Retaining Wall Ideas For Your Backyard Space

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    There isn’t a more welcome addition to your backyard space than some hardscaping to hang out in and enjoy during spring, summer, and fall days.

    You can take in the changing landscape around you and embrace the sun’s warmth and all the blooms and textures and vibrant shades.

    As part of your Kansas City landscaping and hardscaping plans, you might hear about retaining walls, especially if you have slopes. While retaining walls have loads of practical uses, they can also add some key aesthetics to your Kansas City backyard.

    Let’s talk about some backyard retaining wall ideas so you can understand how this can be a key part of your landscape.

    What Are Retaining Walls?  

    First of all, let’s talk about what retaining walls are and the functions of these landscape elements.

    When you start thinking about retaining walls, you likely imagine stacks of stone blocks that hold up some landscape beds. In actuality, they do so much more.

    As you consider landscape retaining wall ideas, remember they can add aesthetic elements, create seating, prevent soil erosion, manage sloped terrain, improve planting areas, and even boost your property’s value.

    Let’s look at some of these things retaining walls can do.

    Create Functional Areas and Level Spaces  

    A retaining wall can help prevent some common landscape problems in Kansas City home backyards as well.

    Backyard retaining wall ideas can help you contain soil so it doesn’t wash away and even divert water away from  your home.

    Create Usable Space Out of Areas of a Property That Aren’t Usable As a Slope  

    Rather than having a steep slope in your backyard, retaining walls can form that unusable space into various levels that instantly increase functionality.

    Consider this backyard retaining wall idea: One segment can contain a patio where the retaining wall is providing seating as well as our outdoor furnishings, while another could be a flower bed.

    Provide Structure Visually and Literally in Designs  

    Some landscape retaining wall ideas can even include this landscape element as a part of the design.

    Retaining walls can define the various shapes and edges in your yard, extend your home’s footprint into the landscape giving you a greater living space, and help break up open landscape spaces and create key focal points.

    Delineate Garden Areas  

    If you’re looking to separate garden areas – maybe your prized rose garden – from another space, retaining walls can do that, too.

    There are landscape retaining wall ideas that create canvases in which colorful flowers can blossom and bloom, giving you places to enjoy throughout the seasons.

    Provide Seating  

    Retaining walls can include built-in seating to create areas for you to enjoy the landscape or accommodate extra guests without adding more furniture.

    Walls can be capped off with stone laid in a perpendicular fashion to accomplish this. You can put them around a patio or have them stand alone in an intriguing area in your landscape design.

    Increase Curb Appeal  

    There are so many retaining wall design ideas, and while all of them serve a functional or aesthetic purpose, they also bring some additional value to your entire space by boosting your curb appeal.

    Their functional elements provide multiple ideas for greater usability – what’s not to love about that?

    And their aesthetics make your home look better. For instance, if you have columns added to your retaining walls with lights, they can illuminate your patio or pathways bringing that additional element of safety and security to your backyard and highlighting the structure, adding drama and intrigue any time of day or night.

    Retaining Wall Design Ideas  

    Now that we’ve talked about all the things landscape retaining wall ideas can do for you, let’s look at some creative solutions.

    Retaining walls can become part of many elements in your Kansas City landscape – some that you might not even realize.

    1. Creative Storage Solutions  

    Tired of going to the garage or using an ugly, plain bin to store your outdoor games or other necessities?

    Try this backyard retaining wall idea: Retaining walls can include built-in cabinets to house important items that you want to protect from the elements. It’s a two-in-one solution in your landscape. Maybe you need a place to store your extra cushions from your patio furniture, for instance.

    Also, retaining walls can be a place to store things from prying eyes or for protection. For example, we have one client incorporating a delivery cubby into their retaining wall to receive packages in.

    2. Multi-Use Functionality  

    Retaining walls are masters of multi-function.

    For instance, maybe your main purpose for your landscape retaining wall idea is to take a slope from unusable to multi-functional as a patio and flower bed.

    But in addition to that, you can also include seating in that retaining wall to add another practical element.

    3. Entertain Where It Wasn’t Before Possible  

    A slope might be fun for sledding in the winter, but during the spring, summer, and fall it’s just a boring mess that doesn’t contain soil, creates muddy pockets and doesn’t give you anything to use.

    Backyard retaining wall ideas can turn boring areas of your property into spaces for fun and entertainment, extending your living space.

    4. Build a Fire Feature Into Your Retaining Wall  

    If you get tired of dragging out chairs every time you want to enjoy your fire feature, consider retaining wall design ideas that include these landscape structures as seating and incorporate built-in fire elements so it’s all together as one area.

    Retaining walls can break up wind to help keep your fire burning, as well as provide a sitting wall in a half circle or full circle around the fire pit to add spots for enjoying evenings outdoors.

    5. Incorporate a Water Feature Into Your Retaining Wall  

    If you want to heighten your senses and bring relaxation to your backyard, retaining wall design ideas can include water features to bring a trickling stream sound to your space.

    Can you feel that stress melting away already? We can!

    How Much Do Retaining Walls Cost?  

    When it comes to budgeting for your backyard retaining wall idea, prices range per square foot based on your goals and design.

    A split-face block retaining wall, for instance, can average between $115 and $140 per square foot, while a premium block retaining wall can range from $150 to $180 per square foot and a stone retaining wall can range from $130 to $180 per square foot. The higher end of those price ranges include interesting caps or curves, contrasting block designs, exotics stones, or frost-resistant stones, as examples. (Square foot measurements are calculated on the area of the front face of the wall as height times length,)

    A retaining wall with veneer can reduce your square footage price to $85 to $110 per square foot, and a poured concrete retaining wall can range from $30 to $50 per square foot. While you’re saving some cost with poured concrete, it can be customized by adding color, texture, or caps.

    The Importance of Hiring a Professional to Execute Your Retaining Wall Design Idea  

    Retaining wall design ideas require site specific grade measurements, an education on the necessary engineering of wall construction, water management knowledge, and awareness of the local code ordinances.

    These are all key elements in your Kansas City backyard that you don’t want to mess up. By hiring a professional landscape designer and installer, you get precise measurements, accurate proposals, and help obtaining the necessary permits.

    No matter what retaining wall design idea you choose, you want to make sure it’s designed and installed properly, and that it will last. Working with the right company is key to achieving this goal. Your retaining wall, as you can see, could be an element that you can really enjoy, so you want it to be done right.

    As you think about what you want to do with your space, you might still be confused at how a retaining wall can help. We completely understand. It’s hard to envision a boring slope transformed into a usable, multi-functional, beautiful space.

    Let’s High Prairie Outdoors’s professionals help you envision this reality. We’ve done a lot of retaining wall designs that have incorporated multiple elements and served multiple purposes and can give you a lot of suggestions on how you can turn a boring space you can’t look at into one you use for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying.

    Ready to see how High Prairie Outdoors can install a retaining wall that can transform your Kansas City landscape? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you and deliver an outdoor space that matches your vision. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can create a solution your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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