Segmental Retaining Walls-Not for Beginners

8" segmental retaining wall block walls

A set of tiered retaining walls with landscape beds behind them

Segmental Retaining Walls (SRW’s) are concrete block retaining walls that use a complicated system of gravity, wall setback, geogrid, proper drainage, compacted base gravel foundation, and other factors to complete a structurally sound, efficient and very appealing retaining wall for commercial or residential purposes.

These walls are difficult to build, requiring lots of labor, lots of equipment, and lots of knowledge to properly build one. Trusting your property to someone who doesn’t have the knowledge, and any combination of the other things can put your investment and property at risk. These walls are quite expensive to build, and if one of them comes down due to improper construction, it could cost you twice as much to have it cleaned up and rebuilt.

 

Small Retaining Wall Block, Too small for the job

This pile of small landscaping blocks is all that’s left of an 8′ tall retaining wall a contractor “thought” he was going to build with them. Needless to say, the wall didn’t survive, it never even made it to completion before it fell

SRW’s are on the average more expensive than a poured concrete wall, that has not been faced with brick or stone but have a much better appearance, having several textures and colors available.

Most of the time, they are built with no concrete foundation, using a compacted base gravel instead, this allows the foundation and the block to move slightly with any frost heaves or movement from hydraulic pressure from ground water. Most poured retaining walls will crack at some point, SRW’s will not crack since they are not mortared together.

Retaining walls can make use of previously unusable land you may have on your property. They can take a steep slope and turn it into several level areas that can then be used for landscape beds, turfgrass, or flower beds. They will add value to your property, in some cases partially or completely paying for themselves in increased property value.

These structural walls can be built at the shore level on most lake properties as a sea wall alleviating erosion and gaining usable land behind the wall once it is backfilled. They can be built virtually unlimited in height, with the right conditions and materials.

Sea Wall on Kentucky Lake

This wall we built on Kentucky Lake to level this property, gain usable land and allow the summer water level to splash against the wall.

LawnMasters Lawn and Landscape has been building these walls for 26 years, we have the experience, knowledge and equipment to build any type of SRW on your property, commercial or residential.

If you need an estimate or a second opinion on how to construct a wall on your property or what type of wall to construct, we are happy to assist. Just contact us and we will take a look and give you a free lawn and landscape analysis for your needs.

Lots of homeowners and quite a few contractors think that any block that you can stack up that has a lip or another method of creating “set back” can be used to easily build a wall. After all, all you do is stack them up, right? Nope….. This is where the situation starts going bad.

Having the knowledge of which block should be used, what type of base foundation, how many feet of geogrid for stablilization, and how many layers of it, how much drainage gravel, etc. all combine to equal what it takes to be able to build a wall properly. This post is primarily a warning to property owners to ask questions of the person or Company that is giving you a retaining wall estimate or proposal.

Things to ask:

  • How long have you been building SRW’s
  • Where are some you can go look at
  • What type/size block would you recommend for this job
  • How much Geogrid will be used
  • Explain how you will address the drainage issues around the retaining wall
  • What will be done at the finish grade to address drainage on top of the wall, to prevent water from running over and down the face of the wall
  • Does your price include excavation and removal of spill
  • Will you provide a stamped engineered drawing of the project
  • What is your warranty for the wall

These are all items that you should ask and get an answer for, that you understand. A structural retaining wall is as important as the foundation under your house and should be given the same professional attention.

Do you have retaining wall questions or issues? Contact us at 888.664.LAWN or email us here EMAIL US

Do you Have What it Takes to Install a First Class Lawn?

With our help, you do!

Most homeowners want a pretty lawn, you have spent thousands on your home and it’s just natural to want to make it look as good as it possibly can. A beautiful, lush, green lawn will frame the home and set it off. So, how do you get it?

You can call us, we can do anything for you that your mind can believe and conceive, but the bigger the dream, the bigger the price tag. You can still get some of what you want by doing the work yourself. Just order our book “Establish and Maintain a First Class Lawn, Like a Pro”

Establish and Maintain a First Class Lawn, Like a Pro

Install the lawn of your dreams using our expertise, and your hard work.

This book is the result of our 26 years experience, years of studying lawn and turf principles and methods, and putting them to use in the real world.

We lay out the “how to’s” to get a great looking lawn. Everything from different methods of establishing a lawn. From the total kill down and complete restoration to a simple aerate and overseed method. Which is best for your lawn, when to do it, how much seed to use, how much and what kind of fertilizer should you use, and how you should maintain your new lawn once it comes in.

 

 

 


Everything that we lay out for you to do, is taken directly from our experience in doing exactly what we do for our customers each and every day.

If you have the energy, and desire to do this yourself, you surely can. It’s hard work! But with guidance, you can do it!

Over the last 26 years, we have gladly given away thousands of dollars worth of information, advice and instructions on how to do certain lawn and landscape maintenance chores. We are happy to help our customers. If you download our book, you automatically get access to answers to your questions by email. Just drop us a note and we are happy to answer and help you.

Our new book is an E-Book, first designed for Amazon’s Kindle, but now can be downloaded and read on any device using Amazon’s free Kindle Reader App Currently we do not yet have a hard copy of the book available. However, click here to download Establish and Maintain a First Class Lawn, Like a Pro  and then let us know if you have any questions about how to complete your project.

Our Background 

Lawnmasters was started in 1990 after owner and founder, Greg Pierce had just finished up his second bout with cancer, and it’s treatments. The Company was then started out of his love of seeing a new lawn establish and grow into a beautiful, lush, green lawn. Greg Pierce, CTP (Certified Turfgrass Professional) founded Lawnmasters as a “Weed and Feed” type of Company to apply fertilizer and weed control products to the lawns of customers in our service area. This was all we planned to do, but due to the demand for more services, we started doing complete lawn and landscape design, installation, and maintenance.

We quickly grew from a one-man business to one of the largest lawn and landscape Companies in our area.

Today, we are finishing our 26th year in business and have serviced customers from Paducah, KY, to Memphis, TN, to Franklin, TN. We are licensed, insured, bonded, and chartered, for our customer’s protection. We have been very successful in our field for the last 26 years, and we are happy to give back to those who have helped us get there.

Greg has also finished his third fight with cancer and is currently doing well.

If you have any questions about the book, drop us an E Mail

 

Is Gravel Still Mulch?

Every year you see truck after truck going down the highway loaded to the hilt with ground hardwood bark mulch. It’s a yearly ritual and rite of Spring, to re mulch the Landscape Beds. But does it have to be hardwood mulch?

Lately there is a trend toward using other materials that don’t have to be re-done each year. Gravels are extremely popular, low maintenance and in the long run cost less over the lifetime of the Landscape.
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Advantages of gravel mulchs

1) Less expensive over the years.
2) Doesn’t have to be refreshed each year.
3) Is available in as many colors as hardwood mulch.
4) Will stay put in rain and wind better than hardwood mulch.

Disadvantages of gravel mulchs

1) Higher initial expense than hardwood mulch
2) More labor intensive to place, it’s much heavier and harder to handle.
3) Bagged decorative gravel mulchs are much more expensive than hardwood mulch.
4) If you don’t keep in contained with edgers or some type of restraint, it will creep into the lawn and can be thrown by mowers.

So consider a decorative rock, washed rock from a gravel pit, or even creek gravel if you have a creek nearby that you are allowed to get it from. It can change up the landscape from monotonous brown mulch. You don’t have to do it all at the same time. Do part of the beds this year, then convert the rest next year. Or just go half and half. Either way, it’s a good substitute for wood mulch.

Check our more information on Lawns and Landscaping at our website www.Lawnmastersllpc.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lawnmasters

Sod or Seed A New Lawn? What’s The Difference?

You have a new home and you now need a new lawn. So, what kind of grass? And now how to establish the new lawn, Sod, Seeding, Sprigging?
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Which you do will depend on a couple of things, first being how much money do you want to spend. What’s the difference in Sodding or Seeding? Can be a few thousand dollars. The determining factors are going to be cost, climate, type of grass, time of year being established and end result desired.

1) Cost – The cost of Sodding will be approximately 3 times the cost of Seeding. So if cost is your only determining factor, get it as cheap as you can, then seeding is the way to go, if you want instant grass, Sodding is it. So….do you have more patience than money? Seed. Want an instant lawn? Sod.

2) Climate of your lawn – Some areas of the Country we can sod any time of the year, other parts of the Country we can Seed any time of the year. But there are parts of the Country where we can’t do either at certain parts of the year. So depending on the type of grass you are establishing, you will not be able to Seed at certain parts of the year. Refer to our website for more detailed information on types of grass and when to seed them Click Here For Establishment Page The most important thing to decide upon is what type of grass you want, then what time of the year it can be established will determine the rest.

3) Type Of Grass – This we’ve covered a bit already, but you need to determine the type of grass you want, then you can determine the time of year it can be planted, sodded, or sprigged. As well as how it can be established.

4) Time Of Year – The time of year you are trying to establish a lawn may determine how you do it. Sodding can be done during most of the year, hot weather will stop Fescue in the hottest part of the year, freezing weather will stop most types of sod also. But if you are wanting to seed, there are two times of year to seed Fescue and other cool season grasses. Fall is #1, Spring is #2. During the summer is out for cool season grasses for seeding.

5) End Result Desired – If you want your lawn to look like a park, then you will want to Sod. Seeding can get great results, but you must have patience. If ALL conditions are great, and you do your part to take care of the lawn as best you can, it will still take a year to get a lawn looking as good as a sodded lawn would look immediately. So don’t think your going to seed a lawn and pay 1/3 the cost and get the same immediate results. Seeding can deliver great results if done right, with the proper seed type, proper fertilizer and proper methods. It’s more than just throwing some seed out on the ground.

We have tons of information on our website about seeding, sodding, and maintenance to keep it looking good. Click Here for More

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