Thinking Of Adding A Terraced Garden To Your Yard? Here's When You Need To Call A Professional To Install Your Retaining Wall

Posted on: 14 November 2017

A terraced garden is a beautiful addition to your yard and a perfect solution to gardening in yards with steep slopes; these gardens provide a perfectly flat area to grow plants in while also conforming to the natural grade of the land as closely as possible. In order to create a terraced garden, you'll need to install retaining walls on your property. While some do-it-yourself products for installing retaining walls exist, these are not suitable for every application. Here's how to tell if you can install a terraced garden yourself or if you need to have it professionally installed.

Retaining Walls Over Four Feet Require Professional Construction

Height is the primary concern when determining whether you will be able to install a terraced garden yourself or if you will need to call a professional contractor. You'll need to check your municipal ordinances to determine if you need a permit to install a retaining wall; many areas require professional installation when retaining walls are above four feet in height. The reason for this is that the amount of pressure placed on the retaining wall increases rapidly with the height of the wall; when walls go above four feet in height, they will need additional support structures such as cantilevers to stabilize them. In this case, you'll need a professional specializing in retaining wall installation to survey your property and determine how to build a wall that will successfully hold all the force of the soil pushing against it.

Professionals Have Access To More Materials That Prevent Your Wall From Failing, Tilting, Or Bulging

Some materials, such as wood or interlocking blocks, are more suited for do-it-yourself retaining wall installation. Unfortunately wood tends to be a poor choice for terraced gardens, since moisture in the soil can cause wood to quickly rot and crack; not only does this make your terraced garden look unattractive, but it also reduces the structural integrity of the retaining wall and can lead to the wall failing.

Interlocking blocks, which are usually made of concrete or manufactured stone, are a better choice since they are unaffected by moisture. However, you need to select the types of blocks that you use carefully. Many of them interlock by hollowing out some of the bottom half of the block, allowing you to stack blocks on top of each other seamlessly. This makes the blocks less expensive (since it saves on production costs) and also makes them lighter, which means that it's easier for a homeowner to work with them without special tools. Unfortunately, these blocks are interlocked solely because of the weight of the blocks on top of them, and the space where the blocks interlock is not completely tight; this means that water can enter into the space between the blocks. If the outside weather is cold enough to freeze the water, the blocks will be lifted up, and your wall will collapse.

Other materials used to make retaining walls, such as masonry brick and poured concrete, should only be attempted by professionals. However, these materials are stronger than wood and most interlocking blocks. Installing a retaining wall made of poured concrete or masonry brick will ensure that it lasts longer, since there is less risk that frozen water will destroy the integrity of the wall. They also withstand the force of the soil better; over time, walls made of weaker materials can begin to bulge or slowly topple over, which can ruin your terraced garden.

Overall, the choice of whether you will need a retaining wall installation professional to create your terraced garden depends on the size of the garden. Higher walls require more resilient materials and expertise in construction, which only professionals can provide. Professionally-installed retaining walls will also have less risk of failure; retaining walls that are installed improperly can bulge or tilt, which makes your terraced garden look unattractive. Contact companies like Boehm Landscape Inc to learn more.