Does my yard really need a retaining wall?

Offering reliable landscaping services to homeowners in British Columbia since 2013

Natasha Maerz

Natasha Maerz

Owner/Office Manager

Life is full of expenses, some we want to make, and some we NEED to make. We want to buy a new car, or go on that vacation we have been dreaming of. We need to buy food, gas, and pay our mortgage.

It might sound silly to say that a homeowner would need to buy a retaining wall, but in some cases (every yard and space is different) a retaining wall is a must have, not a want to have.

Let’s compare a retaining wall to a roof. When your roof is failing, you really have no choice but to get it fixed. If you put it off, you are looking at a dangerous situation (your roof failing), more damage (water getting into your home, causing water damage) and costly repairs. Do you really enjoy spending money to get your roof fixed? Probably not, but it is what it is.

Becoming a homeowner is a big deal, and while there are endless amounts of amazing things that come along with owning your own home, there are usually things that need to be done and up-kept, whether we want to do them or not.

 

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Retaining walls are one of those things that homeowners may not have the option to do.

Infrastructure

Retaining walls, just like driveways, roofs, and re-siding your home, are all things that are part of the infrastructure of your property.

We know that retaining walls do what their name says, retain soil, but does a yard really need a retaining wall?

Old retaining walls falling over

One of the biggest reasons that a homeowner needs a retaining wall is that their current retaining wall is failing. Even if a wall is “slightly” failing, homeowners should get the wall replaced sooner than later.

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Why should a failing retaining wall be replaced?

Retaining walls that are failing can cause big problems when they do eventually fall over. When a retaining wall fails, it will collapse, and all of that soil that the retaining wall was holding back, has now been set free.

This means that your home, patio, yard, or whatever else is near your old retaining wall, can become damaged. Not to mention that there is a risk that someone can be seriously hurt when the wall fails!

What is the difference between replacing a wall before it has fallen over vs. waiting until it has fallen over?

Preventative maintenance is always better than waiting for something to fail. If the wall is still standing when a contractor comes to replace it, it will be easier for machines to remove the old retaining wall material, and there will be less soil to haul away.

This is because the old wall was still there holding the soil up, even if it was just barely doing its job.

Also, waiting for the wall to fail may add more on to your bill. This is due to the extra soil that will need to be hauled away, access issues to the site of where the wall is, and possible remediation of whatever the old wall and soil that was being retained damaged (patio, home etc.).

Value to your home

Another reason why homeowners need a retaining wall built is the simple fact that they need more yard space. Most homes are now being built on mountains because we are running out of flat useable space to build houses on, and most of those homes have little to no yard space.

It seems like most homeowners’ issues with their yard is that they do not have useable yard space for their children to play, or to entertain family and friends in.

When this is the case, the options are to either create more useable space, or buy a new home.

While I am sure that the idea of buying a new home is appealing to all of us, not all of us can afford to buy one.

Retaining walls are a fantastic option for anyone that is looking to create more useable space in their yard.

 

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Retaining walls change the entire look of a backyard

While a retaining walls main job is to retain soil, and create more useable yard space for homeowners, they really change the look of a backyard.

Retaining walls that are built correctly create a stunning focal point for any yard. Whether they are built out of wood, Allan Block, or boulders, retaining walls do a great job of adding to the beauty of a landscape.

So, does your yard really need a retaining wall? If you want to protect your home and its surroundings, want to save money in the long run, have more useable yard space, and have a backyard that you can be proud of, then absolutely you do!