It goes without saying that most of us would love to go through life without walls beyond those in our homes. Still when it comes to certain situations, privacy walls and retaining walls are something we not only welcome, but have a definite need for.
The best investment in either one of these wall needs will always be masonry walls. You can’t beat block walls for the lowest cost and long lasting value in your landscaping. Phoenix and Scottsdale homes many times have issues with grade changes due to the natural lay of the land on a property. While it is tempting to just cover the ground with landscape stone, the force of gravity isn’t going to work with you on severe grade changes. Stones move downhill. Something one really needs to give some serious consideration to where slopes abut public sidewalks where displaced landscape stone can create a liability for the homeowner.
Slight grade changes don’t require engineered retaining walls to correct the issues, but steeper drops do. This means that you need far more than pretty little garden walls. Understanding and working with the pressure of the ground behind a retaining wall is more important than its surface beauty. A poorly engineered retaining wall will topple over very easily. Any wall that retains soil in your landscaping that will be over 30 inches tall must be structured to hold up against the swelling and shrinking of the ground over many years. A task that requires skill and experience in masonry walls.
On this particular project, not only did the homeowner need a privacy wall, but to create strength in that structure a lower retaining wall was necessary due to the sharp decline. This was not a common situation in the area for landscaping. Phoenix and Scottsdale homes do often have rolling terrain, but here we were faced with more severe grade changes that called for some innovations to create the desired outcome.
Retaining walls of concrete block and stucco are something that Desert Crest is very experienced in, both for privacy and as retaining walls. Even in more severe situations that the one seen here, we can engineer walls to fit the needs of the site. As you can see at the bottom of this photo, the grade drops dramatically beneath this lower retaining wall. Not a job for a newcomer to landscaping Phoenix trade!
Additionally, the privacy wall is more interesting than the average construction. Something that is highly important on the approach to ones’ front door or even around outdoor living spaces. Sure, we could have made that wall in the average and more easy to build fashion of the same height the full length – sans any cool shaping along the top. Where’s the fun in that? Not just as a job project, but for a structure that you as an Arizona homeowner will have to look at every day for decades on end?
We think you’ll agree that this great looking Southwestern design along the top of the privacy wall is the far better choice design-wise.