Retaining walls are commonly used to address varying degrees of elevation on a property. Did you know that they can also be used to enhance the functionality of an outdoor living space?
“Because segmental retaining walls are both durable and beautiful, landscapers and homeowners can use them to create outdoor seating, raised patios and other features,’ says Scott Arnold, manager of Villa Landscapes in St. Paul, Minn. “They are the perfect building block to create grill islands, outdoor kitchens and so much more.”
With retaining wall systems, homeowners can create freestanding walls, columns, stairs, planters and other features without the need for special units, Arnold says. Homeowners can create outdoor seating similar to commercial stadium seating, albeit on a smaller scale, with a curved, couch-like seating area, for example.
Retaining walls can also be purposed as offset stairs, patio landings or seat walls. One Minnesota homeowner, who nicknamed her un-mow-able backyard ‘Billy Goat Hill,” installed retaining walls to gain safe access to her garden.
“The pinned system provides a high ratio of weight per square foot of wall face, plus extreme flexibility in design, says Paul Devine, owner of Devine Design Landscapes in Rosemont, Minn., who headed up the project. “Back-locking lip walls are not as structurally sound as a pinned system, and hollow blocks do not provide the stability required for large tiered walls.”
Retaining walls can extend beyond the backyard, as well. Homeowners can install them as driveway barriers to protect their lawns, as a tiered arrangement to address slope issues, or at property lines to prevent unwanted traffic.
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