3 Excellent Options for Retaining Walls

Are you planning on adding a retaining wall on your property? These walls can have functional and aesthetic benefits, from reducing erosion and mudslide on slopes, to creating a clean, sculpted appearance for your yard. One of the decisions you need to make when creating a retaining wall is the best material for the job. Here are three excellent choices for retaining wall materials and their benefits.

  1. Modular block. For easy building, modular block can be a great option for retaining walls. These blocks are made to fit together and stack, creating a tight, solid wall for your project. They can be square, rectangle or curved, depending on your needs, with a lower cost than some other options.
  2. Fieldstone. For natural style to your retaining wall, fieldstones can be an excellent option. Since the sizes and shapes in fieldstones vary, they do take more work and mortar to hold them in place. However, the beauty of natural stone can add value to your home and cannot be surpassed for aesthetics.
  3. Pavers. Pavers and modular block are similar, but pavers come with more color options and are easier to use than natural stone due to their uniform shapes. They can offer some of the beauty and design options of natural stone, with the ease of blocks, making them a nice in between option that is usually less expensive than natural stone.

Get the best choice for improving your landscaping with a retaining wall by visiting your local quarry or landscape supplier. They can help you decide which material will work best for your project and budget, while creating a beautiful retaining wall that will perform the function you need on your property.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

5 Factors to Consider for Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can add support, beauty and function to your landscaping, making them a popular hardscaping project. However, this is a project that needs some planning and preparation before you jump in. Before you head to the landscaping supply store for materials, here are some factors to consider for your new retaining wall.

  1. Weight. If your retaining will be used for functional support for a slope or hill, you need to determine the weight and pressure that will be against the wall.
  2. Foundation. All retaining walls need a solid, level foundation for the best results. A leveled area with compacted sub-base or gravel should be used in the foundation, with stable, heavy materials used at the bottom of the wall.
  3. Materials. Retaining walls can be made from wood, concrete or dry-laid stone. Natural stone or pavers are the most popular, offering strength, durability and beauty for the project.
  4. Drainage. Many retaining walls fail due to water pressure caused from inefficient drainage. Gravel fill in the foundation or piping to allow water behind the wall to drain can prevent drainage failure issues down the road for your retaining wall.
  5. Slope of wall. If building a retaining wall for soil or erosion support, sloping the wall back into the hillside can garner better results, referred to as a batter or cant.

Creating a plan for your retaining wall can reduce the chance of premature failure. Decide the dimensions, materials and design before you make your trip to the landscape supplier in your area. This will save you time and ensure you get everything you need for supplies before you begin building your new retaining wall.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Components of a Strong, Stone Retaining Wall

Are you considering trying to build a retaining wall on your own? If you want a sturdy wall, stone is a great option that is also aesthetically appealing. However, there is more to building a strong retaining wall than stacking stone. Here are a few components that can help you create a wall that will be functional and last for many years to come.

Retaining Wall Grid

One of the ways to make sure your retaining wall has the structure it needs to last for decades is to use a retaining wall grid. This gives you the basic scaffolding for your natural stone wall. These grids can be found at quality landscape suppliers and can offer a great starting point for your project.

Portland Mortar

You want mortar that will hold your stones in place and create a strong, durable wall that will stand up to thousands of pounds of pressure. Portland mortar is one of the strongest mortars available, offering higher durability than the average mortar.

Stackable Stones

To make your project easier, find a landscape supplier that offers quality, stackable stone that will fit perfectly together to make your new retaining walls. You can have the beauty of natural stone cut into uniform shapes that work well to create a strong, sturdy wall that will last.

A retaining wall can help prevent erosion, make use of a hillside for planting or just be a beautiful addition to your landscape design. Before you begin, visit your local landscape supply store to find the right components to ensure your retaining wall is built right from start to finish.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Why Use Stacked Stone Walls?

Stones are a popular landscaping tool, not only for their rustic beauty, but also because of their versatility.  Stacked stone walls are one of the many ways to use them to your advantage.  Dry stacking is used to build a natural stone wall without cement or concrete.  The selected stones are built in an interlocking pattern so that the finished wall will support itself.

There are many advantages to using stacked stone walls, such as the fact that stone walls don’t need any type of mortar, which allows them to shift with the earth and settle into place.  This is why so many landscapers choose to use them for retaining walls or terraces – they won’t be going anywhere.

Since stacked stone walls do not usually use mortar, water can flow freely between the stones.  This means that in the winter, ice will not be trapped inside and cause what is known as frost heave.

Stone walls have an amazing flexibility, as well.  Once again, the fact that the stones do not need concrete to hold them together is a benefit.  It cuts down on labor time and the expense of materials while remaining versatile to your landscaping plans.  If the stones are damaged in any way, you can simply reuse your materials and re-stack.

On top of the practical benefits, stacked stone walls are just nice to look at.  They lend a rustic look to your landscaping while complementing almost any style.  It’s also a great tradition throughout time.  The ancient Egyptians used this method in their pyramids and Colonials built them to border their fields and properties.

Regardless of whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, a stacked stone wall done right will remain a worry-free fixture of your home and lawn for years to come.

Retaining Wall Types

Stone retaining walls come in an endless array of shapes, sizes, styles and types. They can be purely decorative, or they can combine beauty and function by helping to level an area, support a sloping area, help with erosion control, break up a section of yard into smaller areas, create a garden area, and many more uses.

Common types of retaining walls include gravity, semi gravity, cantilevered, and counterfort.  A gravity retaining wall relies on its weight to hold back the soil.  These are constructed in a shallow cone shape with the base wider than the top.  In some cases the wall is angles slightly back toward to help improve its stability.  These types of walls can be made from dry stacked, mortarless stone although the height will be limited.

A semi gravity wall is essentially a gravity wall that has been reinforced with steel rods.  These are a little stronger than pure gravity walls and need no additional reinforcement.

A cantilevered retaining wall has a base or footer that extends under the soil.  Viewed from the end, a cantilevered wall has an L shape with the foot of the L buried underground.  These walls can be thinner than a gravity wall and rely on using the weight of the soil on the footer to hold the wall in place.

Counterfort walls are similar to cantilevered walls except that they supports that tie the end of the footer to back of the wall.  These supports are buried underground so counterfort walls look the same as cantilevered walls.  If the supports are placed on the face of the wall where they would be visible, they are called buttresses.

Anything beyond a low, dry stacked gravity wall should be designed by an engineer.  Otherwise you are risking potential serious injury due to collapse of the wall.