Last time we discussed the pros and cons of paving materials. This time we want to be help you with choosing the right wall material for your project. Tennessee is a very hilly state and most homes have grade issues to deal with and need retaining walls or decorative sitting walls and columns. Walls can really add great interest and beauty to your property if they are incorporated and used in the right way. Below Kinwood will educate you on the two main types of walls used within a landscape project. They are paver walls and stone walls.
1. Stone Walls:
Stone walls are elegant, rustic or modern. They can be the most beautiful part of any landscape. You can do so many variations that your head will spin trying to decide. The most important part is how they are built. Even though you see the beautiful stone, almost any wall over 1' needs to be built out of block or poured concrete first. The face of the block or concrete wall is then faced with the stone material. If you don't, the wall won't be strong enough to retain earth. Trying to just stack stone just isn't strong enough unless you are doing a small bed edge.
Because stone walls are built from cinder block and concrete, they must have a solid concrete footing. This makes the stone wall costly. The biggest con for a stone wall is the price. There is more time and materials that go into a stone retaining or sitting wall. Stone walls built this way are as strong as they come. Given they are built the right way.
Stone walls over 4' need to be engineered by a licensed engineer and approved by the city. Seat walls and decorative walls won't need to be stamped by an engineer. If you do need to get the city involved, an inspection will be needed on the footings. This adds an extra step and cost. The price of a stone will vary due to many factors. Height of wall, type of stone, capping and style.
Another con for stone is the cost to fix if there is a problem. Although you hope your wall is built correctly, there is always the potential for something to go wrong. Usually it is settling or heiving. In both cases, the wall will need extensive repair which is expensive.
Although stone walls are more expensive than a paver wall, there is just something about a beautiful stacked stone wall, fireplace or grill that can't be matched by pavers. Pavers have a man made feel to them while a stone is more natural. Even if it is manufactured. There are so many more choices with stone and it is easy to use inside your home as well. Pavers aren't as nice inside.
Overall, you can't go wrong with a stone wall. It's beauty is unmatched and it can be just as strong and durable as a paver wall but if you are trying to save some money on your project or want to put it else where, the paver wall might be the perfect choice.
2. Paver Walls:
Some people think of big blocky looking things when they think about paver walls, but that is just not the case any more. There are so many different styles and colors to choice from now-a-days that you can achieve just about any look. They even manufacture paver walls to look like stone walls. The best part is, you don't pay the stone price. The big advantage to the paver wall is the cost and speed. The walls go together faster which makes the cost of the wall cheaper than a stone wall.
The strength of a paver wall is better. They are designed to move with the movement in the ground. Of course they need to be built right but if there is a problem, it is a cheaper fix than a stone wall. All the same codes and requirements are needed for paver block walls but most of them are already engineered by the paving company, saving you on engineering costs on larger projects.
There are some limitations to the styles and what you can do with the blocks, but not much. You can do pretty much the same things with pavers as with stone. It just depends on the look you are trying to achieve and what is important. We can build grills, fireplaces and water features with paver blocks just like with stone.
Both walls are amazing and we at Kinwood don't have a preference because we use both equally the same. I think it just comes down to your budget and what really catches your eye because you are the one who has to look at it each day. Just remember that the walls need to be built right first and that a professional needs to be the one building it.
Contact us today and let the Kinwood Property Brothers help you start planning your outdoor living space, NOW!