Pros and Cons of Retaining Walls You Hadn’t Thought Of

Pros and Cons of Retaining Walls You Hadn’t Thought Of

If you are among the masses that love making pros and cons lists and want to know all about retaining walls, this is the article for you. 

What is a Retaining Wall? 

If you’re unfamiliar with landscaping terms, you may be asking yourself. “What is a retaining wall?” Here is a general description of what a retaining wall is and its functionality as part of your landscaping: 

A retaining wall is a structure designed to hold back soil and other materials, preventing them from sliding down a slope or hill. They are commonly used in landscaping and construction to create level areas in sloped landscapes, prevent erosion, and redirect water flow. 

Retaining walls can be made from various materials such as concrete, stone, brick, or wood and can be designed in different styles and sizes to fit the specific needs of a landscape. When properly constructed, retaining walls can be durable and long-lasting, helping to protect your property from potential damage and providing a functional and visually appealing addition to your landscaping.

Now for a deeper dive into the pros and cons: 

Pros – Here are ten potential pros of installing retaining walls in your landscaping:

  1. Increased Usable Space – By holding back soil and other materials, retaining walls can create level areas in sloped landscapes, making previously unusable space available for gardening, entertaining, or other activities.
  2. Erosion Control – Retaining walls help prevent soil erosion, protecting your property and preventing damage to nearby structures.
  3. Improved Drainage – Retaining walls can redirect water flow and prevent flooding, which can help protect your property from water damage.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal – Retaining walls can add visual interest to your landscaping and can be designed in various styles and materials to complement the existing features of your property.
  5. Increased Property Value – A well-designed and properly installed retaining wall can add value to your property, potentially improving your resale value.
  6. Improved Accessibility – By creating level areas in sloped landscapes, retaining walls can make navigating your property easier for people with mobility issues.
  7. Reduced Maintenance – Retaining walls can reduce the maintenance required for sloped landscapes since they help prevent soil erosion and other related issues.
  8. Privacy – Retaining walls can create a barrier or boundary between your property and adjacent properties or public areas, potentially improving your privacy.
  9. Durability – When properly designed and constructed, retaining walls can be durable and long lasting, requiring little maintenance.
  10. Customization – Retaining walls can be customized to fit your property’s specific needs and aesthetic preferences, with various materials, colors, and styles available to choose from.

Cons – While retaining walls can be a valuable and attractive addition to a landscaping project, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. Here are ten potential cons of installing retaining walls:

  1. Cost – Retaining walls can be expensive to install, especially if you want a high-quality, durable wall made from materials such as stone or concrete.
  2. Maintenance – Retaining walls may require regular maintenance, such as cleaning or repairing cracks, to ensure they remain effective and safe.
  3. Drainage Issues – If the retaining wall is not installed properly, it can create drainage issues and potentially cause water damage to your property.
  4. Soil Erosion – If the retaining wall fails, it can cause soil erosion, damaging your landscaping and potentially harming nearby structures or property.
  5. Limited Space – Retaining walls can take up valuable space in your yard, potentially limiting your ability to use that area for other purposes.
  6. Potential Safety Hazards – If the retaining wall is not designed or constructed properly, it can pose a safety hazard, especially if it is located in an area where people or vehicles are present.
  7. Visual Impact – While some people find retaining walls attractive, others may not like how they look and feel they detract from the natural beauty of their landscaping.
  8. The Difficulty of Installation – Depending on the size and complexity of the project, installing a retaining wall can be a time-consuming and difficult process.
  9. Permitting and Regulatory Requirements – Depending on the location and size of the retaining wall, you may need to obtain permits or comply with specific regulatory requirements, which can add time and expense to the project.
  10. Potential Property Value Impacts – While a well-designed and properly installed retaining wall can add value to your property, a poorly constructed or unattractive wall could potentially detract from your property’s value.

Even after all the pros and cons, the best piece of information you need about installing retaining walls on your property is the following: 

Hire a Professional 

There are several reasons why you should let a professional install your retaining walls in your yard:

  1. Expertise – Professional landscapers and contractors have the expertise and experience to properly design and install retaining walls, ensuring they are structurally sound and meet all necessary safety requirements.
  2. Safety – Retaining walls can be heavy and difficult to install and potentially pose safety hazards if improperly installed. A professional installer can help ensure the wall is constructed safely and securely.
  3. Building Codes – Depending on your location and the size and type of wall you plan to install, there may be specific building codes and regulations that you must follow. A professional installer will be familiar with these requirements and can ensure that the wall is compliant.
  4. Quality Materials – A professional installer will have access to high-quality materials and equipment, ensuring that the retaining wall is made from durable materials that will withstand the test of time.
  5. Cost-Effective – While it may be tempting to attempt a DIY installation to save money, fixing mistakes or repairing damage caused by an improperly installed retaining wall can be far greater than hiring a professional in the first place.
  6. Aesthetics – Retaining walls can be a visually appealing addition to your landscaping, and a professional installer can help ensure that the wall is designed and constructed to enhance the natural beauty of your property.

Hiring a professional to install your retaining walls can help ensure the wall is safe, structurally sound, and aesthetically pleasing while potentially saving you time and money in the long run.

LaytonScape has a full staff of trained professionals that have installed retaining walls as a part of landscaping designs all over northern Utah. Contact us today, and let’s start building your perfect retaining walls.