Though it’s conventionally used to retain soil and rocks, a retaining wall is also a wonderful way to add some instant personality to your property. The most common materials used for retaining walls tend to be timber, concrete, clay, and stone, all of which have several benefits. At Versace Timbers, we regularly have people enquiring about the best material to use and what are the pros and cons of each option. Though we obviously tend to skew towards timber as a retaining wall material, it can’t be denied that there are numerous benefits to building a wood retaining wall, including cost, natural beauty, strength and appeal. In today’s article, we answer, ‘are wood retaining walls good’ and take a look at why many homeowners prefer building a wood retaining wall.
The benefits of building a wood retaining wall
Are wood retaining walls good?
There’s just something so effortless charming about timber, and a timber retaining wall is no exception. Whereas stone and clay may offer a touch of sophistication, it can render a home looking a little cold or fortress-like if done with a heavy hand. With timber sleepers, warmth comes naturally, and can instantly add a decorative flair to your home that’s down to earth and approachable.
Cheaper than stone walls
If you’re after a natural-looking retaining wall but don’t want the expensive price tag to match, a wood retaining wall can offer you the natural charm for half the price. Timber walls are one of the cheapest options, as timber is an abundant resource. You also have the option to choose which kind of timber you’d like, which comes in various colours, hardwoods and grain textures.
Building a wood retaining wall offers the most customisation out of all the retaining options, as not only do you have various timber types to choose from, but the wood can be stained or painted in the colour you’d like. This is especially useful if you plan on rendering or repainting the front of your home in the future and would like to change the fence colour to match.
Though not as durable as stone or concrete retaining walls, you can expect your wood retaining walls to last at least 20 years if cared for properly. It’s worth investing in wood that’s heavy-duty and staying clear of treated pine logs or railway sleepers. Treated pine sleepers are one of the best choices and can significantly outlast hardwood sleepers by up to 10 years. Just remember, for utmost longevity, you’ll need wood retaining wall drainage as water that can’t pass through can end up causing bulging and cracking. Wood retaining wall drainage is critical to ensuring the long term health of your wall.
Adds value to your home
Timber retaining walls are a relatively quick way you can add value to your home, as they offer curb appeal and are an eye attracting feature to prospective buyers. Building a wood retaining wall instantly adds some dimension to a property and allows you to segment flower and garden beds if you share a front lawn with neighbours. Aside from aesthetics, timber retaining walls can help prevent erosion and flooding, as your soil won’t wash away in heavy weather.
Less lawn work
Though a large front yard is wonderful to have, keeping it trim and neat can be quite the chore. One of the unknown benefits of building a wood retaining wall is that you can save on mowing. If your yard has an area that’s especially hilly, adding it into a retaining wall can transform it into a usable space.
Easy to construct
Unlike stones which require mortar and an almost jigsaw-like precision to assemble, building a wood retaining wall can be done relatively easily and with minimal tools required. However, if you do choose a labourer who specialises in timber retaining walls, it’ll likely be cheaper and faster than stone or concrete retaining wall construction. If your retaining walls are above 1m high, you’ll have to enlist the help of a structural engineer – though that height does differ depending on what state you’re in.
Interested to Learn More?
Looking for timber supplies for your retaining wall? At Versace Timbers, we stock softwood and hardwood Brisbane wide for a number of construction projects. Browse our options or contact our timber supplies Brisbane team on 07 3266 9000 if you have any questions. Or come see the different types of timber we offer in person by visiting 33 Vauxhall Street in Virginia.