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If you need to install a retaining wall on your property the type of material you select will have a direct impact on your wallet so it would be wise to follow this advice. Concrete is a durable material but it is not the only one that is available. For the sake of easy reading we will list a material and compare it to concrete so you can perform your own “apples to apples” review.
This first item is one of the most common types of materials used in retaining walls. Wood is a very inexpensive material to use when building a retaining wall. A drawback of wood is that you are limited to retaining walls that are four (4) feet or lower. If your retaining wall is over 4 feet then wood is not recommended. Another drawback with wood is the risk of it rotting which will happen over time.
With concrete you have the ability to construct retaining walls well over four feet without having to worry about rot.
- Stone Veneer
With stone veneer, you can design just about any look you want and it will enhance the appearance of your property. The challenge with this type of material is you will require the help of a landscaping architect to design it. Along with the landscape architect to design the plans you will require a considerable amount of expertise.
This option is expensive and requires expert installation unlike concrete which can be installed easily provided you know how to create the wooden forms to handle the poured concrete.
The metal wire that is used to construct the gabion will eventually rust and deteriorate so you will need to budget for repairs at 10 year intervals. Along with the cost of these repairs you also have to factor in that the fill contained in the gabion can shift, creating gaps in the structural integrity of the wall.
With concrete retaining walls you don’t have to worry about rust and deterioration, not to mention structural degradation due to movement of the construction material.
- Dry Stones
While eye appealing, the use of dry stones will present problems if you live in an area where there is a considerable amount of water flowing during the spring thaw. Since these stones do not allow water to flow easily, you will have to battle erosion and the high costs associated with repairing the stones when they become dislodged.
Brick is one of the more traditional materials used in building a retaining wall. The cost of bricks can be prohibitive and it requires specialized knowledge, so this is another material that is difficult to install on your own.
With concrete you can easily install it and it is affordable not to mention durable. If you need to build a retaining wall and want the greatest possible value for your money you should go with these concrete retaining walls. You will be happy you invested in this awesome building material.