Retaining walls are a functional component of your Peekskill, NY, home’s landscape, helping to keep it safe and usable. However, just because they are functional doesn’t mean that retaining walls have no aesthetic significance. They provide a vertical dimension to your landscape design, by breaking up the monotony of flat lawns and gardens. Depending on your landscape construction, curved retaining walls could bring additional character to your overall design. Creating curved retaining walls tends to be a bit more involved than straight retaining walls, and requires additional expertise on your contractor’s part. These are the factors to consider as you think about incorporating curved retaining walls into your landscape.
Types of Curved Retaining Walls
Curved retaining walls can be created in three variants, each with its own set of aesthetic and function credentials. Inside curving walls are created by leaving spaces between the back of the wall blocks, producing an inward curve. Outside curving walls are the opposite, where the apex of the curve is facing outward. Inside curving walls are ideal for smaller yards as they tend to open up space whereas outward curving walls tend to produce a smoother look.
Another option is the serpentine wall, which uses both of those types of curves to produce a flowing design. Choosing the right type of curve for your landscape design is essential, as it not only affects the aesthetics of your design but also the type of blocks, component sizes, and copings that will be used.
Curved wall designs have an additional nuance in the form of a setback. This means that each wall stone is placed slightly further back from the one below it, creating a small step. The result is a coning effect in a curve, where the radius at the top of the wall is smaller than the radius of the curve at the bottom. Such careful design and planning aid the structural integrity of the wall, giving it a lower center of mass, while also ensuring a more appealing overall look. Determining the ideal setback is vitally important and depends on the wall stone you use for your project.
The most essential part of a curved wall is finding the ideal wall stones. With the help of your landscape designer, you’ll want to choose a wall stone that best suits the overall design of your home and landscape. Most quality manufacturers offer wall stones with wedge-shaped components that help to cut down on the labor involved in creating a curved wall. However, cutting and reshaping is still a necessary part of creating any curved wall, so having a contractor with the necessary expertise and attention to detail can have a marked impact on the fit and finish of your final product. It is also important to ensure that the back of the wall is smooth so that the load of the soil is distributed more evenly across the wall.
To finish it off, choose a coping stone that will give your wall a smooth top surface. Ideally, you’ll want to go with a coping stone with a bullnose as this not only fits well with the more natural shape of the wall but could also make the retaining wall double as a seating wall.