Dirtworks and Bobcat Service is your go-to company for retaining walls in the central Alabama area. Various factors such as wall height & size, ground conditions, and building codes are part of the formula in choosing the best solution for your particular situation. We have the expertise and experience to design and install the retaining wall best suited for your landscape.
Retaining walls are considered hardscape as are patios, sidewalks, gazebos, etc. Hardscapes are built with a degree of permanence therefore require more consideration and planning. As a long term part of the landscape, it is important to know how your retaining wall will age as the landscape matures. Dirtworks and Bobcat Service is the expert to call to build your retaining wall. Call Heath (205) 620-1818 for an estimate for the metro Birmingham area. We are bonded & insured and will gladly give a written estimate.
Is your yard slowly washing away with every rain? Maybe you need a retaining wall.
Retaining walls may serve several purposes in the Birmingham landscape:
- The first and most common use is for reinforcement—to hold something in place.
- The second is a closely related purpose - to prevent erosion.
The Birmingham area has its share of mountains—Oak Mountain, Ruffner Mountain, and Red Mountain to name a few. Although not as impressive as the Smokies or Rockies, we are in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain chain. We have our fair share of rolling landscapes. Parts of the Birmingham area are quite hilly. Retaining walls help create usable space from an uneven yard. One of the most common retaining walls is the one by the driveway sloping to the basement garage.
Erosion is naturally occurring and to be expected in an uneven landscape. It is the washing away of the ground surface— mulch, topsoil, even plant material. The damage caused by erosion is in direct proportion to the degree and length of slope. Terraces can help alleviate the problem. In the 1930s after the Dust Bowl, the government began terracing farmlands to prevent erosion. In a landscape, terracing a slope can be achieved by a series of small retaining walls. A terraced hillside can be quite attractive and fits well with diverse garden designs.
Aesthetics. No matter the reason for your retaining wall, it should be visually pleasing. If you are one of those few people in our area blessed/cursed with a flat yard, a small retaining wall may be added for interest. Terraces can be created to showcase plant material. Imagine the possibilities. Or call Dirtworks and Bobcat Services with their limitless imagination.
Retaining Wall Materials
Now that you have decided you need a retaining wall, the next step is to choose the kind of wall material. If price is no object, great! If you are like the rest of us, there is a budget to and Dirtworks and Bobcat Services can give your best options. Generally cross tie or treated lumber walls are the least expensive. Stacked stone is on the high end with retaining wall systems in the mid-range. Each wall material will have inherent benefits and drawbacks. The question is - what will best fit your landscape and budget.
The retaining wall is part of your hardscape and should be considered a major and most likely permanent purchase. In choosing the wall material, the whole landscape should be considered. Having too many different materials in the hardscapes will cause the landscape to look busy and poorly designed. Picture a red brick house with flagstone patio and pinkish retaining wall blocks. Scary. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common.
- Railroad crossties and treated timbers give a casual, woodsy, natural feeling, and neutral coloring. They blend well with brick or rock in the structure or other hardscapes.
- With some landscapes especially the more formal, the wall may look best mirroring the brick, rock, or stucco on the house.
- The retaining wall block systems especially look good where the house is wood or vinyl. This gives contrasting textures. With all the new offerings in retaining wall systems, it is a lot easier to find one that will blend with the colors of the existing brick or rock.
Railroad crossties are probably the least expensive choice for your retaining wall. Bobcat and Dirtworks Services has a lot of experience with crosstie walls. There are a few drawbacks to consider. First, you shouldn't plant any food crops near these walls since the chemicals can leach into the soil. Ornamental plants are fine but you wouldn't want to plant your garlic or herbs there. Secondly, although treated, these are still wood ties. They will eventually decay. Water is the enemy of any retaining wall but especially wood walls. Good drainage is very important.
Treated wood is another choice for a retaining wall. One option is to use 6" x 6" lumber stacked and secured with rebar (steel rods) like the construction of a crosstie wall. Another option with treated wood is to use 2" x 6" horizontal wood planks held in place by concreted stanchions. This method is often used for something as low as a raised gardening bed to walls around four feet tall. Treated wood can be stained and waterproofed extending the life of the wall to around 20 years.
A concrete block wall is the basis for many decorative retaining wall choices – brick, stacked stone, and stucco. There also many new choices in concrete blocks that don't need a pretty face added. There are blocks that have textures, colors, designs, etc. The choices are mind boggling but Heath, owner of Dirtworks and Bobcat Services in Alabaster, AL, will be glad to make sense of the options and pricing for you.
There are so many choices for retaining wall block systems since the pink blocks were first introduced years ago. There is also a wide range of pricing. Whatever your budget, we will work with you to get the most retaining wall for your money. Call Dirtworks and Bobcat Services to get started.
To get an Estimate, call Heath (205) 620-1818!