A Thing Of Beauty: Using A Retaining Wall As A Drainage Solution

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Retaining walls are remarkable things. A true engineering feat that came into existence shortly after mankind packed up his favorite possessions, moved into his first house, and decided to try his hand at gardening. Floods came. Droughts came. Mankind realized he needed to move water from one place to another and keep it from washing away his house and garden in the process.

A wall. He decided. We need a wall.

So he built the first retaining walls. Those retaining walls either kept the water where it was or routed it to places where it was needed. Since then, those walls have been used to keep hills in place, protect homes and driveways from water damage, stopped the ocean from washing away beach houses, and made gardening on slopes not only doable, but improved crop outcome in environments with little rain.

Big Bend Landscaping considers them a thing of beauty. They are useful, attractive solutions for homeowners with ticklish landscaping problems. What’s more, they can serve combined purposes. When you use a retaining wall as a drainage solution, you’re not limited to just solving that problem.

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways retaining walls can serve double-duty.

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erosion control

Slopes are often problematic for homeowners. A home placed at the bottom of a hill is the recipient of run-off during heavy rains. Patios, driveways, the foundation of the house, are all subject to damage from pooling water and mud-slides. Property that slopes away from the home is impossible to keep sodded, a pain to mow, and sets the homeowner up for a liability if the run-off (water, soil, or rock) runs into roadways or neighbors’ properties.

Trees planted on slopes are often victims of erosion, weakening their root systems, setting them up for disease, and are more likely to fall over during storms.

A carefully placed retaining wall can prevent all of these issues. Not only can one redirect run-off, it holds topsoil in place, protecting your lawn, trees, and the structures on your property, be it your driveway, or your home.

retaining walls as gardening tools

When you rely on a retaining wall as a drainage solution, it provides the added benefits of keeping water where you want it to stay and can double as a raised bed for your favorite plants. When used carefully, it protects the roots and trunk of trees from erosion and other damage.

Retaining walls can also increase usable gardening space by leveling out sections of your yard so you can fill it with plants and trees. And in the case of an extreme slope, they can be used to terrace the hill, creating interesting and attractive spaces, interspersed with pathways and steps, that allow you to plant your favorite flowers, shrubs, or even vegetables.

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retaining walls as extra seating

Parties and family gatherings are a wonderful way to enjoy your outdoor living space, patio, and yard. But logistics, like locating enough seating, can sometimes be a headache. Especially if you want to use your fire pit or fireplace as a focal point or encourage people to sit on your patio while eating

Enter the short retaining wall or seating wall. This nifty landscaping tool provides homeowners with a flat surface, doubling as a place to seat guests, set serving dishes, and outdoor ornaments.

Big Bend Landscaping often discusses this added benefit with homeowners who are asking us about using a retaining wall as a drainage solution. It affects where we put the wall and how it’s designed.

We also have customers who just want us to create seating walls for them and we are happy to accommodate them too. Seating walls are especially useful around fire pits and fire places as they are fire-safe and permanent. Unlike most lawn furniture, paver seating walls look great for years to come, and there’s less furniture to store at the end of the season.

retaining walls as boundary markers

Retaining walls can create a sense of boundaries between separate areas of your home and yard. This discourages unwanted traffic across your lawn and through flowerbeds, funneling people down walkways. When used around the edges of eating areas and outdoor kitchens, it can work as an attractive safety feature, preventing children and adults from running through prep areas.

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Increase patio size

Relying on a retaining wall as a drainage solution not only protects your patio and home from unwanted water damage, it also allows you to have a larger patio by reshaping the slope in your yard regardless of how steep it is, creating space for your outdoor living space, kitchen, and/or fire pit. With the slope “pushed back” and no danger of pooling water, you’ll be able to sit on your patio alone or with family and friends, and enjoy mornings with coffee, evenings with cool drinks, and conversation.

Thinking about using a retaining wall as a drainage solution?

Big Bend Landscaping builds retaining walls of all shapes and sizes. And when you need a retaining wall as a drainage solution, we are your best option.

Why? We’re glad you asked! Big Bend Landscaping only works with the highest quality products, do all of the work ourselves (no subcontracting, unless you want a pavilion or a fence). Our team can be counted on to give you exactly what you want. We don’t do generic. Your outdoor living features won’t look like anyone else’s because we know exactly what questions to ask and listen to the customer. In addition, Big Bend Landscaping relies on excellent companies like Belgard, Romanstone, BP, and Pavestone because their pavers are covered by five-year guarantees.

We can help you create something special that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Just give us a call!

Our company has over 60 five-star reviews on Google and an A+ rating with the BBB. We are experts in our field and we make sure our crews are too! Our crews have a Level 1 certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association. Check out our testimonials to see what our customers want you to know. We serve St. Louis metro, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Glendale, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Des Peres, Fenton and the outlying areas.

When we come out to visit with you, we will ask you questions and provide a CAD drawing to ensure that our vision matches yours. From the time you say yes, we handle everything—from permits to subcontractors, if needed — all you have to do is sit back and watch. Our crews are on time—every-time—and you can count on quality workmanship. We only use the best materials from companies that offer lifetime guarantees

Big Bend Landscaping knows how to help you make the most of your home and yard. When you’re ready to talk about your patio, walkway, or any other outdoor feature, check out our website for more details and contact us for more information!