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Choosing A Retaining Wall Builder

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Choosing the right retaining wall builder is as important as choosing the materials you want your wall to be built with. What's the difference between retaining wall builders? It largely has to do with their fields of expertise.

Matching Your Retaining Wall With the Right Builder

A decorative retaining wall is a low wall whose only real function is to enhance the appearance of your landscape. A functional retaining wall must be able to hold back tons of earth and do so indefinitely. Which type of wall and builder do you need?

If you want a purely decorative wall for your garden, a good garden designer may be able to help you choose your retaining wall materials, plants, pavers and other garden elements and install them for you. If your retaining wall has to serve a function such as to provide you with a level base for your garage or level a surface or surfaces on a sloping block, you will probably need to hire a structural engineer to design and oversee the project. If your retaining wall needs to be both decorative and functional, a licensed landscape architect may have the expertise you need.

Aside from giving you the assurance of knowing your retaining wall is being built to last by an expert, you may be legally required to hire a structural engineer. In most states, any retaining wall over a metre in height must be designed by a structural engineer who will also oversee the project. In some states the limit may be 900mm and in others as low as 500mm.

To be on the safe side, contact your local council before you build any retaining wall. Other regulations, such as distance from an adjoining property or the environmental impact of your wall may require you to hire a structural engineer and obtain a building permit even if the height restriction is not an issue.

Matching Materials With Your Retaining Wall Builder

Retaining walls can be built from a variety of materials. Many licensed retaining wall builders are able to build retaining walls out of a variety of materials, but others specialize. For example, some specialize in working with limestone while others may specialize in timber , stone or concrete retaining walls. For a distinctive and professional look, choose a specialist who can show you a portfolio of previous work and help you with your design and layout.

Whoever you choose, be sure they are a licensed professional. Their trade licence should authorize them to do the type of construction you need. For example, hire a licensed bricklayer if you want a brick retaining wall. Also check their insurance. For your protection, you should never hire unlicensed or uninsured tradies for any type of home improvement work.

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