New Retaining Wall Construction, Repair, and Replacement.
We are your Oregon City and Portland Oregon retaining wall specialists!
Retaining walls are a great addition to any landscape, especially if your property has an existing slope. Building a retaining wall allows you to reclaim some of that lost space by carving out usable outdoor spaces on sloping ground that would otherwise not be usable. Retaining walls can hold back earth and soil which helps to create new level areas for the construction of a new garden bed, a new lawn, a patio or an outdoor cooking area, a parking area, and more. Retaining walls can be built using a variety of materials including rock, brick, block, boulders, or even wood.
Why Do You Need A Retaining Wall On Your Property?
- Do you need to prevent soil erosion on your property?
- Do you want to add more character or style to your landscape?
- Do you have an existing retaining wall that has failed and needs repair or rebuilt?
- Do you have a sloped property you’d like to landscape?
- Do you want to create a new outdoor living space?
- Do you want some raised garden beds around your home or property?
Grandiflora is a landscaping contractor based out of Oregon City, OR and serving the Portland Metro area. We specialize in designing and building functional retaining walls for property owners looking to landscape their naturally sloped property. From a 50′ foot long stacked block retaining wall to hold back earth around the edge of your home to larger, more complicated, retaining walls for your terraced property. The team at Grandiflora will be able to provide you with a retaining wall solution that will benefit your specific property.
New Retaining Wall Construction
We specialize in the construction of new segmented retaining walls. The benefits to a segmented retaining wall system are many. Segmented retaining walls are aesthetically pleasing, they offer design flexibility, they are economical, easier to install, and durable. They are also pre-engineered, meaning the wall can be built to your project specifications without having to have an architect or engineer design the wall itself. We can build the wall to the engineering specifications and have a qualified engineer sign off on the project if the height or size of the wall requires it.
Retaining Walls & Building Permits in Oregon City, OR
In most of Oregon City (your municipality could be different) retaining walls that are under 3 feet in height generally do not require permits or design plans. There are some specifics that may or may not apply to your situation. If the retaining wall is 3 feet in height or over than a permit is generally required. Any retaining walls over 6 feet in height will require a permit and additionally an engineered design to ensure the structure is sound. This information does not account for any covenants that might be on your property.
When we view your property we’ll be able to let you know any specific building codes that might apply to your circumstance depending on the height/length of your wall and what it’s specifically being installed for and whatever surcharges (weight) might be applied to the soil above and behind the wall.
Proper Drainage For Your Retaining Wall
We are often contacted by potential customers who have an existing retaining wall that has failed, it’s either falling down, bulging, or collapsing. One of the most common reasons for retaining wall failure is that the original wall was built with poor drainage in place. Retaining walls are designed to hold back earth from erosion. This also makes them excellent at holding back water too. The water that builds up behind a retaining wall is referred to in the industry as “hydrostatic pressure” and the external force of the soil or fill held behind your retaining wall coupled with the weight of the water held behind it is often enough to seriously compromise the integrity of your wall which can lead to failures such as bulging and even a total collapse.
Any well-built retaining wall must incorporate good drainage if it’s going to last for many years. Depending on the type of material being used to build your retaining wall there are a variety of ways to integrate sufficient drainage such as lateral drains, french drains, weeping drains, blanket drains and also the use of very granular soil or fill behind the wall can also to disperse rather than hold the water.
Understanding Retaining Wall Surcharges
A "surcharge" when it comes to a retaining wall is the weight on top of or behind the wall. For example, if you're building a retaining wall to create a new parking area for a boat or an RV we need to consider the weight of the boat or RV and it's impact on the retaining wall.
If your wall is going to have a surcharge it must be built with this in mind if it's going to last. This would also include tiered retaining walls or retaining walls with a fence on top or any other weight other than the earth it's holding back.
Geo-grid is often used to provide extra tensile strength to each course of your retaining wall so it's anchored to the ground behind it. Proper use of geo-grid will ensure that your retaining wall will be built to last and won't collapse or buckle under the excess weight.
What Materials Do We Use For Retaining Walls?
There are many different materials to build your retaining wall out of. Below are some of the more popular materials in our area because of their availability.
- Block retaining walls
- Timber retaining walls
- Fieldstone retaining walls
- Brick retaining walls
- Natural stone retaining walls
- Large boulder retaining walls
- Concrete block retaining walls
How Our Retaining Wall Construction Process Works
When building a retaining wall on your property that is designed to hold back soil and earth from erosion there is very little margin for error so when required we work directly with engineers if your wall is over 6 feet in height. There are many pre-engineered systems we can use as well that can eliminate the need for detailed building plans.
- We start with our initial consultation.
- We determine how many feet of retaining wall you need.
- We determine the height of the wall and if a building permit or engineer will be required.
- We take into account any surcharges (weight) the wall might be exposed to.
- We consult with you on the materials you’d like your retaining built with.
- We’ll provide you with an accurate written estimate for the work.
The amount of work required to build a retaining wall can vary widely from project to project. The slope of your property, the amount of earth your retaining wall must hold back and the overall accessibility of your property will all contribute to the final cost. We’ll be able to offer you an accurate estimate only after a site visit.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation for your retaining wall construction project please give us a call 503-387-7311 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get back to you right away.
What Our Clients Say...
We strive for 100% customer satisfaction through prompt communication and following through on our promises
Max and his team greatly improve the landscaping around our home in NW Portland in preparation for listing it for sale. From a design perspective, he had a wonderful strategy of where to focus on a large property to maximize value. The installation and irrigation was done correctly and without issues. The new gardens showed really well, were easy to maintain during the sales period, and we more than recouped our landscaping investment with Grandiflora Gardens.
I’ve never seen such professional and aesthetically minded landscapers. Lex and Zach knew their equipment (and used it SO efficiently!) that I could trust their work at an extremely high comfort level. Our job was not done as early as expected, but it was because of a very wet spring and our location/soil type. If I had the money, I’d hire this company for all my landscaping needs. They suggested good options for situations, and let me choose the option I liked, even when it wasn’t their favorite. Great company, and incredible staff.
Max not only gave me the most reasonable bid for the job, but he did great work and returned as soon as the system needed some tweaking. Outstanding customer service!
I had a great experience with Max from Earth, Water and Wood and would highly recommend hiring them. Max was professional, prompt and incredibly knowledgeable. I hired him to help out with a broken sprinkler head. He was able to fix the problem quickly and then did a full review of our sprinkler system and made some recommendations and changes to improve our system's efficiency and cut down our water usage costs. I highly recommend hiring Earth, Water and Wood.
Max and his crew are great! We've been working together for about 8 years now and my garden is a testament to his knowledge about plants and trees. Everything is thriving! He's easy to schedule with, he and crew are friendly, knowledgable people, and I feel very comfortable having them work around my house. I highly recommend them!
Max, the owner of earth water and wood has been absolutely fantastic with communication and did an amazing job with Lighting in my front yard. I highly recommend and will be using his services in the future for all other properties that need landscape care or lighting needs.
Our HOA property (River Royal Terrace) is fortunate to have found Earth, Water & Wood to rehab and care for our gardens and lawn. Max, owner, has been proactive in designing and carrying out his vision. His crew is exceedingly friendly and knowledgeable. We look forward to Spring's beauty and continuing this relationship. Thank you EWW!
I highly recommend Earth, Water & Wood. I had some difficulty finding someone who would take care of basic mowing for my lawn in Milwaukie at a reasonable price and I finally found it with these guys. They do a great job at mowing but not scaring my lawn and have great crews that come to do the work. I will definitely follow through and use them again next spring when lawn season starts up again.
Choose The Right Retaining Wall Builder
Building a retaining wall isn't rocket science but it must be done right if you want the retaining wall to last!
You Want A Beautiful New Retaining Wall...?
There are literally hundreds of landscaping contractors you could choose from throughout the Portland area to design and build your retaining wall. They range from small one man show type businesses to very large landscaping companies with lots of overhead.
Somewhere in the middle is the landscaping contractor that's probably best suited for your retaining wall construction project. Finding a landscaping contractor you can trust to take your vision and transform it from a beautiful design concept into reality is your ultimate goal.
Remember... You're not hiring a landscaper. You're hiring someone to improve your property and make it more aesthetically pleasing. It's an important distinction.
What Should You Consider?
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out who to hire to design and build your new retaining wall. To make things easier when trying to determine who the right landscape design/build contractor is for your project is, start with these questions.
Do they specialize in retaining wall design/build projects of the same scope and scale of the project you have envisioned for your property? If yes, how long have they been in business?
Do they have great reviews from other homeowners who've hired them to design and build their retaining wall?
Do they offer any type of workmanship warranty or any after sales service if there is ever a problem?
Do they have photos and references of the work they are capable of doing?