the footing as well as wall structure. These walls should be designed only by structural engineers to ensure that these are constructed in the right manner.

Some of the areas are not well-suited for making gravity or cantilever falls due to lose soils and tight spaces. In these areas, sheet piling retaining walls are typically preferred over other designs. Wood planks, steel or vinyl are typically used to make this type of retaining wall.  Almost 2/3 of the wall lies below the ground and a cable is used for tying back the anchor to the wall.

The support rods are usually placed at a distance for better support. However, these walls are vulnerable to hydrostatic pressure. Therefore, proper drainage around the wall needs to be there while constructing the wall to ensure that these walls do not become unstable due to hydrostatic pressure.

Another type of retaining wall is the counterfort retaining wall. These are similar in design to the cantilever walls but with the additional benefit of strength provided by triangular support walls. The top of the wall is connected to the back of the footer with the help of these triangular walls. The additional triangular support walls, retaining wall as well as the footer is made using reinforced concrete.

The triangular support walls provide additional strength to the retaining walls and enhance their durability. These walls should also be designed only by structural engineers to ensure durability.

Another common type of retaining wall usually seen in gardens and various other outdoor landscapes is the concrete retaining walls. These walls are ideal for vertically slanting slopes. These walls are usually high and are built on deeper and heavier soil. The construction is not only strong but also looks much better. A greater base depth is required for these walls to remain stable. Also, these walls are not susceptible to the climate induced degradation that is often the case with some of the other types of walls.

Block retaining walls are usually used for enclosing a space in a garden. There are two types of block retaining walls namely modular and segmental walls. These concrete units come with interlocking feature which is used to resist the pressure created by the soil behind the wall. These work in a manner similar to the gravity walls as gravity is used for resisting the pressure created by the soil behind the wall. Due to use of concrete, these walls also resist hydrostatic pressure.

Rock retaining walls are typically used for leveling flower beds. However, it is important to use stones and rock that match the landscape. The spaces left between the rocks that are stacked together are usually filled with soil mix. These spaces can also be used to grow plants as these help in preventing soil erosion and provide additional strength.

Gold Coast Landscapers

What is landscaping. Is it an art form, is it engineering solutions, is it construction, is it problem solving to create the best possible solution for every individual situation, or is it just plain hard work? I would suggest that landscaping is all of these things and more. If designed and installed correctly landscaping address any drainage issues, create usable outdoor areas, be constructed with integrity to last the test of time and provide a eye pleasing finish for you to enjoy for years to come.

Whilst it is possible to teach different elements of landscaping the only real way to bring them all together is years experience of dealing with different challenges  and creating the solutions needed to overcome them and deliver the best possible finish to any landscape project. Any landscaper who aspires to be good at their job needs to learn through solving problems on the job and creating the best solutions. The question is; do you want someone learning on your job or do you want to feel sure that the person you engage has the experience to complete  your project professionally to the highest possible standard?

When you engage a contractor for your landscape project there are things you should check; 

Ask for and check references.

Check QBCC license details and history. 

Ask your contractor about different options for your works i.e fences, retaining walls, concrete etc. A good contractor will have at least 2 or 3 options and be able to explain the pros and cons. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person you engage for your project. Remember experience counts, not all good landscapers have been around for a long time but all landscapers that have been around for a long time are good ones.

When you engage a  contractor to deliver your landscape project ensure that they can complete the scope of works required to deliver the finished product. If other trades are to be engaged, such as plumbers, electricians, renderers ensure that the contractor you choose has a  Builder Restricted to Structural Landscape license, otherwise they will not be able to engage other contractors to perform your works legally.Potentially leaving you to deal with and organize other trades and contractors. This can be time consuming, add to construction time and costs and frustrating if you don’t understand exactly what has to happen to finish your landscape project. If you engage a contractor who is capable of quoting all of your works there should be nothing left out of the pricing, everything should be considered and the quotation should reflect the true cost of the project to be undertaken so that you don’t end up with a costly extras bill at the end of the job. This also means that the project is considered as a whole, all sections of works being performed in consideration of the next stage to provide you with the best possible finish to your landscape project.

Bluestone Landscaping has been servicing the Gold Coast/South Brisbane area for more than 10 years. Our staff have been landscaping for more than 25 years and are ready to provide you with the best possible service. We specialise in refurbishment and restoration of existing private residential landscaping. From repair/replacement of retaining walls to garden rejuvenation and full landscape refurbishments. We value our customers and endeavour to provide them with the best possible solutions, personalized service and an experience that means you will want to  refer us to your friends. Whether it be our polite, courteous staff; attention to detail; site cleanliness and organization or our willingness to go that extra yard to make sure our customers are happy.

If you are considering a landscape project that involves;

retaining walls; timber, concrete sleeper, linkwall,  block

retaining walls higher than 1 metre fences; colourbond, timber,  blueboard,  pool fencing.

concreting; plain, exposed, covercreting drainage

deckspergolas and patios paving 

tiling turf and gardens water features irrigation design  and consultation

Please contact us at Bluestone Landscaping for an obligation free quote. We Service all areas of the Gold Coast and South Brisbane. From Coolangatta, Elanora, Southport, Ormeau, Willowvale, Hope Island, Maudsland, Ashmore, Robina, Logan, Springwood and all areas in between. Whatever your needs we look forward to servicing you landscaping requirements.

Nature Stone Walls and Landscaping Designs

You want your home to be as beautiful outside as it is inside. Your lawn, garden and landscape are an important part of making a harmonious, beautiful outdoor appearance for you home.

While most designs and plantings can be done in DIY fashion, you might want to get some professional landscaping help to make it more incredible than you can imagine.

Retaining walls are an essential part of a beautiful design. These help keep the landscape and gardens stable. Nature stone walls and landscaping are a unique, natural-looking way to add beauty to your outdoor area all while doing the job of retaining walls to keep the  stability intact.

Nature stone wall designs are virtually unlimited.  You can get a wall that blends with the garden or trees, or one that surrounds them for visual emphasis and impact. You can choose one that is curvy, straight or angled. They can be installed to look formal or rustic in a way that complements any size yard or any style home.

Choosing Form and Function

Any nature stone walls and landscaping designs have the job of helping with drainage, preventing flooding, keeping erosion at bay and beautifying the surroundings. All you need to do is decide upon the designs that will best fit your style.

A professional landscape or hard scape company can assist you with ensuring any functional needs are met by your nature stone wall. With their help, the wall will last for years.

Natural stone walls are excellent for creating landscapes along steep hill slopes. You may have thought you couldn’t landscape any steep areas in your yard, but you can. With nature stone, you can create garden paths along the slope to create an incredible charm.

You can decide how you want your wall to look. Create your own vision and implement it with the help of your hard scape professional.

Some nature stone walls and landscaping arrangements need to keep a sloped or hilly area from eroding. This is necessary to keep any and all plants there healthy, but it also helps keep erosion from causing more problems in the future, including protecting your home’s foundation from destabilizing.

Leave the engineering to the professionals so that a secure, stable installation job can be done right the first time with the right materials. You can take over the job of deciding how the wall should look.

It is not worth it to build your own wall with natural stone only to have a flood wipe it out or damage it. Trust a landscape professional to handle the design and construction while you work on creating the most attractive looking garden or patio.

Find qualified professionals near you to offer the design plans as well as samples of the types of stone you can use to build your gorgeous retaining walls.

The company you choose will probably have a website filled with sample photographs of their previous projects and designs. Use these as inspiration to create your designs and also use the website to choose the perfect stones for those designs.

Design Ideas

Stone walls work to fluidly blend your home’s design with nature in a harmonious manner. They can enhance patio areas, add dimension to flower beds and they can even make your outdoor living room or kitchen look like something out of an architectural magazine.

These walls can actually be crafted into seating areas around fire pits or near water features. They can surround or accent water features. Your outdoor space will be made to look elegant, natural and relaxing.

What many of your friends and family may not realize is how big of a job many of the wall areas have to keep your home and yard safe from flooding or other ground debris following a huge rain storm in your area.

If you want, you can see natural stone samples in person before choosing them. Your hard scape or landscape company can come to your home with them for you to look at, or you can visit a local showroom.

You are sure to find a beautiful stone that is right for your landscaping desires after taking the time to see all the stones available. They are available in an array of natural shades from browns to grays to so much more.

Installing your stone wall can transform your patio. You can take the existing patio and add definition and texture to create a patio where you will enjoy the beauty of the rest of your landscape. The stones can enhance any furnishings you have or any lighting you have set up on your patio.

Do not forget that, with your hard scape professional’s help, you can even build custom features like benches to put around your garden. You can even take individual stones and set them up in various arrangements around outdoor lighting fixtures to hide them in the day, and make them light up with a magical hue at night.

Make your home as beautiful on the outside as you have it on the inside. See what working with nature stone and landscaping designs can do for you garden and outdoor areas.

You can get the best of both function and form with them and increase your home’s value. Many of your stone wall creations will keep your yard and home safe as well as something to treasure for many years to come.