If you have a sloping yard, you may want to find a way to make the ground more level so you can actually use the yard for things like playing with the kids, putting in a pool, etc. Sloping yards look nice, but if you want your yard to be more than just something nice to look at, you are going to need to do something to make the ground nice and level. One thing you can do is put in a concrete retaining wall.
There are many types of retaining walls, with concrete being one of the most popular. They look great, and not only will they allow you to have a yard you can use, they will add to the overall appearance of your property.
Create a Safe Yard
If you have kids, you want to ensure that they have a safe place to play. They should always be safe in their own back yards, but if the yard is sloped, they can end up getting hurt. For instance, it would not be difficult at all for a child who is playing and running to slip and fall, then tumble down the slope. When you use a concrete retaining wall to even out the ground, you can create a safe area for your children to play, not to mention a nice place for the big kids to enjoy themselves as well.
Other Materials Used
In addition to concrete, retaining walls can be made from a number of other materials. Many people love the look of a stone retaining wall, which in actuality is a concrete wall as the stones are actually made from concrete. They interlock so there is no need to use mortar to keep them together like you would have to if you were using real stones for the job. The wall is good and solid, and will keep the ground from sliding.
One big advantage to building a retaining wall from concrete is that it is easier to build curved walls, which look terrific. One thing to remember is that these stones are best when used to build shorter walls, and walls should not be higher than around three feet.
Building Your Own Retaining Wall from Concrete Stones
You may decide that you want to save money, and rather than hire a contractor you are going to try to build your concrete retaining wall yourself. The one thing you need to remember is that this is not light work. It is a hard job, so you may want to enlist the help of others. There is a lot of heavy lifting involved, which you may need help with. If you are using concrete stones, you will need to figure out how many you will need. It is best to make sure that you get a little more than you need, just in case, and what you don’t use now you can probably find a use for later with another project.
Before you can get started, you will need to mark off the area where your retaining wall is going to be. You can use wooden stakes and some string for this. Mark the outline on the ground with spray paint or something else that is going to show up well. You also need to make sure that you have the proper building permits, and that all of your utilities are marked.
Next you need to build a trench (about six inches or so deep) that is a bit wider than the wall you are going to build. Make sure that it is nice and level, and then pour in a layer of sand, again making sure that it is level. Now, you can start laying the stones. Always make sure that the stones are level before starting on the next row. Here comes the tricky part. You must cut a stone in half. This is going to be the first stone on the second row of stones. Basically, you will be laying the stones in a brickwork pattern. Stones are fairly easy to cut. Simply score a stone all the way around, then put a chisel on the line. Hit it with a hammer, and the stone should easily break in half. Keep adding row after row of stones until the wall reaches the desired height. You will also have to add some soil behind the wall to keep it solid.
When you have completed your concrete retaining wall, place some landscaping fabric behind it and up the hill, backfill, and then add topsoil when you are finished. Again, make sure everything is level. You can now start planting along the wall if you want to, or keep it simple.
Other Uses for Concrete Stones
You can do a lot more than just build retaining walls with concrete stones. They can be used to build gorgeous and functional patios, and many people even use them to build awesome barbecue pits or outdoor fire places. They can turn a plain, boring old yard into a show piece you will be proud to show off to everyone. If you do build a retaining wall and you end up with extra stones, you can use them to build other things that will add to the beauty of your yard.
Let Someone Else Do the Work
Instead of doing all this hard work yourself, why not hire a contractor to create your concrete retaining wall? Sure, it may cost a bit more to have a professional do the work for you, but in the end it really is worth it. After all, contractors have skills that most of us don’t have, and they can do a much better job than someone who has never build a retaining wall before. To get the best contractor, you need to shop around and get free estimates from many different contractors. When you fill out our short form, we will connect you with contractors in your area, and you can get all the estimates you need to make the right decision about who will build your concrete retaining wall.