Proper Planning Makes For The Best Retaining Walls | Gaithersburg MD

As springtime draws nearer, the homeowner's brain begins to buzz with visions of projects-to-be.  Some of them will turn out to be nothing more than wishful thinking, but others will weigh on the mind as projects that really do need to be completed.

A retaining wall frequently falls into the second category; homeowners and landscape architects find them necessary for a number of reasons.  They can prevent or slow the progress of soil erosion.  They can turn a precariously steep yard into a pleasant, flat terrace.  They can lend interest to any landscape design, opening up a plethora of planting options for the artistic gardener.

Like any structure, a retaining wall must be carefully planned; your city may not even allow you to start construction until they have reviewed a plan and issued a permit. For best results, consider these factors when planning to build a retaining wall.

Soil Type

The first thing you should know when building anything is what kind of ground it will be resting on (unless you are in space, in which case you won't be needing much landscaping advice).  Soil types can vary even within neighborhoods.  Knowing your soil type can help you anticipate what kind of stresses your retaining wall will face and what materials you should use to build it. 

Utility Lines

Always call before you dig!  Gas, sewer, and electrical lines are a great convenience in our lives, but they can pose a grave danger if you dig into your yard without knowing where they are.  In addition, it's wise to avoid future headaches by not burying a utility line too deeply for work crews to conveniently access.

Tree Roots

This may not be one of those movies where trees can get up, walk around, and throw apples at passerby, but it's true that roots don't always stay where you want them to stay!  When planning your retaining wall, you should know the root growth habits of any trees in the immediate area.  Don't just think about your own yard, either--a tree just on the other side of the neighbor's fence probably has roots on your property. 

Children and Pets

A small step for you might be a giant leap--or a painful fall--for somebody with shorter legs and poor balance.  If children and pets are going to frequent the yard where you're building your wall, be sure to plan it with their safety in mind.  Low heights, good lighting, and sturdy construction can help make your yard both attractive and safe for all its visitors!

When properly planned and constructed, a retaining wall will add value to your property and increase your enjoyment of your home.  Taking a step back to pause, reflect, and plan will save you money and give you peace of mind.  Green Stone will be happy to help you plan, design, and build your retaining wall.

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