The slopes of the terrain on the site make land use difficult, in addition, seasonal ground slides and drainage problems harm structures and utilities. With a skillful approach, these disadvantages will be an advantage. Terracing and construction of retaining walls will not only solve technical problems – leveled sites will expand the possibilities of land cultivation, but also become the basis for the creation of their own Gardens of Semiramis with the original landscape design.
The selection of building material for supports depends on the topography and design style. Logs and beams, concrete, hard rocks, bricks and different types of building blocks can be used for retaining walls.
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Retaining structures are erected on areas of land with a slope greater than 8 degrees.
The first step is to determine the scale of changes in the terrain: calculate the number of steps, and decide on the construction materials.
Amateurs can erect walls not more than 1-1.5 meters in height, the device of retaining walls of greater height should be entrusted to professionals. Their help will also be required if 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 soil.
The design of a retaining wall consists of a foundation, a vertical part and a drainage. The size of the foundation depends on the weight of the wall and the quality of the soil. The harder the soil, the shallower the depth of the foundation. On loose soils, the foundation becomes virtually equal in height to 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 supporting structures, special ledges are built – unloading platforms, which use vertical pressure to increase the stability of the wall. To protect against water at the top edge, you can install a cornice or a canopy.
A wall made of natural stone will be a strong frame and a pleasing to the eye decoration of the site. The width of the foundation should be 2-3 times the width of the wall, the depth is equal to about a third of the outer part of the retaining wall.
When calculating the depth of the trench for the retaining wall, the thickness of the cushion of sand and gravel is taken into account. After the bottom is filled with the cushion, 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 a pipe at the base of the wall, or leave a few horizontal holes in it for drainage.
Then the main stage of masonry can begin. The large stones are placed from the bottom to the top, and the concrete is used to bind them together. Dry masonry can also be chosen, where the stones are laid without bonding material. Their gaps are filled with soil in which plants will later grow.
Long vertical joints and cross joints between stones should be avoided. For strength, the wall can be given a slight (up to 10 degrees) slope. Additional support will be sharp edges of stones deepened in the side soil.
Such structures themselves look picturesque, but also to them you can apply additional decoration, placing plants in the cracks, or covering the surface with decorative moss.
Concrete retaining walls
Depending on the terrace area and soil features, a concrete retaining wall can be from 25 cm to half a meter thick. One third of its height, the wall is buried in the ground. When erecting structures higher than one meter reinforcements are used.
In addition to drainage by means of drainage pipes, it is necessary to undertake additional sealing of the surface on the side of the slope by smearing it with a special mortar. After drying, the space between the concrete and the ground is filled with crushed stone and gravel.
Unpretentious concrete opens up a wide range of imagination. It can be tiled with ceramic tiles, decorated with stone or covered with plaster. Concrete retaining walls are the perfect backdrop for ampelous plant designs.
Brick walls on the property
Strong varieties of solid bricks are used for retaining walls. The dimensions of the foundation are calculated similarly to stone structures. If the height does not exceed 60 cm, the thickness of the wall is half a brick – 12 cm. When the 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 a wall using staples and spirals.
The filler can be any stone: large decorative pieces are laid on the outside, the inside of the cell can be filled with crushed stone and gravel. Mesh, fasteners, as well as special pins for fixing to the ground are made of galvanized steel.
Wooden retaining structures
A retaining wall made of logs or large logs is easy to make with your own hands, it looks extremely attractive, but, due to its short life, it requires periodic repair.
The wood should be treated with waterproofing and antifungal agents. Half of the log, which will be underground, can be subjected to firing and bitumen coating, the outer decorative part is treated with special impregnants and varnishes.
To erect the masonry from the wood, a trench is dug, the bottom of which for 10 cm is covered with a drainage cushion. Then the logs are placed half their height inside the trench, secured to each other with wires and nails and covered with gravel and crushed stone for stability. Horizontal masonry can also be used.
Before reinforcing the retaining wall with concrete, it is necessary to make drainage by placing longitudinal or transverse pipes at its base. The trench is poured with concrete at 10 cm from the edges. For the side adjacent to the ground will require an additional moisture-resistant layer of materials used in the roof waterproofing.
Choosing tires as a construction material for fences and terraces is not a bad application of the idea of recycling. The construction technology involves staggered masonry on piles. As you can see in the photo, a cottage plot with a retaining wall made of tires can look neat and stylish.
Photo of the retaining wall