Landscaping a yard can add substantial value to your property in terms of usable space, beauty, and return on investment. Curb appeal can help sell your home and even get a higher sale price for your house. Many people search through magazines or Pinterest for landscaping ideas and are attracted to the beauty of a magnificently designed landscape. The idea of enjoying a beautiful summer day barbecuing in our newly designed yard while the kids play in the yard appeals to many of our senses.
Retaining Wall Landscaping
If you were told that there are more things to consider then just what a yard is going to look like when designing a landscape project would you understand the variables that need to be considered before attempting to design a well functioning landscape?
If you where told that there are a few extremely important steps to considered at the very start of any landscaping project would you know what these steps are?
AND if these steps are not part of your landscaping project do you understand that your landscaping investment will deteriorate within the first few years?
The base that any landscape project sits on is just as important, if not more important then the type of material you pick to build your project. What is under the ground is just as important as what we see above ground. Landscaping projects rely heavily on the fill that it sits on, it is the foundation of the entire project. If it is not designed and built properly it can cause a lot of trouble for homeowners.
Retaining walls, lockstone or soil grading is extremely important for quality and for lasting results. Digging a foot or two down and replacing improper fill is a usual first step of any landscape project. In some cases, if the soil is not good quality for the landscaping project the area should be excavated deeper. Excavation can be as much as four feet down and is some instances even more. The ground is excavated, the fill is removed and replaced with the proper drainage material. Although it is not common to remove fill five or six feet below the surface, in some instances it is necessary. For example if area is very wet and swampy removing and replacing fill will aid in providing proper drainage and support.
Some people may want to skip this step because of the extra work required and the extra cost but that will be a big mistake, especially if you are spending your hard earned money and time on a landscaping project. Skipping out on a good base during a landscaping project will come back to haunt you a few years later when your landscaping begins to fail. Without the initial steps to create a proper base, things like proper drainage material, proper grading, packing and prep your structure is guaranteed to fail in the long term. This is a costly mistake everyone wants to avoid. To avoid these costly mistakes calling a professional is the best route.
Installing improperly prepped and graded landscapes around buildings can cause significant damage to buildings. When landscaping settles and moves or if drainage isn’t working properly it can begin to damage the foundation of a building. This happens because water can’t drain, or it is draining into the wrong area and can pool in areas next to the building which causes ground to compact and can add pressure to basement walls. Water needs to drain, and it will find a way to eventually drain somewhere. The added pressure from surrounding water and soil will put strain on the foundation and causes the foundation to crack. In winter months freeze thaw cycles also add pressure to foundations and this too can cause foundation cracking
Maintaining proper drainage is very important for all structures. Water will always find the easiest path and it will find a crack to drain into. If the area doesn’t have proper drainage or waterproofing the water will drain into the least path of resistance which maybe inside your basement. Over the long term or in some instances the pressure can cause basement wall to bow and crack; sometimes making the structure unsafe and in need of serious repair.
If you notice cracks in your basement walls you should contact a professional to assess the situation. Leaving a repair like this go for a long period of time can cause serious erosion of your foundation. When you first notice the problem act quickly; acting fast can save you thousands of dollars.
Do your research when preparing to do any home renovation or landscaping project; it can save you money and keep you, your family and your home safe. And remember; the cheapest quote isn’t always the best quote. Always make sure you are comparing quotes, so you know exactly what you are getting for the money you are spending. Quotes should be clear to you, and have the work laid out so you understand what your project consist of and what you are purchasing. Ask about the company’s warranties, licenses, insurance, payment process and past clients. This will give you a good indications about the company’s level of professionalism.