You’ve likely seen a retaining wall along highways, at businesses or even at a friend’s home. While they come in all different shapes, styles and sizes, the top reason most people have one installed is to help solve an erosion problem.
But that’s just one of the many uses for this hardscape feature. They can also add a decorative element to your backyard or provide a more practical purpose. How and where you use this stunning element is up to you and your imagination.
Need some outdoor inspiration? Check out five benefits you can enjoy if you install a retaining wall.
1 Prevent Soil Erosion
If you see exposed tree roots, muddy rivets or dirt patches where nothing will grow on your property, you probably have an erosion issue. While adding certain plants and groundcovers can help reduce the effects, the best way to stop erosion in most cases is by installing a retaining wall.
Soil erosion can be caused by wind or rain and isn’t only an aesthetic issue: It can lead to more serious effects like causing foundation problems if left untreated.
To keep from having costly damage, retaining walls keep your soil in place (hence the name “retaining”).
2 Create a Built-In Sitting Area
You don’t have to be dealing with an erosion issue to install retaining walls, luckily. They can also be used as decorative outdoor features that double as seating walls.
You can either use the top of the wall as the seating area, or you can create a bench-shaped wall to give you back support. Most retaining walls designed for seating are between 18 and 24 inches high, depending on your seating-height preferences.
This type of retaining wall is especially ideal around fire features, outdoor kitchens or water features to provide additional sitting space — without having to drag in extra chairs.
Add in some outdoor lighting around the wall, and you’ve got the perfect hangout spot for day or night.
3 Form Eye-Catching Outdoor Rooms
Even in open-concept homes, there are pieces of furniture or structures that help define each space. If there wasn’t, you’d have one large, overwhelming space with no clear focal points. And the same is true for you backyard.
Retaining walls can help you create outdoor rooms, perfect for entertaining and also breaking up the space. For example, you could install a retaining wall around your patio area, shade structure, outdoor kitchen or fire feature to draw in people’s attention.
You could then connect the different rooms with a paver walkway to tie them together. Adding colorful foliage around the walls will give the space more definition and liven it up, too.
4 Build a Wind Barrier
There’s nothing worse than trying to warm up by your fire pit or hot tub, only to have the wind ruin your cozy evening. You might not be able to control the weather, but you can keep the wind effects at bay with a retaining wall.
The wall helps create a wind barrier to keep your flames, hot tub water and you from cooling down. You can opt for a half- or full-circle wall, depending on what works best for the space.
Installing dense shrubs around the retaining wall can also keep the wind away from your outdoor living area. Plus, plants will add color, texture and visual interest to the space.
5 Add Usable Space to Your Yard
Are you confined to using only a small section of your yard because the rest is an annoyingly large slope? Instead of being a prisoner to your property’s current grade, you can have a retaining wall installed to create more usable space.
Your backyard will be leveled out, and retaining walls will be added to create tiers going up or down, depending on your slope direction. That creates more level ground for you to enjoy, and you can also have steps installed up/down the wall so you can use the space created on each flat tier, as well.
Find the Right Pro to Install Your Retaining Wall
Retaining walls can reduce your yard’s erosion, add value to your property and make your outdoor space more usable — if they’re done correctly. Turn to a professional with experience designing and installing retaining walls so all you have to worry about is how you’ll use your renovated outdoor space first.
Our dedicated, trusted team at Landscape Professionals services Birmingham, Hoover, Homewood, Inverness, Greystone, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Trussville. We’ve been working together for the past 15 years, partnering with everyone from property managers to homeowners to meet all of their outdoor needs.
We offer a full list of landscaping services, including landscape maintenance, design/build, hardscapes, water features, custom fire pits, erosion control and land clearing.
Are you ready to transform your landscape and have the yard of your dreams?