Retaining Wall Tips: A Q&A with the Pros

Retaining wall tips: construction pros

It is officially November. That means Putnam, Westchester and the surrounding counties are gearing up for the colder months of 2020. As always, our team of professional contractors is on hand to help you make updates to your home or business. We have been receiving questions surrounding retaining wall structures from people just like you. We sat down to answer some of these questions regarding the installation process and everything else you need to know. If you have been thinking about making upgrades to your property, check out below for some pro tips on bringing retaining walls to life.

What is the purpose of building a retaining wall?

You probably see retaining walls quite often; most frequently found on residential properties, multilevel yards, alongside steps and connecting walkways. They are typically filled with soil or mulch along with plants, creating an aesthetically, eye-pleasing feature in the yard. While retaining walls help add value to a property for their look, they also serve a very important structural purpose, holding up material and helping to prevent erosion or other damage to the surrounding property. 

retaining walls in westchester county

Can you tell me about the process regarding how to build a retaining wall?

Absolutely! The first step to installing retaining walls, like every other surface project, is to make sure you have a solid base. If there are issues here, the rest of the wall risks not reaching its fullest, strongest potential. Typically a small trench will be dug and prepared with the necessary material; this is where drainage issues are tended to. Following this, retaining wall blocks will be laid, level by level with intersections properly tiered for stability. The wall is filled with soil along the way along with other features such as plants for a finishing touch.

What are the options for retaining wall blocks?

Retaining walls are like puzzles, made up of many different pieces that come together to serve a collective purpose. They can vary in color, and when assembled, leave you with an intricate, one-of-a-kind creation that is unique to your property. Depending on the scope and physical size of your project, your team of contractors will discuss the options you have to choose from. As an added bonus, because each piece is separate, smaller repairs can easily be made without having to make large, costly replacements. 

process for creating retaining walls

What are some of the restrictions faced when building retaining walls?

Due to the structural function, you will need to check with your local town or other governing bodies to secure any permits before beginning. You might also be limited by your HOA for uniformity purposes when it comes to the type or color material used. As retaining walls help decrease the rate of erosion, they can sometimes have an impact on drainage. We will touch on this a bit later, but you might need to opt for some additional solutions. A team of expert and experienced contractors can assess the situation, determine what’s needed and help you secure the necessary documentation.

Can you tell me more about a backyard retaining wall?

As we mentioned, retaining walls can be used on steps connecting two levels of your property. However, they also add a nice touch if you are upgrading a deck or pool. Do you spend a lot of time in your yard at night, or entertaining? Your team can also install lights or railings along the way for added safety when walking or in the dark.

Long retaining wall - putnam county

My yard is not leveled. Can you discuss how to build a retaining wall on slope?

Most retaining walls are made with sloped terrain in mind. A team of professional masonry contractors can come and evaluate your current situation before beginning. As we mentioned, a strong, solid, flat base is an absolute must in the installation process. With retaining walls holding back tons of soil, intricate and accurate measurements need to be taken to ensure your wall doesn’t crumble under pressure. 

How do I know if my retaining wall drainage is properly addressed?

As previously mentioned, draining can be impacted by retaining walls. With nowhere for water to escape, excessive rain can cause build up and turn into a dangerous headache. An experienced team can make sure to use techniques during the installation process that will avoid flooding and muddy messes.

Drainage for Retaining Walls

How do I find a team of retaining wall contractors?

With so many underlying factors, it is very important that retaining walls are installed correctly. With this in mind, we always recommend hiring a team of professionals to do the work. Depending on the height of the wall, a professional team might be required for installation. You want to be sure to work with a team that is highly experienced, well rated, and is familiar with the northeast climate. In Westchester and Putnam counties, we experience warm summers, rainy springs and harsh winters. A local team will implement best practices and recommend a solution that thinks ahead to avoid issues before they arise.

Once retaining walls are installed, are there any other steps to take?

Yes! Once retaining walls are installed, we recommend regular maintenance to ensure all is well and stays well. With the importance of the wall for structural purposes, we always remind our customers to take any cracks, sliding or bulges seriously. Any weeds between cracks should also be removed, as these can sprout and not only become an eyesore, but cause chipping. Even the smallest of changes are important to address as they can eventually escalate and potentially cause major damage if not tended to. Professionals should be called in immediately if there is any concern.

advanced water drainage solutions - limitless golden construction

Are you interested in learning more about retaining walls? If so, contact our team of professionals at Limitless Golden Construction. We are here to help answer any questions you have about the installation process, and work with you along the way. Call our Westchester and Putnam County office to request a free virtual quote today at 914-810-3125. You can also visit the testimonials section on our website to find out what our clients, past and present, have to say.

16 thoughts on “Retaining Wall Tips: A Q&A with the Pros

  1. Tamiflu

    Does this sound familiar? Your Neighbour has taken on a “simple” project of building a block retaining wall to level out their yard, walkway or even a simple planter. This Weekend Warrior is out in full force ordering materials and buying work gloves to build the beautiful retaining wall .only to find that their initially “little” project has become a huge under taking. 2 years later, their marvellous block retaining wall is still leaning over, falling apart or unfinished.

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    Great post! According to my clients, the main reason why they like retaining walls is because of the safety. With retaining walls, they feel like they are safe from theft and other kinds of crime.

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