Having a retaining wall built for your home or business is an excellent way to provide functional support to your landscape and give extra curb appeal. Retaining wall contractors as well as Real estate experts say that every dollar spent on landscaping will produce double when you sell. This is very important when considering the fluctuation seen in home values in the market over the years. Let’s take a look at some of the basics of getting a retaining wall built and what you should consider when selecting a qualified contractor.
Retaining Wall Materials for Your Design
There are many different types of materials that can be used for retaining walls. The most common are masonry bricks, natural outcropping stone or fieldstone, or manufactured segmental blocks. Manufactured blocks come in many natural-looking shades, shapes, and styles, and can be made to mimic other natural materials such as outcropping stones. Natural stone like lannon stone or fieldstone are also very common for retaining walls. Make sure you choose the right material that is right for the job and fits your design taste. A good contractor will be able to show you all the available options for material in your area.
Retaining wall designs have become more complex over the years as homeowners and designers have created unique ways to use this landscape addition. No longer are retaining walls solely used for structural support but they are being used as seat walls, patio enhancers, fire places, fire pits, grills, rain gardens, and for just about anything else you and your designer can come up with. The possibilities are endless for this classy, long lasting hardscape.
Choosing Between Retaining Wall Contractors
With so many options for your retaining wall, it is important that you find the right contractor for the job. Retaining wall construction is a project that tends to be more pricy compared to other landscape services. This makes it crucial that you choose the right contractor for the job. You don’t want your hard earned money being spent on a project that will have to be redone by another contractor. There is the option of installing your own retaining wall, but this usually ends in disaster, costing you more time and money. It takes a high level of knowledge and skill to complete a wall when compared to other landscaping projects. If you are doing it yourself make sure someone you know helps who is experienced in building retaining walls. Retaining wall contractors understand the art of this creative landscape.
- How long has the contractor been in business?
- Have they installed jobs of similar scope?
- Will they provide references from prior customers?
- Do they have liability insurance and, if appropriate, Workmen’s Compensation insurance?
- If required in your state, is the contractor licensed?
- Do they do all the work or do they subcontract parts of the work? If so, who are their subcontractors?
- Do they provide design assistance? What are their capabilities?
- Who will be supervising the job during construction?
- What about my neighbor’s property & work near the property line?
- Will the installation meet the requirements for setbacks?
- What permits are required for this project? Do I need a retaining wall permit? Who will get these permits?
- Will they provide a written estimate detailing:
- Block type or wall shape, color, texture, and pattern
- Base material and thickness
- Drainage field materials used and thickness of the drainage field
- Demolition and disposal
- Where will materials be stockpiled during construction?
- When will they start and when do they expect to finish?
- What are the payment terms?
- What type of warranty will they provide on their workmanship?
If you do your homework in selecting your contractor, your finished project will provide you with a lifetime of enjoyment. You should know that your retaining wall project doesn’t have to be completed all at once. There are options that allow you to complete your project in segments if budget won’t allow you to do it all at once.
Retaining walls are an excellent addition to any landscape project and must be built with care. Choosing between retaining wall contractors can be a task so make sure you ask the right questions. If you are interested in getting a retaining wall, seat wall, or accent wall built please call Bluemels at 414-282-4220 or fill out our request a quote form. We would love an opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your options.