Get More Use Out Of Your Hilly Yard!
When you first bought your home, you loved the slopes it had and thought it was beautiful. Whether it is gently sloping farmland hills, woods, or mountainside, it can be a beautiful and calming scenery.
However, after a time, it seems like that is all it is, and you
can't really enjoy it, as there are no areas to enjoy it will outside.
It's time for a change.
You don't have to destroy and bulldoze it all flat. There are ways to keep its natural look and enhance it, all the while getting to enjoy it with friends too. Check out retaining wall designs, to make your yard more useable.
You may have to cut into some of the hillsides, but it can still be made to look natural, and useable. These walls can be incorporated into the hillside, so that you will have flat areas for entertaining, or play spots for the kids.
When choosing your retaining wall design, try to match the landscape. If it is in more of a "stately" neighborhood, you might want to use concrete or brick. Some like to even have theirs made of wood, and brick. If you are in a mountainous region, using stone adds to the natural look, that you want to keep.
Before jumping into a "do it yourself" mode, research all about building retaining walls. It is not an easy job and may require special permits, especially if it will be higher than three feet. Some townships have ordinances at three feet, and some at four feet and higher. This is because they need to be built to last, and protect people from harm. It is best to leave this job to the professionals.
So, what are the costs of having walls built for your yard? This
depends on the height, and the materials. If you are at the height
limit which requires permits and special engineering, then the costs
will be higher. It can cost about 10% more just for the engineer, as it
is required to ensure a safe, long-lasting wall.
Another added configuration for costs is where you are located. If you are in an earthquake zone, then, of course, more material will be needed to keep it structurally sound. Costs generally run $15-$30 a square foot for interlocking block, $20-$25 sq.ft. for wood, $25-$40 for stone, and $30-$40 sq. ft. for concrete. You can figure in a little more for any unforeseen circumstances.
When choosing a contractor, make sure to thoroughly check them out before picking one. Ask friends, family, and coworkers who they used. Research online, and read all the reviews.
Remember not all negative reviews are really bad though. Call around and ask for references.
Most businesses are perfectly willing to do so and show you some of their work. Make sure they are bonded and insured as well.
Now that you have chosen a contractor, it is time to decide just what you want.
Make a list of all the things you would like to use your yard for
first. This includes play areas, barbeque spots, entertaining areas,
and or garden areas incorporated.
It is best to know just what you want so that you and your contractor can come up with a design.
Many people have multi-layer areas if it is a steep hill so that they get more use out of it. Make sure to come up with a plan and don't change it. If you do, it will cost a lot more, so make a design once and stick with it. Enjoy your new yard, and have fun!