Retaining a Budget in the Midst of Building a Retaining Wall
If you’re a wise homeowner, you know well the importance of creating a budget for all things home related, whether they’re inside your home our outdoor features. Retaining walls are something that definitely need to be budgeted for, as the materials and design you choose can vary greatly and leave you in a hole if you haven’t planned properly.
In budgeting, it’s key to realize that retaining walls are not a DIY project. These are structures that need special care in proper design and construction, so it’s best to leave things to the pros. At Executive Landscaping, Inc., we have years of experience in building retaining walls and incorporating them into the landscaping in beautiful ways. We want the homeowners we work with to feel that their yard is a masterpiece, and our retaining walls are truly a work of art.
Well-Built Budgets for Well-Built Walls
Materials that allow proper draining are essential in properly constructing a retaining wall. Gravel and other drainage materials should be always be used, but using enough of them is also critical to ensuring that the walls will last. If you’re working with a contractor who gives you an estimate for your project that seems unbelievably low, it’s safe to assume that he’s not planning to use the proper amount of drainage materials. Do your homework and make sure that everything is accounted for so that you won’t have to make costly repairs that you haven’t been able to budget for.
The reason that drainage structures in a retaining wall are so important is that moisture will be sucked up into the stonework if it isn’t given proper passage away from the structure itself. Built up moisture will compromise the structure and require repair far sooner than it should, especially in areas where extreme climate changes occur and winter brings hard freezes – and as evidenced this year – even Florida has hard freezes! Frozen water means split stones, which translates into damaged retaining walls as the moisture trapped in the stones expands.
Retaining Wall Cost Considerations
The wall materials you choose will range in cost, but there are options in price ranges that will fit the budget you have in mind. Interlocking concrete blocks are usually $15-$30 per square foot, while wood is slightly less expensive at $20-$25 per square foot. Stone
commonly costs $25-$40 per square foot and poured concrete usually costs $30-$40 per square foot.
Other factors affecting the cost of retaining walls include:
· Location. Areas prone to extreme weather or earthquakes risk will generally require a greater amount of structural reinforcement as well as more extensive waterproofing.
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· Spoils. Walls that are larger or have extensive engineered footings will first require a great deal of excavation in order to install them properly. The removal of the excavated terrain – or “spoils” – has the potential to drive costs up exponentially, and the amount of fill needed behind the wall will also increase the cost.
· Veneer Material. If you’ve selected a stone veneer for your retaining wall, you’ll need a stonemason to install it, which adds higher labor costs to your overall budget.
· Soil. Vast areas of soil or bedrock can drive up the cost of excavation as well as the cost of the foundation size.
· Steps. If you want to add steps to a retaining wall, it can also significantly “step up” the cost of the wall.
· Access. Easy access to the site of the wall by workers and those delivering your materials means that the price of your project will be less expensive than in cases where access is harder to navigate. If materials must be carried by hand rather than allowing the use of equipment, the price will go up as a result.
· Fill material. Filling the backside of a retaining wall against the slope or anywhere that raised planters with retaining walls need to be filled will require topsoil. Bringing that amount of topsoil onsite can equate to a great amount of labor if your site has limited access and doesn’t allow the use of heavy equipment for a more quick and simple dump-and-fill job.
Give the team of experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc. a call today to learn more about the retaining wall masterpiece we can create for you!