Essential Property Maintenance is a full service landscaping contractor serving Calgary, Alberta. We specialize in the design and construction of retaining walls using a variety of different materials including allan block, boulders and rocks, and concrete for both residential and commercial property owners.
If you have a mild to steep slope to your property then a retaining wall or combination of retaining walls may allow you to reclaim some of that sloped space. Retaining walls are a great way to enhance both the look and function of your landscaping. Maybe you need more flat parking space for a boat or RV? Maybe you’d like to carve out a slope in your backyard so you can have a backyard patio?
From an 80′ foot long stacked block retaining wall to line your driveway, or separate a property line to large retaining walls on your terraced, or sloping property designed to hold back large amounts of earth, the team at Essential Property Maintenance will be able to provide retaining wall solutions that will benefit your specific property.
Retaining Wall Construction Calgary AB
- Allan Block Retaining Walls
- Driveway Retaining Walls
- Rock and Boulder Retaining Walls
What Does The City of Calgary Say About Retaining Walls?
There is always confusion among property owners about what the requirements are for retaining wall construction and if a building permit is required or not. The City of Calgary provides a pretty good outline on their website.
A development permit for a retaining wall is required when:
- A minimum horizontal separation of 1.0 m between retaining walls on the same property.
- When a retaining wall retains more than 1.0 m or more of soil.
If your retaining wall is more than 1.0 meter in height, it will require a building permit. Depending on the amount of soil it’s holding back and any additional surcharges (weight on top of the wall such as a boat or RV parking pad), the wall might also have to be signed off by an engineer.
Retaining Walls and Proper Drainage
While retaining walls are designed and built to hold back earth and fill, they will also hold back and channel water. The water that builds up behind a retaining wall is referred to as “hydrostatic pressure” and the external force of the material/fill held behind your wall coupled with the weight of the water is often enough to seriously compromise the integrity of your wall and even cause failure and collapse.
A good drainage system should be an integral part of any retaining wall design. Depending on the type of material being used to build the wall there are a variety of ways to integrate sufficient drainage such as weep holes, lateral drains, blanket drains and also the use of very granular soil or fill.
Don’t underestimate the external forces that are being applied to your retaining wall, as there are many retaining walls throughout our area that have failed due to poorly thought out or non-existent drainage. This is a mistake you do not want your contractor to make.