Retaining wall: the best designs, popular types, modern materials and installation features (85 photos)
Terrain slopes on the site complicate land use, in addition, seasonal soil slides and drainage problems harm buildings and communications. With a skillful approach, these disadvantages will become an advantage. Terracing and construction of retaining walls will not only solve technical problems — leveled sites will expand the possibilities of land cultivation, but will also become the basis for creating your own Gardens of Semiramis with original landscaping.
The selection of the building material for the supports depends on the features of the relief and the design style. Logs and beams, concrete, hard rocks, bricks and various types of building blocks can be used for retaining walls.
Retaining structures are erected on plots of land whose slope is more than 8 degrees.
At the first stage, you need to decide on the scale of changes in the relief: calculate the number of steps, and decide on building materials.
Amateurs can erect walls with a height of no more than 1-1.5 meters, the device of retaining walls of greater height should be entrusted to a professional. Their help will also be required if the groundwater on the land plot is at a depth of less than one and a half meters. It is also difficult to build retaining structures on sandy unstable ground.
The structure of the support wall consists of a foundation, a vertical part and drainage. The size of the foundation depends on the weight of the wall and the quality of the soil. The harder the soil, the lower the depth of the foundation. On loose soils, the foundation becomes virtually equal in height with the outer part of the support.
To ensure the stability of the wall, to prevent collapse and distortion, it is given a slight slope towards the embankment. In the center of the long support structures, special protrusions are built – unloading platforms that use vertical pressure to increase the stability of the wall. To protect against water, a cornice or a visor can be installed along the upper edge.
Terraces made of stone
The wall made of natural stone will become a strong frame and a pleasant decoration of the site. The width of the foundation should be 2-3 times the width of the wall, the depth is about a third of the outer part of the support.
When calculating the depth of the trench for the retaining wall, the thickness of the sand and gravel cushion is taken into account. After the bottom is filled with a pillow, the concrete is poured at such a level that the first layer of masonry is half below the surface. Drainage can be done in two ways. Place the pipe at the base of the wall, or leave several horizontal drain holes in it.
Then you can proceed to the main stage of laying. From the bottom up, large stones are placed first, the coupling is carried out with concrete. You can also choose the option of dry masonry, in which the stones are laid out without bonding material. Their cracks are filled with soil, in which plants will germinate in the future.
It is necessary to avoid long vertical seams and cross-shaped joints between the stones. For strength, the wall can be given a small (up to 10 degrees) the slope. Additional support will be the sharp edges of the stones, deepened in the lateral soil.
Such structures themselves look picturesque, but you can also apply additional decoration to them by placing plants in crevices, or covering the surface with decorative moss.
Retaining walls made of concrete
Depending on the area of the terrace and the characteristics of the soil, the concrete support can be from 25 cm to half a meter thick. At a third of its height, the wall is buried in the ground. When erecting structures above a meter, fittings are used.
In addition to drainage by means of discharge pipes, it is necessary to undertake additional sealing of the surface from the slope side by lubricating it with a special solution. After drying, the space between the concrete and the ground is filled with crushed stone and gravel.
The unassuming-looking concrete opens up a wide scope for imagination. It can be faced with ceramic tiles, decorated with stone or covered with plaster. Retaining walls made of concrete are the perfect backdrop for a design using ampel plants.
Brick walls on the plot
Strong varieties of solid brick are used for retaining walls. The dimensions of the foundation are calculated similarly to stone buildings. At a height not exceeding 60 cm, the wall thickness is half a brick – 12 cm. At a height of 60 to 1 meter – the thickness of a brick.
Gabions for retaining walls
Gabions are peculiar metal containers filled with stones. They are semi-finished products for assembling the wall using brackets and spirals.
Any stone can become a filler: large decorative pieces are laid out on the outside, the inside of the cage can be filled with crushed stone and gravel. The mesh, fasteners, as well as special pins for fixing on the ground are made of galvanized steel.
Wooden retaining structures
A retaining wall made of logs or large beams is easy to make with your own hands, it looks extremely attractive, but, due to its short duration, requires periodic repairs.
The tree needs to be treated with waterproofing and antifungal agents. Half of the log, which will be located underground, can be fired and bitumen coated, the outer decorative part is treated with special impregnations and varnishes.
For the construction of masonry, a trench is torn out of wood, the bottom of which is covered with a drainage cushion for 10 cm. Then the logs are half their height installed inside the moat, fixed to each other with wire and nails and filled with gravel and crushed stone for stability. You can also apply horizontal masonry.
Before you strengthen the retaining wall with concrete, you need to make drainage by placing longitudinal or transverse pipes at its base. The trench is filled with concrete at the level of 10 cm from the edges. For the side adjacent to the ground, an additional moisture-resistant layer of materials used in roofing waterproofing will be required.
Wall of tires
The choice of tires as a building material for fences and terraces is a good application of the idea of recycling. The construction technology involves stepped masonry on piles. As you can see in the photo, a suburban area with a retaining wall of tires can look neat and stylish.
Photo of the retaining wall