Choose from a variety of retaining wall materials, colours and designs
Retaining Wall Construction Options
Retaining walls keep soil, rocks, and other materials in place, preventing erosion and land movement. They are a great addition to of many landscape designs, providing stability to sloped terrain, protecting against soil erosion and creating level ground for more usable areas. There are several types of retaining walls: precast retaining wall blocks, natural rock retaining wall stones, garden retaining walls, and wood retaining walls.
Precast Retaining Wall Blocks
Precast retaining wall blocks are made of concrete and are designed to interlock to form a strong and long-lasting retaining wall. These blocks are manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, allowing for greater flexibility in designing the retaining wall to meet specific requirements. The blocks can be arranged in various patterns to produce various textures and appearances.
The ease of installation is one of the most significant benefits of precast retaining wall blocks. The blocks’ interlocking design makes installation simple, and they can be assembled quickly without the use of any special equipment or tools.
Furthermore, because precast retaining wall blocks are resistant to weathering, they require little maintenance over their lifetime.
Natural Rock Retaining Wall Stones
Natural rock retaining wall stones are a popular retaining wall material. They have a natural, rustic look and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Natural rock retaining wall stones are quarried from the earth, giving them a distinct character and texture that cannot be duplicated.
The durability of natural rock retaining wall stones is one of their most significant advantages. They are weather resistant and can withstand significant weight and pressure. Furthermore, because they are natural, they blend in with the surrounding landscape, giving it a more cohesive and natural appearance.
Natural rock retaining wall stones can be difficult to install due to their weight and irregular shape, necessitating specialized equipment and professional installation. They are quarried from the earth and in turn can are usually more cost when compared to other types of retaining wall materials.
Garden Retaining Walls
Garden retaining walls are used to create raised garden beds, resulting in a more visually appealing and functional landscape. They are typically constructed of a variety of materials such as natural stone, brick, and concrete blocks. Garden retaining walls can be used to create a wide range of designs, from simple functional structures to elaborate ornamental features.
The ability of garden retaining walls to create a more visually appealing landscape is one of their most significant advantages. They can be used to add depth and interest to the garden by creating levels, terraces, and focal points.
Garden retaining walls can also serve a practical purpose by allowing for better drainage and soil quality.
There are some drawbacks to using garden retaining walls. They are mostly designed for aesthetics and may not be as strong or long-lasting as other types of retaining walls.
Wood Retaining Walls
Wood retaining walls are a popular choice for homeowners seeking a more natural and rustic look. They are typically made of pressure-treated wood, which is rot and decay resistant. Wood retaining walls come in a variety of styles, such as horizontal and vertical planks and logs.
The versatility of wood retaining walls is one of their most significant advantages. They can be made to fit into a wide range of landscapes and styles, from rustic to modern. Furthermore, wood retaining walls are relatively simple to construct and do not require specialised equipment or professional installation.
The drawbacks to using wood for retaining walls is the wood may warp, rot, or become infested with insects over time, compromising the retaining wall’s stability.
Wood is a natural material and it requires more upkeep than other types of retaining walls. To protect the wood from the elements it is recommended to apply a linseed oil to help provide longevity.
Consider the specific needs and requirements of your landscape when selecting retaining wall landscaping materials. The slope of the terrain, the weight and pressure that the retaining wall must withstand, and the overall aesthetic of the landscape are all factors to consider. A professional landscaper or retaining wall contractor can assist you in determining the best material and design for your specific needs.
We have been professionally installing Calgary retaining walls for over 20 years.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?
How high can a retaining wall be Built without engineering Certificates?
In Calgary and most of the surrounding areas walls can not exceed 1 Meter or 3 Feet in height. This is considered a gravity wall and it does not require permits for installation.
Can You Build a wall on top of another wall?
Yes, you can build a secondary wall above an existing wall, but it will need to be set back 2 feet for every 1 foot of lower wall height. For example a 3 foot lower wall would require a 6 foot setback before the next wall is built. There are some exceptions and engineering certificates may be required to alter the setback. The surcharge (Weight above the wall for a parking pad or structure) needs to be taken into account.
Why do Retaining Walls Fail?
We see retaining walls fail do to 3 main factors:
- Improper base preparation. (Using the Wrong materials, quantities or lack of compaction)
- Insufficient drainage. (Drainage is required in all walls to prevent frozen water from pushing the wall.)
- Lack of Geo Grid. (Not all walls require this type of reinforcement but it is good practice to ensure longevity)
We have extensive experience with retaining walls and will be able to provide an appropriate design for your landscape.