5 Types Of Retaining Walls To Consider

Retaining walls serve a multitude of different purposes around your property’s landscape. Whether you need erosion control or you simply want to increase the space around your yard, a retaining wall will serve that purpose and likely meet your needs. Now that you understand the purpose of a retaining wall, it’s time to discuss your options. Retaining walls come in many different shapes and sizes. That said, how do you know which type of wall is the right style to meet your needs? We are here to help you with that. Today, we have 5 types of retaining walls to consider.

Masonry Block Retaining Walls

Masonry block walls are a very common type of retaining wall that you have likely seen around the mountains. The masonry block walls feature the ability to control erosion and hold back the earth when it starts to move. Masonry block is both weather and pest resistant, and can be constructed without using mortar or concrete to hold the blocks in place. Many masonry block walls are great for controlling and cutting down on erosion plus they tend to work well in curved designs. This is certainly one of our most installed types of walls.

Brick Retaining Walls

Brick retaining walls have the same versatility as blocks and come in a variety of colors and sizes to enhance the home’s surroundings and add continuity and durability. They need little maintenance after they are finished being built. Brick retaining walls are incredibly versatile and they complement both traditional and contemporary architectural schemes.

Natural Stone Retaining Wallsstonewall-retaining wall-stone

Natural stone walls provide a naturalistic look to the space and is one of the most commonly used in Western North Carolina. They can be used for curvilinear designs with long lasting attractiveness. Their shape, color, size and texture provide natural characteristics to the landscape garden. Rock is unaffected by water, and pests and is fire resistant and can lasts for centuries. No two walls are alike which gives an exclusive character.

Pressure Treated Timber Retaining Walls

Pressure treated timber retaining walls are fairly simple installations recommended for walls under four feet high. These are incredibly common to see around the mountains of Western North Carolina. Pressure treated timbers are versatile and match most any style of architecture while blending in with the landscape. These types of walls can be incorporated seamlessly around most landscapes and they look like a naturally occurring product. If installed properly, the materials, with waterproofing and proper drainage, can last for 20 years or more.

Stacked Boulder Retaining Walls

boulder rock-retaining wallStacked boulder walls are a practical solution to changes in the grade of your landscape. There are a wide range of architectural backdrops which lend themselves to the design of stacked mountain boulders. Boulders are found naturally in the rural landscape around the mountains of WNC, and can often be harvested onsite around your property. Water drains naturally in and around these large boulders, which ends up elevating a drainage system that’s in place or being installed. Our professionals have the long-term advantage of working with these products and can guarantee your lasting enjoyment.

If you are or have been thinking about constructing a retaining wall on your property, then don’t hesitate to give the pros at Lawn-N-Order Landscaping a call. We are a fully licensed landscape construction company capable of handling your retaining wall project. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our licensed professional landscape contractor.

Building Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

 mountain boulder retaining wall

What to do when neighbor’s weeds are infringing on your property.

Build a mountain boulder wall. It prevents them from skipping over that hard surface. No, really. It’s about the soil and holding the mountain in place. Some use RR ties or timbers to build retaining walls and that’s ok too.  There’s always a place and time for big mountain boulders. Boulder walls can take a ton of pressure since they’re found in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina and are plentiful.

Creating a Firm Foundation for Mountain Boulder Retaining Walls

In building a mountain boulder wall, the slope and grade have to be considered and the maneuverability to get the machinery into the space to lay the boulders and stack. If mountain boulder walls are an option for the area, grading may be preliminary to the job as well as cleaning the surface of the terrain. Our forestry mulching equipment along with excavators and a skid loader can carve out and grade and clear the specific area. Footers for the mountain boulder walls are dug. The mountain boulders are divided out between the small, medium and large. The bank is blanketed with a heavy landscape fabric to prevent erosion and sediment from running off. The wall is then carefully constructed using a fine assortment of harvested creek stone with moss and lichen laden boulders of a mixed size and variety. The wall is started by choosing the larger, flatter stone to establish the first base course. The jagged and imperfect side is left face down to act as an anchor in the soil. The second course is ready and the flat layer is positioned upward continuing with each course.

Mountain boulders are moved with the CAT skid loader and a mini excavator with a thumb that carefully handles each stone in stacking. Attention is given to not scratch and scar the mountain boulders or knock the moss and lichen off. This preserves the aesthetic look of the stone and its embellishment to appear as though it’s always been in place. As the boulders are stacked, the stones are placed like a jigsaw puzzle pieces and layered tightly so the joints are minimal. As the wall goes up, graduated sizes of mountain boulders and rock are placed strategically. Once the wall is completed, the gaps are filled in with smaller boulders and rock. As the layers are being placed, stone and soil backfill is being packed behind the boulders. Finally, a level top course is set and the finishing touches to the rest of the area are performed such as plantings or mulch and edging.

If you’re perched on a hillside and getting too much soil running over to your side of the mountain, it might be time for a mountain boulder retaining wall. Give us a call and we can give you the details.

Build A Mountain Boulder Retaining Wall

mountain boulder retaining wall

What to do when neighbor’s weeds are infringing on your property.

Build a mountain boulder retaining wall. It prevents them from skipping over that hard surface. No, really. It’s another option for retaining walls that we offer. There’s always a place and time for big boulders. Boulder walls can give a beautiful look to the landscape. The mountain boulders are  harvested locally in the mountainous region of Western North Carolina.

Creating a Firm Foundation for a Mountain Boulder Retaining Wall

In building a mountain boulder retaining wall, the slope and grade have to be considered.  The maneuverability to get the machinery into the space to lay the boulders and stack will be measured. If mountain boulder retaining walls are an option for the area, grading may be preliminary to the job as well as cleaning the surface of the terrain. Our forestry mulching equipment along with excavators and a skid loader can carve out and grade and clear the specific area. Footers for the boulder walls are dug. The boulders are divided out between the small, medium and large. The bank is blanketed with a heavy landscape fabric to prevent erosion and sediment from running off. The wall is then carefully constructed using fine assortments of harvested creek stone.  Some boulders will have moss and lichen and be of a mixed size and variety. The wall is started by choosing the larger, flatter stone to establish the first base course. The jagged and imperfect side is left face down to act as an anchor in the soil. The second course is ready, and the flat layer is positioned upward continuing with each course.

The Details Matter

Boulders are moved with the CAT skid loader and a mini-excavator. The mini-excavator with a thumb carefully handles each stone in stacking. Attention is given not to scratch and scar the boulders or knock the moss and lichens off. This preserves the aesthetic look of the stone. The lichen embellishment gives the appearance as though it’s always been in place. As the boulders are stacked, the stones are placed like a jigsaw puzzle pieces and layered tightly, so the joints are minimal. As the wall goes up, graduated sizes of mountain boulders and rock are placed strategically. Once the wall is completed, the gaps are filled in with smaller boulders and rock. As the layers are being placed, stone and soil backfill is being packed behind the boulders. Finally, a level top course is set, and the finishing touches to the rest of the area are performed such as plantings or mulch and edging.

If you’re perched on a hillside and getting too much soil running over to your side of the mountain, it might be time for a mountain boulder retaining wall. Give us a call, and we can give you the details.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping

This article first appeared in Angie’s List under their Expert Contributor section. Click and share and enjoy the read!

Approximate cost: $32,000

This homeowner in Asheville, NC, (mecca to empty nesters and retirees for the natural beauty of the mountains and mild climate), built her mountain home to enjoy part of the year. The dilemma was that she would only be here seasonally to nurture and care for and the other seasons traveling the world. Thus, a low-maintenance garden was ordered. Who doesn’t want a low-maintenance garden that they can ‘plant and grow’ and still travel the world? This homeowner lives in two locations throughout the year so it’s imperative to have a garden that is satisfied to maintain its beauty with the seasonal rain.

Speaking of rain, the homeowner had two dysfunctional downspouts that were dumping water 8 feet from the house into the yard and saturating the lawn. Rerouting the drainage to a dry river rock bed and drain basins were the first priority to establish stormwater flow tfrontyard makeover-landscaping-drainage-Weavervillehroughout the property in preparation for landscaping. A trench along the back garden bed (which had a previous French drain installed) wasn’t functioning with the sod and soil on top. Therefore, the entire length of the drain was uncovered, dug deeper and lined with landscape fabric. To add that ‘mountain’ and native look river stone was used to mimic a dry river rock bed and hide the drain basins. The water permeated the river stones if there was a heavy flow and was routed to the drain basins on either end of the river stone bed. The homebuilder had routed the downspouts into neighbor’s yards so underground drainage had to be uplifted and rerouted around the entire perimeter of the foundation to the back portion of the home and over the steep hillside digging down some 4 feet.

The homeowner wanted to sit out in the privacy of their backyard and admire the mountainous view so a tiled back patio was laid. To appreciate her view scape, limbs and trees were selected, cleared and replaced with junipers and groundcovers that would smother out the invasive growth and weeds leaving a place for her pooches to safely play.

install-landscape-Lawn-N-Order-WeavervilleWith extra amounts of topsoil left from digging, raised beds were established to plant various specimen plantings (including Tamukeyama Japanese Maple and a Scotch Pine topiary) and native plant material for this area and climate given the perimeters of the homeowner’s choices. To carry the ‘indigenous’ theme, ten tons of mountain stone boulders harvested locally were brought in and set strategically to accent their form while lending foundational anchors to the landscape. Specimen conifers and perennials were placed as if they grew up around the boulders original to the landscape.

Sometimes a garden is established from scratch and the canvas is clean to work from with only a few minor hindrances. The homeowner and company worked through the foundational details of drainage problems and brought to the surface a beautiful plethora of four-season plantings that are virtually carefree and look great from spring to winter.

If you need a custom job installed with your particular needs in mind, give us a call to set up a consultation.