Tips on how to choose a retaining wall contractor

If you are planning to have a landscape project but do not have the time to do it, you probably need someone which has the experience, knowledge and expertise. However, there are plenty of contractors out there that have limited experience and do not practically poses the skills needed to finish the job perfectly correct.  There are things that need to be asked in selecting a stone retaining wall contractor.

First, you need to know the length of time the contractor has been in the business. Experience is very important in order to hire someone which is fit and perfect for the job. The longer the contractor has been in the business, the better. If a contractor has been around for a while then it is safe to assume that he has done quite a number of jobs and the experience he had gave him knowledge in the field. Upon knowing their experience, one can also ask for references from past customers. This could definitely attest that the contractor is qualified for constructing a retaining wall.

Another question that needs to be asked is had the contractor done a similar job before. If yes, how many times.  Past jobs are important in order to see how good the contractor is. His past jobs are evidences of how clean and precise his work is.

Details such as certificates from associations that could guarantee that he is indeed a certified contractor are important. This is an assurance that the person which is about to handle a project has the knowledge and skills to do it. The time frame of the job should also be provided, the time of start and the projected time that the contractor will finish the job. Knowing that the contractor is certified and has done previous jobs similar to the project proposed, it is important to ask regarding permits. Will it be handled by the contractor or customer? These permits are often required when construction is involved, which is why it is important to know whose end will handle it. Aside from permits, the customer should also inquire regarding written estimate detailing and the payment terms. Payment terms is very important for a customer, in order to know the when and how much money is needed to be prepared on or before completion of the project.

Furthermore, two of the most important details that a customer must know in selecting a stone retaining wall contractor are insurances and warranties. Liability is quite important, as well as workers compensation insurance. Liability insurance is important in case there are unwanted accidents during the period of constructing the retaining wall. Both of these insurances protect both the worker and customer. Warranty on the other hand protects the customer. In case the retaining wall has acquired damage due to unwanted circumstances. The warranty covers the expenses during the period when repairs are done.

Picking out the right contractor for stone retaining will probably result to a lifelong enjoyment while looking at the finished project.

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Stone Retaining Walls

Whenever there are slopes or elevated area in the garden of lawn, constructing a retaining wall is the best way to give accent to the yard. A retaining wall is a type of structure designed to restrain soil erosion from unnatural slopes. This is practically used to bind two different elevations of soil. This is constructed and engineered in a process that it is shaped specifically and carefully in order to avoid collapses. Types of retaining wall have been known to be constructed; these types mainly differ on the materials and approach of construction process.

There are four known types of retaining wall. These are:

  1. Gravity – This type is constructed by using stones, concrete or other known heavy material. Among the types this is known to be easier in the process of installation.
  2. Cantilevered – This is constructed with the use of steel reinforcement, cast concrete or mortared masonry.
  3. Sheet Piling – This is usually constructed on soft soils and spaces that are tight. The materials used are sheet pile walls that would be made out of steel, wooden planks or vinyl.
  4. Anchored – This is constructed by using any of the methods above. However, due to more soil pressure, anchoring or more reinforcement is used to hold the soil.

Among the types of constructing retaining walls, gravity is considered practical and affordable. Under it is stone retaining wall.  This is the most known and common retaining wall. Why use stone retaining wall? Stone retaining wall is by far considered as an easy task to do. There are also advantages in using stone retaining wall.

One known advantage in using stone retaining wall is the drainage system for the retaining wall is built in. Water is easily absorbed and drained easily in this type of retaining wall. Another advantage is stones used in this type have a wide variety of choices. Therefore, decision on designs and colors is easy. One does not need to sink a footing beneath the frost line making the workload lesser. Aside from that stone retaining wall gives out a natural look. It projects an environmental ambiance in the surroundings.

Maintaining a stone retaining wall is not as tedious as expected. Just like the Great Wall of China, which is practically made out of stone, less maintenance is done and it would still last for a long time, longer than it is expected.

Having a stone retaining wall also increases the amount of useful outdoor area. A perfectly constructed stone retaining wall can be used as a patio, a garden or anything of use. There are more advantages that could be mentioned on “why use stone retaining wall?” that could convince people to choose this type of retaining wall.

Before deciding on what type of retaining wall to construct, one must always choose the perfect contractor that would handle the project, always asked for questions regarding construction – before, during and after in order to ensure the result of the project. Being meticulous is handy when projects are handled by other people.

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Sandstone Retaining Wall

Doing landscaping is quite hard and tedious when there are slopes. This tends to maximize the time frame of the project. However, it is important to include the slopes in the plan for landscaping; this can practically give out an accent to the area. However, deciding on what type of retaining wall to be use mainly depends on your budget or the way you picture the finished job.

One type of retaining wall is made up of sandstone.  Compared to other types of retaining walls constructed, sandstone gives out a natural look. Therefore this type fits a person who likes nature and simplicity. This is definitely complimentary to a person who loves the outdoors, giving out a natural look in the yard. However, a question regarding its advantages will always be on the table. There are 7 advantages of sandstone retaining walls.

  1. Compared to other retaining walls this is considered to be the easiest one to build. This is not as complicated compared to others. This is because the materials needed are not costly and are always available.
  2. As mentioned above, it gives out a natural look in the grounds. Thus practically provides an ambiance which signifies the outdoors or nature. This features caramel stones and have been used as a construction material for centuries.
  3. It is commonly known and observed that sandstone is naturally porous. This quality may seem as a problem in other aspects but it works definitely great in retaining walls.
  4. 4 Sandstone retaining wall has a built in drainage system. The structure naturally absorbs water. Once the water is absorbed, it drains it out naturally without damaging the sandstone or specifically the retaining wall. The structure assures the disposal of water safely and effectively. Therefore, additional materials in constructing a drainage system are eliminated.
  5. There are plenty of ways to design the outcome of the project. It can have an outcome of uniformity or abstract. Depending on the sizes bought or installed.
  6. Among the 7 advantages of sandstone retaining walls this can be considered as the top. Doing this kind of project does not need you to acquire a huge knowledge sandstone retaining wall construction. This is because it is known to be easy. However, if it is quite a large construction it will still be best to have a specialist to avoid large mistakes that would definitely put damage to the project.
  7. Lastly, constructing sandstone retaining wall differs from block, brick or other types because it does not need a footing below the frost line which is a necessity to other types of retaining walls. With the absence of this procedure, the installation of sandstone retaining wall is quite fast and inexpensive.

Considering all the advantages stated above, it is safe to say that sandstone retaining walls are practical and beautiful. It is practical because it is inexpensive due to the availability of its materials. Also, it eliminates other workload, such as creating drainage and a footing needed below the frost. It is beautiful because it gives out a natural look which compliments with any kind of environment.



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Advantages Of Block Retaining Wall

If the contour of the lot area has slopes, the best way to deal with it is by constructing a retaining wall. A retaining wall helps prevent soil erosion or water that could damage the grounds, lawn or garden. These are always constructed on areas where there is unnatural terrain, installed between soils of different levels. There are different types of retaining wall. There are gravity retaining wall, the cantilever retaining wall, the piling retaining wall and the anchored retaining wall. Each type of retaining wall uses different materials.

Under gravity wall there is a type which is called block retaining wall is one of the most common types constructed and installed at residential areas. Block retaining wall is considered to be affordable, compared to other types. This is because all of the materials needed for construction can easily be bought at low prices and are always available.

There are 9 advantages of block retaining wall:


Before, blocks used for this type of retaining wall only come in a single color, a gray block which somehow resembles a concrete. Nowadays, there are plenty of choices in terms of color and style of blocks, depending on what one would like for his block retaining wall.


Mono blocks are known to be affordable compared to other types of retaining wall.

Availability of materials:

Mono blocks are seldom out of stock, because the components in manufacturing the mono blocks are easily acquired by manufacturers.


This task is somehow considered as D.I. Y. or do-it-yourself. This is because; the mono blocks used for construction can easily be attached together.

Ease on installing:

As stated above, it can easily be attached to each other. Mono blocks are carefully manufactured to assure that all of them will fit each other. Building the wall is easy as piling one block above another. So, it seems to be just playing a Lego set.

Easy integration:

Because of the wide choices in style and color, it can easily compliment with the other materials used, materials such as bricks and sandtone.

Environment friendly:

Compared to other materials, a mono block is manufactured without the use of chemicals. Unlike timber, where chemicals are added, mono block are chemical free and would never damage the soil.


Another advantage is many designs of mono block automatically setback when stacked for a period of time. This adds a slight slant which practically helps in reinforcing the wall.

Long Lasting:

Among the 9 advantages of block retaining wall, this is the most important. A block retaining wall is guaranteed to be long lasting. Just like the great wall of china, which was build using the same methods, a block retaining wall will definitely last for a long time as long as it is constructed correctly without any flaws.

There it is, advantages in choosing block retaining wall. As long as this type suits the contour of the area then it is definitely the perfect choice to construct.

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The Advantages of Choosing Sandstone Retaining Walls

Retaining walls made from natural stone will usually consist of slab bricks or dry stone, they are recommendable for supporting walls that retain soil that is collapsible on raised areas. You can use them for raised rockeries or flower beds to maintain a solid and neat appearance. Many people who have landscaped gardens use retaining walls made from natural stone for a number of reasons.

Natural sandstone has a visually appealing effect and is a naturally porous type of material. The porous material may pose a problem in other types of applications but works extremely well in the purpose of a retaining wall. Water that is absorbed by the wall will seep out in a slow process which will ensure that no damage is caused to the wall.

Additionally the water is moved out of the wall into the next location at the correct pace, this is a natural type of drainage system. The material of a natural stone type of retaining wall is friendly on the environment and is extremely aesthetically pleasing appearance. When used in your garden it adds a much more natural look.

There are a variety of natural stones to choose from and you can even use the stone to create outdoor seating areas when the wall you have built has a wide enough space. The main use of these retaining walls is to prevent any landslides where there are cuttings present in the sides of a hillside. If you live near a coastline you could use the wall to protect your property from land falls and high tides.

Additionally stone retaining walls do not require a footing below the frost line. These are a necessity for concrete, mortar or brick retaining walls. The installation process is fast and inexpensive.

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The Advantages Of Block Retaining Walls

Modern concrete walls are now found in many neighbourhoods, on roadways to separate noise from residential areas, and as walls to separate access ways to neighbourhoods. The can also be set in place for landscaping purposes. The walls are usually designed to be strong and to be able to be put together for fast and easy assembly. The blocks can be placed on top of one another and fastened securely together with pins, clips or edges that interlock.

These types of blocks are designed to be set on a compacted base of gravel, which allows them to have flexibility with any slight ground movement and still remain strong. They are available in a great many different styles and colours that come in two basic sizes.

The garden wall size is the most common, and these are somewhat smaller blocks about 12in long and 4in high. These are best used for accent walls around a garden or yard and can be built up to roughly 30 inches in height. For the purposes of building a raised planter or for terracing, these are the perfect choice. They give a pleasing, yet permanent feel to a landscaping area. They are available at most home centres and are very lightweight and easy to install. A wall using these blocks can be built very easily by a do-it-yourself person over a weekend.

For walls that are heavy duty, to be built up to 30 ft tall, you would use a variety of full sized blocks. These are 16 to 18 inches long and 6 to 8 inches high, and can weigh from 50 to 75 pounds. They are usually available at most landscape yards. It is a big job to work with blocks of this size, and it usually best to professionals. There is usually a good bit of excavation that will need to be done, and tons of soil will have to be moved, so this is more of a job for the pros.

Retaining walls which are made of blocks are attractive and functional at the same time. Blocks are perfect for shaping and controlling different levels of land space, and bringing those differences together into one design. They wall can be graded, or vertical depending upon the space provided and needed. The different designs and styles of the blocks can differ as much as the imagination allows.

The strength of blocks ensures that there will be no landslide in wet weather as well as being able to be anchored well enough in soils that expand and contract, such as clay soils. A block retaining wall is perfect when property is on different levels and a line of demarcation is intended to offset the looks as well as the keeping of soil in its place. If you are planning a retaining wall of any kind, you can contact a block contractor, or even your local home store, who will have access to local builders who will be able to build it for you.

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Selecting A Proper Retaining Wall Contractor

Its another morning you wake up to, and you have the urge and the desire to put up a retaining wall. Unfortunately you know you don’t have the expertise nor the knowledge for such a project, so you want to be sure it is handled by a proper engineer. Where do you even start looking, and how do you go about selecting a retaining wall contractor? Well why don’t we go ahead and look at the answer to these questions. As we do, be sure to have a pen and paper handy to jot down all of those important retaining details.

To begin, no one wants a bad installation, or an incorrect wall set up, because you will be reminded of the defect every time you look at it. So it is important not only to have a contractor do the job, but be sure to interview a few to find the right person for the job. Here are a few points to keep in mind when hiring a contractor.

Always check to see if the contractor has a license, you don’t want to be fooled by some Joe Schmo trying to get your money. Ask to see a portfolio of completed jobs, this will give you a good orientation as to whether he does quality work. Ask for a detailed drawing of the project, to see if your expectations are well understood. Always check for his workman’s comp insurance to be sure he is well insured (we don’t want any accidents). Don’t let your payments get ahead of the work, and never, never, never pay the final payment until the job is done.

If you keep these few but important principles in mind, you can be sure to have a quality project done on your home.

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Beautify A Landscape With Popular Stone Retaining Walls

An unused portion of a backyard, driveway, garden or other outdoor space has potential. Fill that potential up by building a hardscape with popular stone choices. Retaining walls are easy projects to do and they offer more than just a beautiful focal point. They often serve a functional purpose to help prevent erosion or flooding.

Take stock of the outdoor area that requires improvement. Consider all the ways a retaining wall or even a border, in the case of a garden, can add beauty as well as help maintain the area and protect it. Then, decide to build a retaining wall using popular stones.

It is easy to do the project yourself, or you can hire a professional to help install the wall for you. It might be possible to keep a small garden in place and accentuate its beauty with a small circle of the stones of your choosing. This project does not require elaborate blueprints. A large retaining wall that is intended to accent a driveway, or encircle a patio area, needs a design.

The wall needs to be built to last and it needs to be safe. Before launching into a project, determine if you will require help. Do not let your imagination stop at just one project. Look and see where adding a retaining wall might help open an outdoor space up, giving your outdoor area more room than you thought you had.

A retaining wall can be built on just about any budget. Popular stone choices range in colors, textures and materials. Part of the look of your finished project will be determined by the arrangement of the stones in the structure. They can be stacked, staggered and arranged in ways that add a beautiful touch that is uniquely yours.

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What Are The Advantages Of Brick Retaining Walls?

There are lots of different materials that you could use to build a retaining wall around part of your property. You might choose cement, sandstone, or bricks. There are some advantages to choosing bricks as a retaining wall building material, and that is why bricks remain a very popular choice.

For one thing, bricks are easy to obtain, and they are also relatively cheap. It is also easy to find the mortar that holds the bricks together. If you do not estimate correctly, and find that you need more of these solid blocks to complete your project, it should be simple enough to get another load of bricks too. This is also true if you want to start with a smaller project, but you also want to leave your options open to expand your project later.

You can choose different sizes of bricks for your walls In general, experts would usually advise you to select smaller bricks for smaller walls and larger bricks for larger walls. There is not one particular rule about this though. The advantage of large bricks is that you need less of them to complete your project!

The next advantage of using bricks is that they come in very uniform sizes. This is not true of natural materials, like sandstone. These uniform brick sizes can make it a lot easier for a novice to complete a nice looking retaining wall without a lot of fuss.

Finally, brick retaining walls look nice. You can select them in different textures and colors, so you can give your wall a nice look to complement the rest of the buildings on your property. You can make a brick wall that looks country, rustic, primitive, or even modern. Brick walls are a good choice because of their beauty, durability, and ease of use.

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Sandstone Retaining Wall Advantages

What Are The Advantages Of Sandstone Retaining Walls?

You can build a retaining wall out of natural sandstone right on your own property. The first reason that you might want to consider this material is that it is naturally beautiful. Because of its warm tones, it has been used as a traditional material for centuries. Sandstone can add a timeless beauty to your property.

Because it is naturally porous, this material is a great choice for retaining walls. It won’t form a dyke that holds too much water in, but will absorb water so it can drain away harmlessly. In the rare occasion when excessive water pressure damages this type of wall, it is usually very easy to repair.

If you decide to build a brick or cement block retaining wall, you have to sink footing below the frost-line. You do not need to worry about this with natural sandstone walls. So you might choose this natural material because it is much easier to work with.

You can purchase sandstone that is cut in uniform blocks. You might also choose stones that are natural, and this can create a more rustic and natural look. Even if you end up constructing your wall out of randomly shaped stones, you will get a very natural and beautiful look.

However, you might save flat stones for the top of your wall. You can get flat capstones, and these are used to help give your wall a finished look. They are also used to help hold the rest of the stones in place.

If you want to build a very large wall and have no experience building with stone, you might be better off engaging the services of professionals. Otherwise, you can purchase your materials and work on a small project to gain experience for yourself.

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