Retaining walls are primarily meant for practical purposes, such as holding up landscaping and preventing erosion, but they can also be very aesthetically pleasing features to add some elegance to your property. You shouldn’t have to feel as though you need to sacrifice aesthetics for function—there are so many options available in the industry that will allow you to get exactly the look and function you need.
Here are just a few things you should consider when you’re working with your hardscapers in Kansas City to design a retaining wall:
- Materials: What kind of materials will be best suited for your project? Consider the purpose for the retaining wall, the kind of style you want to implement on your property and the budget you’re working with. Stone walls will complement any kind of landscaping and are available in a wide range of colors and shapes. Brick is a strong material and, while it will need some special drainage accommodations, is still a solid choice for just about any kind of home or landscape. Concrete walls are no longer considered ugly or industrial—you can find them in many shapes, styles and colors in ways that will blend in with your landscaping and the exterior of your home.
- Drainage: Drainage is crucial if you are to prevent water and soil from breaking through the retaining wall structure. If you do not have proper drainage built into your retaining wall, you cannot count on it to remain structurally sound for very long.
- Building codes: There are going to be stipulations in your local building codes that govern how retaining walls can be designed and built. For the most part, the codes are going to focus on stipulations that ensure the structural stability of the wall. You can expect requirements indicating the wall must be built on a solid base dug out below ground level. The taller the wall, the deeper that base needs to be dug into the ground. Codes will frequently state any walls taller than four feet must have a qualified engineer on the design team, and must be built by professionals. In some areas, there might also be requirements to have fencing above walls reaching three or four feet in height. Make sure you know all local building codes before you begin design and construction so you don’t have to go back and redo any of your work.
- Style: Retaining walls can be designed with style so you can add a sense of luxury and flair to your outdoor spaces. Shorter walls can be used to add texture to flat landscapes and create more appealing flower beds. You can also make seating walls around your patio, or bench seating built into an existing retaining wall. You can use curves and bends rather than flat or sharp angles.
These are just a few examples of some of the design considerations you should think about when working with retaining wall contractors in Kansas City. Contact MSE Hardscape Design and Installation today for more information.