Your retaining wall cost will vary wildly depending on the style, materials, grade and design. Get an idea of what it will cost before you start. As you walk through your neighborhood, you probably notice yards that are protected with retaining walls. These walls are designed to support a “wedge” of soil around the property. But before you invest in a retaining wall, you need to know what the cost may be.
Retaining Wall Cost Factors
Retaining walls have several practical benefits to your home. Generally, their main function is to reduce soil erosion in sloped grounds, which are at the risk of sliding or shifting thus potentially damaging your home or property. The size of the sliding wedge is reduced as the wall size increases. They are also very effective in regions with high precipitation rates.
Besides supporting the slopping dirt, effective retaining walls also act as a perfect way of draining stagnant water in order to reduce the hydrostatic pressure. In addition, they provide several agricultural benefits. If you are living in drier areas, you can construct a retaining wall to help delay water seepage from your garden. In wetter gardens, the walls can divert water thus preventing flooding of your yard.
Apart from practical functions, retaining walls can also provide aesthetic value to your property. Thus, building one can increase the resale value while enhancing the enjoyment of your property. For instance, you can construct a wall in the form of a series of steps or levels, thus enabling you to introduce all kinds of vegetation and flowers that can add value to your property. Better still, stepped retaining walls are great at controlling soil erosion around your home.
So what options of retaining walls are available to you?
Since retaining walls are designed to provide support for vertical grade changes, an effective wall should be constructed to withstand and redistribute the lateral pressure that is caused by sloping. As such, retaining walls vary in types and sizes, often including materials like brick, stones, vinyl, concrete, pressure treated timber and steel. Therefore, if you are shopping for retaining wall ideas, here are some common types that you might want to consider.
Gravity retaining walls – These walls rely on their mass to hold the soil pressure back. You can construct these walls from large pieces of stone, concrete or other heavy components that are made of rocks, timber, soil and concrete.
Sheet pile retaining walls- These walls are ideal for protecting soft earth and limited space. The walls are constructed from thin sheets and wood that is driven into the soil.
Cantilevered retaining walls – These are thin stems of steel-fitted concrete, often in the shape of an inverted T. The greatest advantage of this type of wall is that it uses less material than the other wall types.
Anchored retaining walls – These walls are supported by anchors that are fitted behind them. Their sizes and shapes vary. The anchors are used when the walls are expected to support high loads.
So what does the retaining wall cost to install?
Retaining wall cost is very easy to calculate. If you are getting a contractor to install the wall, then this piece of work will not strain your budget. If your contractor has the experience of developing retaining walls and you have accurately assessed the work that needs to be done, you should not have any difficulty determining the cost of installing your retaining wall. The most crucial factor is the type of material that will be used to make the wall as well as the kind of landscape required to create the effect that you are looking for.
If you are looking for complex designs, then you may have to spend more. For instance, including several curves, bends and other features on the wall will also require more effort and materials. If you want to have several levels out of your slopping yard, then the retaining wall cost will be higher since a lot of landscaping will need to be done. In addition, making each level requires a lot of labor, and this means that you will have to pay more. However, a simple retaining wall at the edge of your yard is usually inexpensive.
The type of material is another factor that determines retaining wall cost. Concrete is one of the most economical materials that you can use. Besides being inexpensive, this material is also less labor intensive than the other materials. Thus, concrete is a great option if you are working with a tight budget. Bricks and masonry are relatively expensive in terms of material and installation cost. In addition, these materials require skilled workforce to install hence you might need to spend more on their installation.
Wooden retaining wall is another great option that is rapidly gaining popularity. However, it can increase the amount of your retaining wall cost in comparison to other materials. You can either use logs, timbers and railroad ties. Wooden walls allow you a great array of creativity. Depending on the kind of wood you use, the cost can be higher or lower. Thus, if you are contracting a professional to help you install your retaining wall, be sure to inquire about the cost of the various materials available.Retaining walls are an important part of any gardening design, and you might want to consider having some on your yard. Besides being practical and beautiful, retaining walls can also upgrade the value of your property. All you have to do is to establish the retaining wall cost in order to install the right wall that will suit your needs.