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.

Hillside Gardening: Steep Slope Maintenance & Runoff

Handling Maintenance on a Steep Slope

Walking up a steep slope demands perseverance and stamina. Making it easier to access is key to maintaining your steep slope if there’s any hope of gardening on it. While aerobics might not be palatable, there are a few ways to access with some pre-planning and not skin your knees in the process.

steep slope-hillside gardeningTerracing your steep slope is an option with retaining walls. Depending on how steep the grade, will determine the height requirements. Retaining walls are a big plus in accessing more room to garden and for increasing usability in your space. As gardeners in the mountain, we try to find every ounce of flat land we can to make it easier and accessible. Having terraces can make it easier to access and give more flexibility in your planting palette. Terracing can also relieve rainwater runoff and slow the water down to soak into the leveled areas on the terrace. This prevents erosion and gives the gardener a reprieve in the daily chore.

In smaller gardens, gardening from the edge of the pathway or terrace will suffice. In bigger gardens, paths, steps and walkways along the grade can be built for easier gardening.

Rainwater Runoff on a Steep Slope

Rainwater runoff can be a problem if not tackled alongside planning the garden. Along with terracing, winding river rock into a natural forming creek bed is another solution. Creating a creek bed down the slope, gentling grading the hillside toward this area can be an attractive and useful resolution. The water is slowed down and allowed to soak into the bed. A rain garden can be added to the base of the creek bed for an additional filtering of water and to take advantage of more gardening space.

Once the water has reached the bottom of the hillside, installing berms and French drains that will direct water away from the foundation and entertainment areas is the next step. This ensures water isn’t eroding away your home and assets.

All of these different aspects can be addressed when planning your hillside garden area. Taking advantage of the many options with a customization plan in mind is what we do. We access each area of your property and determine the best solutions for your property. Give us a call to set up a consultation.


A Wet Basement and The Causes

Are you wearing rain boots to the basement and in need of wet basement repair? If you’re under water or have been mopping up water in your basement, we can help alleviate the aggravation.  We will secure your foundation against more erosion and hydrostatic pressure against basement walls. Wet basements can be a sign of cracks in the foundation. Don’t wait until cracks show up in your basement. Follow these steps to ensure a dry basement and kick those boots off! 

A Wet basement and the Causes—

Grading towards the house can give concern to any homeowner and wreck havoc on the drainage. Some builders don’t take into consideration the flow of water off the roof and away from the foundation. For instance, this February mid-month (2016) we have already had an accumulation of rainfall measuring 3.52 inches. On a roof that covers an area 1500 sq.ft. multiply that number by 0.623 to find the quantity of wet basement repairswater in gallons for a one-inch depth and in a one square foot space.) The gallon total is 3289.44 gallons fallen on the roof since the beginning of February. That much water is falling down and into and around your foundation or out your gutter system. If the ground isn’t sloped correctly, it could be seeping into your crawlspaces or basement. Hence, wearing rain boots in the basement!

Downspouts that are filled with last year’s leaves and debris will certainly hold up the water flow. Bi-annual cleanouts are a must for checking good water flow and protecting your foundation and preventing wet basement repairs. After neglect, your underground water pipes could be clogged or crushed from improper installation. When installing drainage pipes, we assure initial haunching backfill by surrounding the pipes diameter. This provides primary support against lateral pipe deformation from the weight on the surface of the lawn.

We will examine the areas around your house to evaluate where the leakage is coming in and discuss a plan with you.  Be it grading away from the foundation or installing a French drain, we do it all. With the rains like we’ve had lately, many are in line for basement repairs. Call us for a consultation today! 828.774.1590.