Retaining walls serve a lot of purposes. It can prevent soil erosion, provide functional and decorative landscaping features, and make usable beds from steep terrains. They can either be independent structures or form part of immense construction work, like a building. If the wall you’re building is over one meter in height and is next to a pathway or road, or more than two meters high built elsewhere, you may need to secure planning permission. Freestanding, independent retaining walls, on the other hand, don’t need any building regulation approval. However, both need to be well-maintained and structurally sound.
The type of wall retaining material you use will determine your retaining wall’s durability and structural soundness. This is why you need to know your options and decide what to use after checking what compliments your needs. However, take note that regardless of the material you choose, make sure to trust a well reputable retaining wall installer like Kelowna Retaining Walls.
Below are the main types of retaining wall materials to choose from:
Concrete LEGO blocks
When you’re looking for retaining wall material that is strong, fast, and easy to assemble, concrete LEGO blocks are one of the options (allan blocks are the most popular and the best bet). To install, simply stack the blocks on top of each other and secure them with interlocking edges, clips, or pins. Afterward, the walls need to be set on a base made with compacted gravel.
Such type of base allows them to flex along with the ground as it moves slightly. It also keeps them strong while the ground is in motion. The good news is concrete blocks are available in multiple styles and two primary sizes. This means you have more choices.
Among these size options, garden wall size is more common. These blocks are small, around 12 inches long and four inches high. They are ideal for yard and garden accent walls that rise as high as 30 inches. They are also best for building raised planters and terracing. These blocks are also lightweight, about less than 25 pounds. This means that they’re easy to install. You can also find them in landscape supply outlets, nurseries, and home centers. Because they’re easy to use, you can quickly build the wall you’re dreaming of over the weekend.
If you’re planning to build heavy-duty walls that are supposed to rise as high as 30 feet tall, you should go for full-size blocks. These blocks measure about 16 to 18 inches long and 6 to 8 inches high. These blocks usually weigh about 50 to 75 pounds. You can find them at most landscape supply yards. If you only have a novice-level skill in wall building, skip doing heavy-duty wall projects by yourself. Because of the job’s demand and nature, this task should be left to retaining wall pros. You see, this task involves excavating and transporting tons of gravel and soil.
You will also have to excavate and move the massive block too. If you intend to build walls that are 4 feet and higher, it’s better to leave the job to the pros. These designs need the expertise of licensed engineers to make sure that it will have sufficient strength.
Some people think that walls made of concrete LEGO blocks look commercial and cold. But this is not entirely true. There are a plethora of colors, textures, and shapes to choose from. You can freely choose the color, texture, and shape that complements your home exterior, gardens, and yard. If you’re not confident in your matching and mixing skills, you can get inspiration from completed walls. These walls can give you a clearer picture of its appearance when done and completed.
These blocks are designed for life and inspired by nature, making them easy to install, naturally attractive, and durable. Each block carries with it the field, engineering, and testing performance you want for a reliable, safe, and strong retaining wall system. This retaining wall material is the perfect blend of style and performance. Whether you’re building a wall on a hillside or a small raised garden, these blocks are reliable and ready to give your wall that classic, elegant look.
These blocks are also easy to set-up and install. You can just dry-stack them without footings or mortar. It has a hollow core that makes it effortless to handle. This is also the same core that allows proper drainage behind the wall. It comes with a raised lip and notch locking mechanism on every block that secures the same while creating a natural setback. There are also endless design patterns you can choose from, so you can indeed find one that compliments your property perfectly.
Natural stone walls
The main selling point of natural stones is its flexibility. Thus, it has become one of the most preferred materials among people who want to build retaining walls. This stone can add appeal, character, and value to your home. This is ideal if you’re going for the natural stone cladding type of wall. If you want to build a stable and robust soil mass, natural stones are your allies in creating walls in uneven ground areas.
These stones are guaranteed and certified for outdoor use, so you’re assured that it can withstand the harsh Kelowna weather. It’s so rigid that it doesn’t move with earthquakes, climate change, and other natural disasters. This stone comes with a mechanical anchor that’s made of stainless steel. As such, you can install it on surfaces that are over two meters.
You can also use natural stones if you want to build walls for public environments. Go for natural stones that are dense enough to support the load of your retaining wall. These stones offer a long-lasting, resistant, and unique landscape look.
These insights should help in choosing the type of material for your consideration for your retaining wall installation. Get an expert who understands the local landscape as they can provide valuable advice on the pros and cons of the different types of materials used for the project.