What are the different types and uses of retaining walls?

With just a drive through the Inland Empire area you will see a wide variety of retaining walls around homes, neighborhoods and businesses. The careful observer will note that there seems to be many different types of retaining walls for a variety of different purposes.

Retaining walls can be built for decorative or industrial purposes, and in many cases, for both.

Bella Terra Landscape Design Service will look closely at the types of retaining walls that are commonly seen in the Inland Empire area to help you choose which retaining wall would be best for your needs.

What is a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall is a structure that holds back or retains enclosed material. This retaining wall can be decorative, used to hold back gardening soil in the front of a home or a structure that is used for leveling heavy grades holding back several tons of material. (property leveling)

Why use a Retaining Wall?

A retaining wall in the Inland Empire area wall can be used in a variety of applications however, the most common use would be to level a slope or grade. This leveling process allows for areas that were once unusable, because of the grade, to now be level. This concept can might be as simple as to level or raise a garden bed; all the way through creating additional yard space strong enough to park vehicles on.

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What are some Common Reasons for using a Retaining Wall?

From a residential standpoint in the Inland Empire, some of the more useful reasons for a retaining wall might be:

  • A level area around the home for flowers and shrubbery
  • Leveling areas of the property by creating a wall that’s easier to care of for mowing and trimming
  • Around a pool area to help level the slope that is traditionally created when installing an inground or above ground pool
  • To elevate the soil and hide above ground roots for trees
  • To create a raised section underneath windows for plants

From a Commercial standpoint in the Inland Empire, some of the more useful reasons for a retaining wall might be:

  • Large area leveling of a slope
  • Property management solutions for rolling hills and useful hardscape development
  • Retaining wall structures and leveling strong enough for commercial development or vehicle parking.

Garden Retaining Walls

A garden retaining wall is a simple structure ranging between 6 inches and 2 feet that simply provides a decorative enclosure for a garden setting. Also called a screened wall this retaining structure is designed more for an attractive appearance than it is structural integrity. As the size of the garden and the height of the wall increases so does the need for adding a level of reinforcement to the overall build. This retaining wall structure can also be used to level the 5 to 10% grade seen in the front of many Inland Empire homes.

NOTE: Careful consideration should be made when creating a garden retaining wall. It should include the proper drainage and structure strength based upon its size. As the size of the structure increases so does the weight that the retaining wall holds back.

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Drainage Considerations

Depending on the size and use of a retaining wall, one of its purposes is to maintain structural integrity when weight is applied. When a section is created, then filled with back dirt, soil, rock or gravel it will place additional weight and stress on the retaining wall.

When you add water from rain or run off, it significantly increases the weight that the retaining wall needs to effectively hold.

Part of a professionally installed retaining wall structure will be the addition of proper drainage so that water from rain or runoff can pass through without damaging or weakening the structure.

The Methodical Mindset

At Bella Terra Landscape Design, we utilize our years of design experience to produce a landscape design plan that exceeds the customers expectations. Beginning with a tour and discussion of the Inland Empire area yard we can create, in detail, a landscape design that will transform your backyard into an extension of your Inland Empire home. When choosing to have professional landscape services done, be sure to start with a competent design by a design team that has a methodical mindset. This mindset will provide the path to perfection for your Inland Empire area home.

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