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How to Build Retaining Walls and What Not to Do  

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If you live in a hilly area, learn about a landscaping trick that can help stop soil erosion and make your backyard look nicer at the same time. With the maple ridge retaining walls, it can be easy to do it yourself. 


Retaining walls help keep soil from washing away, turn steep slopes into terraced backgrounds, and create focal spots in the landscape. In fact, these are some of the most popular solutions to problems caused by hills. When made well, retaining walls turn steep slopes into garden space that can be used. 


Even though these walls look easy, they take a lot of planning and sometimes even professional engineering to keep their shape. earth is heavy, especially when it's wet from a recent rainstorm, so a basic retaining wall (four feet tall and 15 feet long) might have to hold up to 20 tons of earth pressure. With each extra foot of height, the soil is under a lot more pressure. If you mess up your building plans, you could end up with a weak wall that could bulge or, even worse, fall down. Because of this, retaining walls that are higher than four feet should be designed and built by professionals. 


Shorter retaining walls, on the other hand, can be built by eager do-it-yourselfers who know the basics of building. Do you sound like that? If you want to get your hands dirty and add a retaining wall to your yard to make it look better, these tips will help you get off to a good start. 


DO NOT forget to ask the right people. 

Because a retaining wall could change the way water flows naturally, it could affect your neighbors. This is why some towns require homeowners to get a permit before they start building. You might have to submit plans for your wall and set up a property inspection to make sure that building a retaining wall won't cause water problems. 



DO pick something that is easy to work with. 

Retaining walls can be made from many different things, like poured concrete, big pieces of wood, natural stones, or even bricks. If you want to build a retaining wall yourself, choose blocks that are made to do so. A locking ring along the bottom edge of each block keeps the rows together. You can find these blocks at almost any home improvement shop or garden center. They come in gray and earthy tones with smooth or textured faces, like the ones at The Home Depot. 


DO start with a strong base. 

Your retaining wall is only as strong as the parts that hold it up. For a stacked-block retaining wall that is no higher than 4 feet, a trench filled with 3 inches of crushed rock will help keep the wall from moving and settling. The exact depth of the hole will depend on how high the wall will be, but this is a good rule of thumb: Dig a hole that is one-eighth the height of the wall plus three inches. For example, if you want the finishing height of your retaining wall to be three feet (36 inches), you would need to dig the trench eight inches deep to fit three inches of crushed rock and about five inches (or an eighth of the visible retaining wall) to start the wall below grade. 





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