Keystone Retaining Walls for Your Home Landscape
A keystone retaining wall can easily hold back a hillside and is an excellent choice to turn a steep slope into a livable space. And while it presents options as an attractive and durable hardscape, it can also be easier on the budget than other choices. The key is to pay attention to the basics.
It’s true that we sometimes see a retaining wall that looks plain like it’s just a few dozen stones stacked together. Though large retaining wall blocks aren’t always the most aesthetic, when done right, they can make a handsome addition to your landscape design, too. These walls are often part of a well-engineered system with the purpose of going to war with gravity. The walls should be capable of restraining a couple of tons worth of soil which would, without the wall, slump to the side and slide from around a home’s foundation. Or in other applications, soil erosion can severely damage the property and its landscape.
And when something like a driveway retaining wall is correctly engineered it becomes a usable part of the yard. And again, when planned and installed well, it can also provide another source of style and beauty.
Addressing Common Problems
Even though a keystone retaining wall is a seemingly simple structure, a look around the neighborhood will reveal other walls that are cracked, leaning or bulging. The reason for this imperfection is poor drainage. Also, these walls weren’t properly engineered and built to handle the size of the hillside that they need to hold back.
It is important to mention that regardless of the size, a keystone retaining wall can hold back a great deal of load. For instance, a wall measuring just 4ft in height and 15ft long can easily hold back up to 20 tons of soil. So, large retaining wall blocks should be able to hold back dozens of tons at the right height.
How Do Keystone Retaining Walls Work?
A keystone retaining wall is made by stacking up pre-cast concrete blocks. The blocks tightly fit together with further durability added by the use of fiberglass pins which reinforce the wall’s integrity. So, the average homeowner can use it for just about any area of their backyard. Also, because the construction is flexible it can be designed so that it caters to landscaping curves and various grades. It can also reinforce something like safe water barriers needed for creeks, rivers, lakes, and ponds, etc.
Keystones Aren’t Expensive
The biggest selling point for these large concrete retaining wall blocks is that they are inexpensive. One reason for them being inexpensive is the fact that they are easy to install, thanks to the interlocking system. Also, installation is quicker and does not require expensive materials. So, homeowners save on labor and material costs. Also, precast concrete bricks are cheaper than natural stone which are often accompanied by a higher price tag. So, if you’re looking for quality that won’t break your budget, nothing is better than keystone for retaining wall cost savings.
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Keystone retaining walls are some of the most popular types of retaining walls out there, and that’s because of all the reasons mentioned above. However, they will need to be installed correctly and, ideally, by a seasoned contractor. Though you can attempt it as a DIY project, your results may vary, and it is important to be aware of that before starting the project.
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