Are you a greater Los Angeles area homeowner who is curious about retaining wall construction? Perhaps you live on a sloped property and are considering how retaining walls can help you reclaim backyard space for your hillside home. Fortunately, sloped land no longer has to interfere with getting the most out of your property’s square footage with the many benefits of retaining wall construction.

Reclaim Space with Retaining Walls

When it comes to backyard expansion for hillside homes, retaining walls are one of the most popular, safe, and effective options. Retaining walls flatten the base of a sloped hillside yard to increase the usable living space on the property. Since they laterally support the soil, retaining walls work at multiple levels to retain the soil. This makes them a reliable and safe solution for backyard expansion.

Homeowners are free to use their added space for whatever they desire, which could include patio space, gardens, landscaping, or an entertainment area. However, the benefits of retaining walls are not limited to backyard expansion.

Retaining walls stabilize hillside homes and offer protection against landslides. Since many houses in the greater Los Angeles area are built on slopes and face threats of landslides and seismic activity, the added stabilization retaining walls provide is invaluable.

Retaining Walls Rules and Regulations

Retaining wall construction calls for professional installation, partly because of the rules and regulations that homeowners need to comply with. Construction in the Los Angeles area is subject to a specific set of rules and regulations, and it’s no different when it comes to designing retaining walls. Walls that are higher than 4 feet, measuring from the footing beneath the surface, require a permit.

Additionally, special engineering is necessary for larger retaining walls projects. In order to avoid having a retaining wall that is not up to current Los Angeles County codes, it’s necessary to work with a professional contractor for your retaining wall project. Teaming up with a professional will also provide more insight for budgeting the project and determining which type of retaining wall is best suited for your property.

Project Cost Considerations

When it comes to designing a retaining wall, the cost of the project can vary drastically. Collaborating with a professional contractor will allow you to discover how tall and wide your retaining wall needs to be to offer full safety without breaking the budget. In some cases, other backyard expansion solutions can work if the retaining wall project becomes too expensive or is not the ideal solution for the property.

Space, access ease, and soil structure all contribute to the ultimate cost of the project. Anchoring the retaining wall beneath the ground leads to soil disruption, so the yard will need to have enough space for this to occur without affecting the neighboring properties. Additionally, yards that are difficult to reach can lead to higher costs as they pose challenges for moving equipment. Poor access and excessively steep slopes directly correlate with increasing project costs for retaining walls.

Overall, any safety challenge can cause the project price to increase. There needs to be enough room for workers to safely reach the construction site and navigate their machinery if applicable. Also, the current state of the soil can affect the cost. Excavation can reveal rocky and challenging soil. Larger equipment is needed for large rocks and boulders, which can contribute to escalating costs and can even prevent the retaining wall installation entirely.

Fortunately, a professional contractor will be able to help you navigate the project and understand the cost as often the work has to be done by hand as there is limited access for machinery.

Related: Hillside Retrofit Los Angeles

retaining wall

Different Types of Retaining Walls

When it comes to retaining walls in Los Angeles, almost all are constructed out of concrete blocks. Masonry retaining walls use concrete blocks that are very similar to those used for building home foundations.

The retaining wall is laid very similarly to a home foundation, with rebar supported used for added stabilization. Stone veneers are then added around the wall so that it can either match the exterior of the home or the landscaping.

The second popular type of retaining wall installation is constructed with concrete and rebar. This often called Shotcrete, gunite, or sprayed concrete is concrete or mortar conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface of the new retaining wall. This application makes it possible to build a very strong and watertight wall of any shape.

The third popular type of retaining wall installation is constructed with interlocking concrete blocks. Paving stone manufacturers can create wall blocks that will blend in with the design of your property. Interlocking concrete block retaining walls are both cost-effective and remarkably durable. The project is finished off with a capstone that provides a slight overhang.

Closing Costs and Considerations

Since retaining walls can provide invaluable support to hillside properties, it’s crucial to team up with a trusted contractor for the project. Don’t risk a DIY project that could lead to future issues with your hillside property stabilization. Contractors will also be able to assist with dealing with properly draining the water around the retaining wall. Drainage installation solutions will ensure that the yard both looks and functions its best.

Our team at California Foundation Works will provide clear communication throughout the project so that there won’t be any unforeseen surprises. We’re committed to bringing you the best deals on the market so that you don’t have to break the bank with your backyard expansion. Additionally, we’ll offer honest feedback. If retaining wall installation isn’t the best solution for your property, we’ll help you discover the ideal backyard expansion plan for your hillside home.

Why Choosing Us?

At California Foundation Works, we’re happy to service clients in the greater Los Angeles area as we collaborate to achieve their dream home safely, efficiently, and within budget.

It’s our mission to keep homeowners safe by addressing one household at a time. From earthquake retrofitting to retaining walls, we are your one-stop-shop for all home construction projects.

Related: Sister Foundation Solution

Do you live on a sloped property with unusable land?

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