WHEN DO I NEED A RETAINING WALL?
Retaining walls are used for the purpose of preventing soil erosion in an uneven section of land. Other uses include; privacy, security and noise barriers in high traffic areas.
LANDSCAPE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
Factors to consider when planning your retaining wall and outdoor living space include; design & lifestyle, budget and project planning. Next, we look at these in a little more detail.
DESIGN & LIFESTYLE
Much like an architectural plan for your indoor living space, your outdoor living space requires similar planning. A good starting point is to consider the primary lifestyle needs you're seeking from your space. For backyard areas, this might include entertaining space, a play area for your kids, and/or space for you to relax and unwind. For both your front and backyard, it's also important to assess maintenance requirements, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. To reduce maintenance time, consider adding an automatic watering system, and option low maintenance plants such as succulents. To stop weeds becoming the bane of your weekend relaxation time, add mulch and/or black plastic to your garden bed. If you have a pool, consider a heat-safe artificial grass vs having to clean up grass clippings.
When it comes to design, you don't want your retaining wall looking like an eyesore. To avoid this in your backyard, you could use the retaining wall as a backdrop to your dream BBQ area, add a stylish water feature, and/or garden bed. Your retaining wall could also be used to display outdoor artwork. If retaining walls are required in your front yard, and the design fits your style, consider multi-layered walls with stairs leading to your front door.
For inspirational design ideas, Pinterest and magazines are a great reference.
Once you've designed your outdoor "dream space", it's time to cost it up. If you're working with a limited budget, never fear, your budget plan can be structured in two groups; "immediate need" and "delayed can do's". As the saying goes "Rome wasn't built in a day", so don't feel you have to do everything all at once.
When costing your project, consider auctions and sales to reduce your expenses, and remember to factor delivery fees. It's also important to use insured licensed contractors.
This is the stage where you consider which order project tasks and installations need to take place. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your project management list:
- Does your landscape plan include lighting, electric gates & telecom systems? If yes, consider which stage of your project an electrician is needed.
- In addition to your retaining wall, consider other aspects of your landscaping which requires concreting. For example; will your design include stairs? If including shed or spa, do you need a concrete slab for these inclusions? Does your driveway still need to be installed?
- Is your retaining wall at the entry point of your property? If yes, should a letterbox be included in your design?
- Consider if your retaining wall & other design aspects of your outdoor living space require council approval.
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