Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Retaining Walls: What material should you choose?

Often times when we schedule a retaining wall estimate, we will ask if the home owner has a material in mind. You see, there are lots of different types of material retaining walls can be built from. Today I wanted to go over a few types of materials and discuss their pros and cons to help demystify the selection process:

1. Wood- Wood is usually the cheapest option. So if budget is the most important aspect this may be a good choice for you. However, wood is more susceptible to rot, weather and insect damages. It's lifespan will be about 10-15 years. If you plan on staying at your property for a long time, this might negate any cost savings.

2. Segmental Blocks- Segmental blocks are interlocking concrete blocks that fit together like a puzzle. Most segmental retaining walls come with a lifetime guarantee on the material. Segmental walls are also durable and can last a lifetime if installed correctly. The downside is that they are slightly more expensive than a wood retaining wall.

3. Cinder Block Wall with Veneer- Cinder blocks are more durable than wood but slightly less durable than the interlocking system. It rarely comes with a lifetime warranty and may cost more than segmental blocks. This type of wall usually requires a good design and engineer to ensure stability. However, the wall is versatile and you to put your personal touch on it by choosing virtually any finish.

4. Natural Stone Stacked- Using natural stones is the most natural solution as it uses materials directly harvested from the earth. These walls can be very costly because of the number of stones required to make the wall. It is also difficult to create curves in this type of wall.

5. Green Wall- Green alternative to regular retaining walls, incorporates plants into hardscape. Self irrigating and low maintenance. Can be more expensive due to materials and labor costs.

While there are more types of materials these are the basics. I hope we have helped to clear up any confusion regarding retaining walls. Good luck on your project. Feel free to give us a call if you'd like to set up a consultation 301-603-1080

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