For many homeowners, specific things come to mind when talking about landscaping. For example, many homeowners believe that landscaping and plants are synonymous, but it is not necessarily the case. Notably, landscaping includes hardscape features, with a retaining wall being an excellent example. Traditionally, a retaining wall was considered a functional landscape feature designed to keep the soil at elevated positions in place. Today, retaining walls are more than functional structures; they are architectural features that add a certain level of aesthetics to a property's landscape. You can use different materials to build a retaining wall, but the supplies you choose should be guided by certain factors.
Retaining Wall Size -- The size of a retaining wall depends on the gradient of a slope and use. For instance, if you want to build a small retaining wall for plants around your home and on slightly sloping ground, you do not need to make it extremely solid. Thus, you can build a retaining wall using wood since it can adequately withstand the pressure exerted by the small amount of soil. However, if you want a large retaining wall to support an elevated deck or patio, you need more robust building materials. Stones, blocks, and poured concrete are perfect for big retaining walls due to their ability to sustain heavier loads.
Water Exposure -- Another vital factor to consider when choosing retaining wall building supplies is the degree of exposure to water. A properly built retaining wall should support soil load and whatever is on top regardless of moisture exposure. For instance, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, you must use waterproofing membranes to ensure water does not penetrate through the retaining wall. You should also use stone and concrete blocks rather than wood because the latter does not stand up to water well. Additionally, you need drainage pipes to direct water away from a retaining wall. However, if excess water and moisture are not a problem, you can build a retaining wall with wood without waterproofing membranes.
Retaining Wall Style -- Just because you want a strong, stable, and safe retaining wall does not mean you should compromise aesthetics. Even big retaining walls can be landscaping marvels, but only if you choose suitable building materials. For example, a retaining wall made of regular bricks or stones achieves a natural look. However, you can opt for stained or decorative concrete blocks if you want a beautiful retaining wall overlooking a patio. You can also use artificially weathered wood for a rustic retaining wall.
Keep these things in mind as you look for building supplies.