A patio seems like a fairly easy project to tackle for those that are handy.
What are the pitfalls?
- Grading – knowing how to slope the patio and when you will need retaining wall block to keep the patio from falling or separating
- Materials – having the information on how much off the base to purchase and how to compact
- Design – to build a patio is just part of it, the proper design to accommodate what you want to furnish or seat on the space is another part
- Finish – how to keep the weeds from growing up through the seams and to keep the patio from staining easily
- Warranty – when you build it yourself, you may end up doing it more than once which increases your costs!
Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this decorative retaining wall and paver patio with paver steps
There is more than one way to build a retaining wall! By sheer nature, people are and should be concerned if the money they are investing in a retaining wall is well spent or how do they know if it is being built properly?
Building codes vary by state but in the Carolina’s, once a retaining wall is constructed 4′ or taller, it requires an engineering letter/ design to ensure proper structural integrity is designed into the construction. Do not have it done without it.
There is more than one material that can be used as a retaining wall finish. One of the less expensive ways to construct a retaining wall is with landscape timbers that look like railroad ties. You will need “tie – backs” when you design this so that the wall holds properly.
Retaining wall block is commonly used as a masonry product. In addition, you can get the retaining wall block with a decorative stone finish on one side like the photo above. A more expensive but beautiful retaining wall can be block with actual stone applied to it, also a featured photo in this blog.
There are also drainage issues that need to be considered. A professional mason should be consulted with where they are going to put the “weep holes” so that the water pressure does not build against the wall or you don’t create a water fall unless you want one! To see great design ideas, go to https://www.charlotte.archadeck.com and go to our photo gallery!
Retaining wall with decorative stone and multi-level in Charlotte by Archadeck