I have always been one of those people who loves to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for others, which is why I started looking at landscaping design in the first place. It was incredible to me to see how much of a difference I was able to make by adding a few new plants, and after that first project, I wanted to help other people. I started volunteering to help friends and neighbors do their landscaping, and after a few months, I had developed quite a following. This blog is all about creating a warm, inviting yard through smart landscaping and an eye for detail.
If you are the type who likes to do weekend projects, and you've decided to build a retaining wall, then you need to familiarize yourself with the main items that you will need. If you're building a retaining wall that is more for cosmetic effect than for actual structural integrity, then you have a lot of leeway with what you can do. You don't have to worry about hauling in large landscaping blocks used in retaining walls, or digging enormous trenches and fortifying a wall with support studs. However, you do need to make sure you have the proper items so that your wall doesn't collapse after a few weeks. Here's what to get.
If you want to have a natural looking retaining wall, one that blends in with your backyard's landscape, you probably want to front it with stone. This means placing stone of some sort in front of the actual wood wall. You have two main choices. You can either use fabricated stone that you will find in landscaping shops, or real stone. Fabricated stone is lightweight and easy to deal handle. But if you don't mind sourcing the stone, you can always look around for field stone on your property or your neighbor's property (allowing they permit it). Fabricated stone can easily be stacked and mortared to the wood wall you erect. If you are going to use real fieldstone, you can either dry stack it or use dirt or mortar.
Pressure Treated Wood
The wall of your retaining wall is going to be made up of pressure treated wood. This is the best choice because of the proximity to the soil. The soil has moisture, and all woods (even exotic woods and things like cedar) will rot under moist conditions. Pressure treated wood has been soaked with a chemical that helps to keep the rot at bay. You will need to built the wall with pressure treated wood because, even though there will be a vapor barrier and gravel between the wood and the soil of the embankment, it will get moist.
Behind the pressure treated wood, you need to staple a moisture barrier (a roll of material that you get at a hardware store) and then dump in the gravel. The gravel will be the main backing support and fill in the gap between the wood and stone. If your retaining wall is quite large, it might be better to have the gravel trucked in as opposed to buying individual bags from the store. The amount of bags needed might be too many to fit in your car. Also, when ordering the gravel, make sure the gravel delivery person knows that you intend to use the gravel for a retaining wall interior. This sort of gravel will be of a particular texture. It will be smaller than driveway gravel, but not as tiny as foundation gravel.
For more information and help with building a retaining wall, contact a landscape professional in your area, such as those at Quality Lawn & Landscape.Share