Holyoak X in Santaquin, UT Offers a full-service rock retaining wall. We give you the full package from start to finish.
We can also do any amount of the work you don't want to. For a tall rock retaining wall we draw plans, prepare them for city approval, acquire city permits. We can also excavate, set the block, and backfill.
How It Is Done
Installing a rock retaining wall in your backyard is a process with multiple phases. Because of this, rock retaining walls take planning and preparation. The possible phases of installation of a rock retaining wall include design, excavation, stacking rock, backfill, and final grading. Each step will be explained individually below.
Careful consideration should be taken when installing a boulder retaining wall. Any retaining wall over 4' tall should be designed by an engineer and is typically not built with boulders although it is possible. When designing the wall elevations of the starting point of the wall and the ending point of the wall at both the base and top of the wall should be measured.
It is important to do this to understand what the wall will look like in the end. As this type of retaining wall is built it can be laid at any angle which means it could have a flat shelf along the top or run along a side hill with the wall heigh sloping along the wall. Boulders typically come from 1' to 4' tall. They can be different colors from black, light grey, dark grey, tan, brown, rust, and more. Here are some great rock wall ideas.
Excavation Under and Aroung the Rock Retainaing Wall
Excavation is the first construction phase of the rock retaining wall installation. Care is taken during excavation to not disturb any existing landmarks or objects that will remain post construction. When excavating for a rock wall the depth can vary for each individual boulder. In some circumstances extra soil is generated from the excavation process that will need to be hauled away from the project.
Stacking the Rocks
The rock is the most difficult part of the project. No boulder will have the same shape or size. This makes piecing the rocks together more like a game of Jenga or a puzzle. Care is taken to place each individual boulder. Usually, we follow a pattern or a particular line to insure the wall looks neat and clean when finished.
Backfill Behind the Rock Retaining Wall
Backfill typically happens during the stacking process. This is necessary because as rock is stacked it sits on the dirt behind the rock beneath it. So as the first layer of boulders is placed it is backfilled so the second layer of boulders can then be installed. There are different types of backfill. The most common and cost effective is to use dirt. Gravel can also be used. Gravel is typically accompanied by a weed barrier fabric to retain the gravel from spilling out between the boulders.
Final Grading of the Rock Retaining Wall
After the wall is built and backfilled final grading is done. Dirt is leveled and placed to allow for proper drainage and to be aesthetically pleasing. Typically, the shelves on the rock wall are raked and flattened.
Special Considerations for Your Project
Permitting for any retaining wall over 4' tall is required in almost any city. This is because a retaining wall should be built to meet modern code requirements and be structurally sound to prevent any harm. Most cities will require a stamped set of plans that an engineer can design and stamp for a relatively low cost to ensure the project is structurally sound.
- Do you have landscaping you want to save? Retaining walls are a messy project with excavators, pallets of block, and gravel backfill. If you want to protect your landscaping around the construction zone, the price will generally go up. The dirt will need to be hauled away and more hand work will be done to install the wall.
- If you are retaining a hill above your property you may need to coordinate with the property owner above you. Retaining walls over 4' tall require a geogrid to be installed behind the wall. If the wall is placed on the property line, the geogrid would be installed on the other property owner's property.
- Property access is critical. Boulders will need a location to be dumped and access for a small excavator should be provided.
- Consider installing a large concrete block retaining wall or a keystone block retaining wall instead.
How You Benefit
Installing a retaining wall is a great landscaping choice on a property. Level ground is easier to maintain and is more usable in yards and gardens. A retaining wall will allow for more space and less maintenance. A retaining wall is known to substantially improve the value of a property.