Scarborough Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are both practical and a design element. Technically, they are used to hold back soil and prevent erosion in a specific area to facilitate planting. However, retaining walls can also turn your backyard into a more functional outdoor living space. These stone walls can delineate an area and create space and organization while preventing erosion and adding character. They’re ideal for home sites that aren’t on flat land, creating more usable yard space for sites that are sloped. With the right design and materials, a retaining wall can become an integral part of your overall landscape design.
Everything starts with an idea and a little planning. A retaining wall is no different. If you’re considering one, you’ll need to think about whether it will be strictly decorative, or if it will have a more utilitarian function as well. Will it be surrounding a new or existing hardscape, like a patio? Is it intended to create a flower bed or other soil-based element? Consider how the wall will enhance the existing space, rather than just building something.
Once you decide on the functionality, the next step is to design it.
Your retaining wall may serve a number of purposes, depending on your space. When considering where to put the wall, you should also look closely at the area where you want to build it. Smaller retainer walls may be OK as a DIY project. Taller walls (especially if they’re over four feet) should involve an engineer in the design process to ensure structural integrity and compliance with local building regulations.
You’ll also need to consider drainage. A base of crushed rock (½” to ¾” in size) and a pipe that directs water away from the walls are the best for any type of stone wall.
The most commonly used materials for retaining walls are wood and stone. While wood offers a rustic look and is a great DIY project, stone retaining walls may be more suitable for professionals. Wood is more affordable, and can be held together with spikes, screws or rebar. This type of wall won’t need much more than basic crushed stone footing and T-shaped timber deadmen to secure it into place.
While both natural stones can be used for a retaining wall, manufactured stones and blocks are much easier due to their consistent size, coloring and measurement. They offer a uniform, even look and make installation a lot simpler.
Concrete is also a good choice, offering the most in strength and durability. It can be shaped, stamped, colored and stenciled into a wide range of looks. However, this wall job is best left to professionals.
Massachusetts only requires a building permit for walls that are greater than four feet in height, measured from the bottom course of the wall block to the top of the completed wall.
Precision Can Help
Would a retaining wall take your landscape to the next level? From a small spot in the backyard to a full-on patio, we can design your perfect space and install it just the way you want it. Call us at Precision Landscape & Maintenance, (207) 939-8757. We can design, create and install your new patio, outdoor kitchen and other hardscapes you’d like. Fall will be here soon, so call today.