Retaining Walls for Driveways and Parking Lots: What You Need to Know
As we head toward the hustle and bustle of another busy holiday season, we’ve got retaining walls for driveways and parking lots on the mind.
It might seem strange to think about landscaping in the middle of November, what with the many months of blustery winter weather ahead of us. But really, there’s no better time than now to be designing the driveway of your dreams.
The best time to start building a new driveway is after those wet early-spring rains. So we thought we’d help you get ahead of the game by filling you in on everything you need to know. Get the planning process started today!
A Little Extra or a Bit Off the Top?
The first thing to consider when planning your new driveway is whether you’re looking to cut or fill. This will determine the design, materials, and details you need to consider when building.
Not sure which category you fall into? No problem! We’ll break it down for you.
Cut retaining wall
This retaining wall is for when you need to extend your driveway. This is for when you want to make it longer or more approachable.
With this sort of design, we always suggest including a curb or parking stop at least four feet out from the retaining wall. This will ensure there’s no potential for a driver to accidentally clip or run into the wall itself!
This sort of retaining wall can also be designed without any fundamental considerations for top-load since all of the heavy traffic will be on the driveway below.
Keep in mind that slopes or structures above the wall also add loading. And they need to be determined beforehand. Preliminary designs are always crucial in any retaining wall design.
Fill retaining wall
This driveway design is for when you need to build up your driveway. It’s perfect if you want to compensate for a slope that’s too shallow. It’s also an excellent solution for land that’s otherwise unstable.
In this instance, geogrids are usually required to account for the load on the driveway. We don’t want someone driving into your wall. But we also don’t want them to go over the wall. So, a parking curb and guard rail are recommended.
All driveways and retaining walls fall into these two build categories. Once you’ve determined which approach your particular situation calls for, you’re well on your way to designing a stunning, attractive new driveway!
Photos of Retaining Walls for Driveways and Parking Lots Using CornerStone Wall Blocks