A retaining wall has many uses, from preventing erosion, creating plantable areas, providing usable land for practical and recreational purposes, and even adding an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to a backyard.
One of the most common building materials for retaining walls on residential properties is wood. It is cheap and widely available, easy to build, and provides a natural aesthetically pleasing look.
Here are some design ideas for wood retaining walls so you can start planning for that dream backyard and curb appeal and be the envy of your neighbors.
You can choose your ideal design based on structure, placement, and timber size, as well as styling and finishing.
The basic structure of retaining walls can be straight or curved, depending on the properties of the land and its sloping, the area you want to place the wall on, and how you want it to look like.
The most common retaining walls are straight and simple. These can be one long wall along the side or the back of your property (or even the front, if your house is elevated from the road), or formed by two to three adjoining sides.
However, a retaining wall does not always have to follow a boring linear design. With proper engineering and a bit of creativity, a gentle curving design can be created with wood for an aesthetically pleasing retaining wall.
How you place the wood also affects the overall look of the wall. Horizontal lines make the property look wider, and blend easier with the environment. On the other hand, vertical lines create a sense of height as well as imitate the look of trees.
It is important to note that how you choose to place the wood translates to different kinds of retaining walls. Placing them horizontally makes a fence-like wall, while vertically placed timbers means doing a pillar type wall and calls for a different installation process.
Timber Size Designs
Even the size of timber you use gives off different final appearances to your retaining wall.
Log sized timbers can be faster, albeit heavier, to install, and looks more natural, while smaller timbers like 2x4s make for a more fence-like streamlined look, but takes more work to install.
You can also opt to work with different sizes for a more modern and abstract appeal. You can do this by mixing different widths, lengths, and thicknesses of wood to give your retaining wall more texture. Take note, however, that this is extremely time consuming, and if not done properly, can sacrifice the structural integrity of the wall.
The overall design of a retaining wall also depends on what purpose it will serve.
If you simply want to increase the usable flat land area in your property, a basic retaining wall will do the job. But if the wall would serve other purposes, there are other options on how you can design and style it as well.
A retaining wall also doubling as a fence around your property can be made with added fixtures on top, such as beams, mini fences, spikes and grills, and so on- whatever you would normally add on top of a regular fence.
If you want to create segregated areas for gardening, you can do a terrace type retaining wall. This is made by installing small walls that can be as short as a foot, spaced at least two feet apart, on a ladder-like pattern throughout the area you want to plant on.
Finally, just because you are working with wood, it doesn't mean that your retaining wall has to be a plain old brown.
Retaining walls can also be stained or painted to add a pop of color and blend better with the overall look of the rest of your property.
Pittsburgh Retaining Wall Pros is a professional and reliable contractor for retaining wall services and hardscaping solutions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For assistance or emergency repairs, we have a crew ready to assist in every way.
Check out our website at pittsburghretainingwallpros.com for a list of our services, and don’t hesitate to call us at (724) 305-3332 to get a free quote.