Gravity poses the biggest challenge for constructing retaining walls on a slope. These retaining wall ideas for slopes may look simple, but they are actually carefully engineered structures that constantly battle tons of saturated, heavy soil that are trying to slide down from the foundation and damage the surrounding landscape. The type of retaining wall you should install will depend on the purpose you are trying to achieve such as having extra gardening space or extra entertaining areas as well as the actual space you have to work with. If you need advice about installing a retaining wall, contact Royal Masonry. We'd love to help you.
5 Retaining Wall Ideas For Slopes
If you look at retaining walls in your area, you'll probably notice many that are leaning, cracked or bulging. Retaining walls have a difficult job and if they are not constructed properly, they will begin to deteriorate. Common challenges include:
Ensuring Proper Drainage: If the wall has not been constructed with the proper drainage around it, the saturated soil will begin to severely damage it.
Building It Sturdy Enough: According to This Old House, even the smallest of retaining walls have to bear incredibly large loads. A 4' high wall that is 15' long many need to hold back as much as 20 tons of heavy, wet soil. An 8' high wall needs to be 8 times stronger to hold back the soil. That is why it is a good idea to keep retaining walls no higher than 4 ' and to consider terracing your property if your slope requires it.
With this in mind, here are the top 5 designs that address these challenges:
1. "Curve" Appeal
This first idea comes from Hamilton Tree and Landscape. They specialize in Tree services as well as landscaping projects in East Falmouth, MA. This retaining wall beautifully incorporates a number of different sizes, shapes, and colours of stone to naturally encircle and hold up the perennial flower bed above it. We especially like the pleasing curing shape of this wall which makes it more organic and fitting to this setting than a straighter wall.
A Retaining Wall That's Not A Wall
This next retaining wall idea comes from a husband and wife team who enjoy designing and building things around their home. You can check out their blog called How To build It to see some of their other projects. This cool retaining wall is not a wall strictly speaking; it is much more free-form. But if you like "un-structured" structures, then this is a design for you to consider.
3. Come On Up
This design comes from Landscape Genius, a blog dedicated to landscaping tips and advice, and is written by Doris Scott. We love how the series of retaining walls are cleverly connected by stone staircases inviting you to journey further up the slope. The stones in the wall are beautifully accented with natural mosses, trees, and plants which make this design especially visually appealing.
4. Breathtaking and Beautiful
HGTV is renowned for its amazing home and garden help and advice and this retaining wall design is no exception. It is rather breathtaking! A lot of work obviously went into creating this backyard masterpiece and the end result is stunning. Probably not a design for the beginner do-it-yourself enthusiast, however, if you really like the effect and you have a very sloped yard that is currently in need of some help, you can get a trusted professional to tackle it for you.
5. Fabulous French Feeling
If you are looking for a design that is a bit more ordered, yet still has a romantic feel to it, check out our final choice. This wall was inspired by the 19th century French Impressionists and is another one of HGTV's gorgeous creations. The smooth and formal lines are reminiscent of a past time, but it still can look just as amazing in your present backyard.
The time it takes to build a retaining wall depends on the size of wall required. However, it will ususally take longer than the landscaping itself. If you have a sloped garden that needs some attention and you have been inspired by one of these beautiful designs, take the first step to making your vision a reality. Contact the masonry experts at Royal Masonry for advice on where to start and help on how to execute it. Royal Masonry has a team of trained professional stonemasons who can design and create any masonry project you have in mind. They have the expertise to overcome the challenges involved in constructing retaining walls that will look beautiful and last for years to come.