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Retaining Walls vs. Fences

By Whirl Construction (386 words)
Posted in Retaining Walls/Pavers on February 24, 2015

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Everyone likes a little privacy in their own backyard. Both fences and retaining walls can accomplish the same goal: defining your property line. While a retaining wall is better for supporting high-level areas like patios or playgrounds on a hill, there's no rule saying it can't be used as a divider also.

Each option offers different types of privacy.

Pros & Cons of fences

More Options, Cheaper. You can use all different types of material for a fence, such as wood, aluminum, and iron. You can choose from picket, wrought-iron, farm post, and all other kinds of fencing for a look that matches your home and the neighborhood. You have more choices for what fits with your budget.

Not as durable. Depending what type of material you decide to use, a harsh storm can easily destroy your fencing. Additionally, it will succumb to wear and tear a lot faster than a retaining wall, which is made of durable, natural material.

More options for design. If you want your house surrounded with a smaller, classic look, a fence will provide the minimum. You can choose from picket, wrought-iron, farm post, and all other kinds of fencing for a look that matches your home and the neighborhood.

Pros  & Cons of retaining walls

Resistant. If your property is on a slope, you might be in trouble with just a fence during a particularly nasty snow storm. One avalanche can put too much pressure on a fence. However, because of the way a retaining wall is structured, it can withstand any elements. 

More expensive. Because of the quality materials used to build a retaining wall, it's going to cost you a little more money than a fence. If your heart is set on it, try using it sparingly around your property instead of enclosing the entire area. 

Offers the ultimate privacy. There's no chance of neighbors peeking through the cracks of a retaining wall. The stones or concrete blocks are packed tightly together to ensure only you know what goes on in your backyard. You can stack it as tall as eight feet for maximum security. A retaining wall provides a natural, simplistic look that doesn't need much added on.

With these major main differences in mind, you can decide for yourself if a fence or retaining wall better suited for your needs. 

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