Retaining Walls & Stone Work
Dry stone walls, concrete walls, retaining walls of timber, brick, block or stone. All have their place in various landscapes.
The key to success when building a retaining wall is to allow the potential weight of water build up behind the wall to escape. You are simply replacing the mass that previously formed the toe of the bank. This is achieved by using an artificial restraint of equal strength or mass, whether it be made of stone, timber, brick and/or concrete.
It is worth noting that any structure over 1.5m high will require design and consent, and so it should.
Retaining walls are designed for one thing only, however often you see them leaning forward to greet you. This is due to poor design and under-strength materials, combined with poor, or no drainage.
Unfortunately retaining walls often add very little to the aesthetic value of the landscape. Furthermore, they are expensive to build and if they are holding up your property, your money has disappeared into something unseen. It they are holding up the property above you, it is even worse. Subsequently, not only do you have to pay for it, you also have to look at it!
Some clever design will keep the structure to the minimum, and perhaps build in such a way, whether with materials or shape to reduce the overall impact. Planting to cover a retaining wall structure is possibly the most effective way of dealing with this.