Uneven Landscape? Build a Retaining Wall.

Once winter has passed, it is time to usher in the part of the season we gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts love – spring! With the weather still cool and pleasant, now is the time to tackle weekend DIY projects, such as retaining walls for those of us that have uneven landscapes.

Retaining walls not only prevent erosion but also create an array of new grading, terracing and topography options for your uneven landscape.

There are two types of walls to consider when preparing for your project:

  • Freestanding – Walls that are dry-stacked with no mortar between the stones. Main advantages to this type of wall are natural drainage and less labor. Start with level ground. Begin your foundation with the largest stones for the base and work your way up using small stones to fill in large gaps to help strengthen your wall. Angular stones stack easier than round; timbers are another option.
  • Retaining – Walls that typically use mortar. If you opt for a mortar wall, you must incorporate a drainage outlet. Perform the same steps for building a freestanding wall if you’re using loose stones. If your stones are pre-cut, finding stones that fit together isn’t necessary.

Make sure you’re able to enjoy the fruits of your labor by being safe. Always use the proper tools and personal protective equipment or when constructing walls. And, don’t forget to check with your local city office before building your wall. Most cities have regulations that require a permit, especially with respect to height and building materials.

By Darik Conner, Guest Author

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Guest Author
Our Guest Authors are fantastic former SAWS employees, incredible interns and community leaders in the local landscaping world. They are all as passionate as we are about saving water with beautiful, diverse landscapes.
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