Retaining Wall Stairs
Retaining walls are an essential structure for sloped environment landscapes. The main functions of retaining walls is to contain and stabilize the soil/ earth/ rock behind the wall system to eliminate movement which is often caused from natural elements such as soil erosion. Their other attributes is for their decorative appeal that can transform the landscape presentation to have style and character. There are various applications that a retaining wall system is featured on downhill residential landscapes to provide structural wall strength as well as additional decorative impact to complement and tie in beautifully with the rest of the external yard decor.
Residential Retaining Wall Applications
The following are the most common applications where a retaining wall is built for its functional, safety and decorative values:
With so many residential properties built on sloped land or steep land the necessity of building a retaining wall to level out the yard will require stairs. Retaining wall stairs are built for front and backyard entrances where the landscape environment is uphill or down hill. They are also built for leveling out sections of the yard and many home owners feature stairs within their landscaped gardens to enter or exit the garden for maintenance. Stair applications provide safety, easy accessibility and are less physical then have to walk up or down a hill. They can be utilized as a focal attraction and highlight their structure to create visual interest and additional character.
Material Options for Retaining Wall Stairs
There are many material options that you can choose to build the retaining wall stairs. It’s an individual choice as it is all about the look you want and basically what you can afford; they include the following:
Natural Stone Blocks
Natural stone is quarried from the earth’s surface which has been forming for centuries. The stones are cut into a wide variety of shape and sizes for various landscaping projects. Natural stone blocks would have to be regarded as the number one material because of their natural appearance, natural textures and their elegance. The other advantages to natural stone blocks are they are exceptionally strong, they are slip resistant and they have high durability values that will outlast and outperform any man made material. The only disadvantage to some home owners is they are more expensive then man made materials, but looking at the long term performance, they are the wiser investment as they can last for over a century.
Pre Cast Concrete Blocks
Another favorable material for building retaining wall stairs are pre cast concrete blocks. This type of material is cast from cement, sand, aggregates and colored oxide pigments. The variety in block shapes, block designs, block sizes, block texture and block surface finishes is available in quiet an extensive range. The benefits of pre cast concrete blocks are they also have tremendous durability values, they are strong, they have excellent resistance's to pest, termite, water as well as being fire resistant. To feature pre cast concrete blocks for the retaining wall stairs is a good choice as they are slip resistant which is an important factor for outdoor stairs and steps looking at the safety aspects.
Timber is also another option to build retaining all stairs. If you have opted for timber to build the retaining wall stairs, make sure you purchase treated timber. Treated timber has better durability and resistance's values that protect the timber. They are very affordable when compared to other masonry blocks, but the only down fall is they will not last as long as natural and man made masonry materials.