What better inspiration for this project than the rugged west coast shoreline and the forest surrounding the property! This long term client was in the process of building a new home and asked us to construct a large retaining wall at the back and side of the property to hold back the earth behind. After consultations with their building contractor, we finally came up with a plan that worked. We decided to go with a natural blast rock from the area, rather than a poured cement or mortared stone wall.
Surrounding the home was a natural forest with large tall trees, wild flowers, and some arbutus show pieces, so we sourced out stone that would match the existing landscape. The owner wanted to be able to create pockets of plants inside the wall that would soften the look and help it blend into the forest above. Drainage and retaining the slope were the two biggest issues that had to be addressed, as we had to take into consideration prepping for the poured aggregate patio that would be installed later. In behind the rock wall, a heavy duty fabric that would filter ground water but hold back the soil behind was implemented to prevent erosion.
After the first row of boulders were laid, a perforated drainage pipe on the backside of the rocks between the fabric and rock wall was installed and then back filled with drainage rock. As the wall got higher we continued to back fill with drain rock assisting with the drainage. Before installing the cap rocks, we folded the fabric over top of the rock wall and trimmed off the excess which created a pocket in behind the wall to filter ground water and disperse it evenly through the perforated drain pipe. Two boulder staircases were constructed to access the upper levels of the property.
When construction of the wall was finished, we brought in tonnes of compact-able gravel to bring the patio and path areas around the house up to grade. In the front of the house the owner wanted something more of a polished, high end finish, so we recommend going with a mixture of larger pavers. After careful selection of color and pattern, we brought the selected materials on site. Again drainage was a concern with the project, so we had to be sure to slope the patio away from the house at the proper grade in order to meet up with drains at previously installed heights. Levelling instruments, laser levels, and sting lines were a must in order to properly tie in to correct heights at all edges of the patio and pathways and create a rugged yet aesthetically pleasing end product.« back to projects