If you want to add some depth and designer dimension to your mostly flat landscaping, adding a block retaining wall is a good place to start. A block wall can be used to retain filler dirt, mulch, or other landscaping materials that are used for planting. Even though you can get pretty much everything you need to build a block wall at the local home improvement or gardening store, tackling this task on your own may not be as easy as it seems. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes you should work to avoid when you are implementing a block wall in your landscaping.
Mistake: Assuming that block wall is a simple process that takes little planning.
Why? Creating a wall, even if out of simple landscape stones or bricks, is a complicated mix or art and scientific thinking. This project is no simple feat as it involves a lot of careful planning and preparation and hours of work. It could take as long as 8 to 10 hours to build a wall as small as 10 to 16 feet long.
Mistake: Skipping stone dust or other grounding materials before getting started.
Why? Stone dust, or another similar product, is a crucial part of the block wall installation process. The material acts as a sturdy adhesive that will connect the stones or blocks to the underlying ground. Without the grounding material, the base of the wall will have to rely solely on the dirt and topsoil in the area for stability, which usually does not work. While your wall may look good in the beginning, the heft of the wall will cause a lot of problems with the stability of the lowest run of stones down the road.
Mistake: Not using backfilling material for added protection on the backside of the wall.
Why? Once the block wall is in place, you may be tempted to start adding dirt and get to planting your favorite greenery or floral plants. However, a thin layer of backfill material, such as small rocks or gravel, has to be used between the wall itself and the dirt that is added. This helps to allow proper drainage behind the wall and ward off problems with mold and mildew over time.
If you are having problems installing a block wall or feel that the project is something too big for you to take on, it is a good idea to keep professional landscapers (such as Dansons Landscaping Inc) in mind. The average cost of having a professional install a stone or block wall for you is only around $25 to $40 per square foot, which is a cost that is well worth the investment if you have difficulties doing this project on your own. Talk to a professional landscaper if you would like to know more.