Many homes and their outdoor areas are located on a sloping surface. This allows their owners to create special terraced areas which are not only convenient but also help strengthening the terrain with the help of stone supportive walls.
How to form terraces into gardens
Terraces are convenient for creating various garden areas. You can plant various types of flowers and plants based on your personal preferences. For example you can create different types of gardens on the different levels, such as one with vegetables and another with plants.
Building retaining walls is crucial
A sloped terrain is always at risk of landslides. To keep your home and gardens safe you should build retaining walls. They can be high or low depending on the positioning. For example, if the wall is parallel to the pathway, it is better to make it low.
In order to be supportive, the retaining walls need to be constructed across the slope. You can use this to create a unique outdoor design with a small resting area between two of the walls or to place the walls on both sides of the pathway which leads to your front door.
Another important detail necessary for building a strong retaining wall is that it needs to be slightly narrower on the top.
What types of stone to choose for your retaining wall?
You can find various processed and unprocessed stone materials on the market. Valmarg Stone offers masonry stones which ae very suitable for building such walls.
Processed stone can have cracks due to the blasting used for its extraction. Then again, the surface of processed stone is sanded which is an advantage if you are looking for a material with a smooth surface.
Unprocessed stones are the ones which were used for the building of traditional old Bulgarian houses. They are irregularly shaped so they are more difficult to fit and match together. If you choose to use the semi-processed stones offered by Valmarg Stone, you will be able to avoid this difficulty. These gneiss stones are moisture proof, strong and beautiful with a golden-beige color. They are extracted by cutting and hammering. Their width and length is an average of 20cm, and their thickness is between 18 and 20cm.
Laying the foundation
The foundation is essential for any wall. When it is properly positioned and placed, the retaining wall build on top of it can endure for years.
Prepare the foundation with some gravel and sand in a trench which is about 30cm deep. Place geotextile material on the bottom and sides of the trench.
The gravel layer must be about 20cm thick. The gravel fraction must be from 2 to 4cm. pour about 10cm of the sand on top of the gravel. This foundation will ensure that the stones placed on top are properly and evenly balanced and will also serve as a drain.
If you plan on building a high wall which is going to be heavier, then you should use concrete for your foundation.
What height and width should you choose?
The choice of the height of your retaining wall depends on the difference between the levels of the different terraces. We recommend that you follow the following rule of the thumb: choose a height which is equal to the difference between the terraces or even better – make the height slightly bigger than the difference.
When you are choosing the width, you must keep in mind that it should be directly proportional to the height. Also, the width should be determined based on the soil content. For moister or sandier soils, the ratio of the width and the height must be 1:2, while for clay soils it has to be larger: 1:4.
Add decorative elements to your retaining walls
To make the boring stone construction more interesting and unique you can add various decorative elements such as: hidden lighting, curbs, pot holders and others.