Tag Archives: retaining wall contractor

3 Important Signs You Need to Fix Your Retaining Wall

3-Important-Signs You Need to Fix Your Retaining Wall retaining wall contractor Mares Dow

Retaining walls create an impressive addition to your curb appeal, as well as offering practical landscaping improvements. When you work with experienced retaining wall contractors, your wall should last for many years to come. Yet, while it’s easy to make the decision to hire the best retaining wall contractors for a new build, what happens if you inherit a wall that wasn’t built to such standards?

In that case, your retaining wall contractors may help you to repair or replace your wall as needed if it’s showing these three important signs.

1. Large Wall Slippage

Safety always comes first, so the most important thing to check is if a large section of your wall is experiencing slippage, toppling, or overturning. Think of this type of damage in terms of percent of the wall affected, rather than in total square feet. If your wall is experiencing flaws in a large area you could be at risk for a wall collapse and should immediately call retaining wall contractors to come and evaluate the damage. 

Fortunately, this large-scale damage is not common and rarely part of normal wear and tear. Once the safety of your home or business has been established, you can look at managing simpler repairs to get your wall back to looking and functioning like new.

2. Water Leaks

Properly installed retaining walls should have drainage. The exact amount and placement of this drainage will depend on your location, but if you see water trickling down at random spots — you probably need to fix things. If poor drainage systems are left unrepaired, you may end up with bowing, cracking, and crumbling walls.

3. Disconnected Bricks

Another sign that you should fix things now is if the bricks in your retaining wall start separating, or falling out of the wall. A quality wall will be designed to stay in place, but sometimes the foundation is not packed tightly enough or the bricks or bench components aren’t sealed correctly. Shaking earth from large scale construction or even small earthquakes may also cause wall damage. Fix this damage as soon as possible to save money and preserve the life of your retaining wall. 

Whether looking for a brick wall, lumber-based build, or even concrete — Mares & Dow Construction & Skylight has extensive experience as retaining wall contractors in the Bay Area. Contact us to learn more.

Which Types of Retaining Wall Do You Need?

Which-Types-of-Retaining-Wall-Do-You-Need-retaining-wall-contractor-Mares-Dow

Retaining walls can be incredibly convenient in increasing your home’s usable land and might be a necessity for houses on dangerous hills. Weather and erosion can result in a precarious situation for home foundations.

If you are thinking of building a retaining home on your property, the options can be overwhelming. Here are some of the most common types of retaining walls that retaining wall contractors install in homes.

Anchored Retaining Wall

If you have a limited amount of space but still need a retaining wall, then the anchored wall is the best option. This type is known for being relatively thin and can be built taller. It works well for loose soil and rocks.

“Anchors” made of cables or strips are driven into the ground behind the wall and secure Anchored retaining walls. Even though the wall is thin and tall, the anchors support the wall by being driven into the ground mechanically.

Sheet Piling Retaining Wall

If you need a temporary wall for construction, the sheet piling wall is usually the best bet. Sheet Piling Retaining walls are constructed by driving different sections of the pre-constructed wall into the ground and connecting them to form a wall. The sections can be driven in at different depths to create stability. Construction of these walls is quicker than others.

These are some of the least stable walls because they can not withstand a large amount of pressure. These also don’t work in dense, thick soil. Also, it can be challenging to match the wall to a preferred shape, because the preconstructed sections determine the walls’ shape and height.

Cantilevered Retaining Wall

The most common type of retaining wall is the Cantilever. This wall is heavily reinforced with metal bars running through thick concrete to form the wall and is built in an “L” shape so that the soil keeps the wall standing. This wall is one of the sturdiest options for substantial amounts of soil.

The wall can be pre-constructed off-site or constructed onsite. Cantilevered retaining walls have a stem and base shape for stability. However, it’s essential to account for site-specific concerns for sliding and overturning due to pressure.

Gravity Retaining Wall

The Gravity Retaining wall is known for strength, which it depends on to stand and hold soil. This wall is one of the most flexible options when it comes to building material. However, because of its weight, the wall usually must be massive.

Retaining wall contractors can create a type of Gravity Retaining wall using heavy boxes to create a draining system in which they fill holes with rocks or coarse soil. These are called Crib Retaining walls, and they are an excellent option to reduce the water build-up. Regular Gravity Retaining walls might require a trench and room for extra reinforcement.

There is a retaining wall for any situation that your property comes across, whether you need a drive, more landscaping space, or need to protect your home from dangerous erosion. It’s always a good idea to discuss options with contractors and decide which type of retaining wall is best for you.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  We are retaining wall experts.  Contact us today to get started on your retaining wall project!

Home Remodel: 5 Reasons to Renovate Your Kitchen

Home remodel - Mares Dow

As you work with your home remodeling contractors on your next project, consider these five reasons to focus your efforts on a modern, on-trend kitchen renovation. 

 

  1. New color trends

For several years the all-white kitchen has been the predominant trend. While this clean and minimalist look may still have some staying power yet, other hues are making an appearance and looking to overtake monochromatic white color schemes. Pastel pink cabinets, for one, are a popular option that offers a beautiful complement to natural materials such as butcher block countertops or granite tiles. On the other end of the color spectrum, moody hues for the kitchen, such as navy or forest green, provide a bold accent to lighter walls and counters and pair beautifully with gold hardware and fixtures.  

 

  1. Cabinets are back

Though the open-shelving trend has an undeniably appealing aesthetic in the glossy pages of magazines or the bright glow of your browser, many homeowners have found them to be impractical in their real-life application. The epitome of unencumbered minimalism, open shelving can, unfortunately, tend to feel more cluttered in practice. As a result, cabinets are making a comeback. With the endless styles of cabinets to choose from, now is a great time to renovate and ditch your open shelving if they aren’t working for you. 

 

  1. Modern room dividers

There are multiple unique ways to designate and partition the kitchen from other household spaces without sacrificing the spacious and connected feeling of an open floor plan. Glass and steel room dividers, for example, can keep the kitchen sounds and smells out of your living room while still letting the spaces visually interact. Like the work of skilled retaining wall contractors, this modern take on partitions can transform how your kitchen and surrounding rooms look and feel. 

 

  1. Exciting texture options

Whether its rough-hewn stone tiles or polished concrete countertops or a live-edge wooden table or island, there are many dynamic textures to explore in your next kitchen renovation. To make a statement with texture, some homeowners are extending their tiled kitchen backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. This bold accent draws the eye and creates a stunning and visually interesting addition to any kitchen. 

 

  1. Enjoy a deep bench

Built-in bench seating for the kitchen table is a popular new renovation for homeowners looking to create a cozy dining nook that invites people to lounge and spend time at the table. Benches also have the benefit of offering additional storage for items like games, place settings, blankets, and any other accessories you may need to settle in for a while and spend time with friends and family. 

What does “green remodeling” entail?

 

Over the past decade, there has been a significant push in residential construction to achieve LEED certification and “green building” status in design and construction, and homeowners are reaping the substantial benefits. Many homeowners, however, are also realizing that the benefits of green buildings no longer need to be reserved for newly constructed homes. On the contrary, those who live in the millions of older homes across the US are partnering with home remodeling contractors to improve their houses with “green remodeling” projects.

Green remodeling concepts

Like the principles that underlie the residential LEED Certification guidelines, green remodeling focuses on energy efficiency, healthy indoor air, durability, and resource efficiency. Improving homes in these four areas and thinking about the house less as a collection of spaces and more as an interdependent system has immediate and resonant results: decreased utility bills, increased occupant comfort and wellbeing, and redirecting home maintenance cost savings into spending that benefits local communities. These are goals that every homeowner can get behind and can achieve with their next remodeling project.

Green remodeling project ideas

There are several green remodeling projects a homeowner can undertake, with varying degrees of complexity and costs, but with a guaranteed return on investment in the long term.

Roofs

Roof repair or replacement is an excellent green remodel. Not only can this project immediately improve a home’s energy efficiency, but it can also greatly enhance it with modern solar cell roofing materials which can provide off-grid electricity to the home.

Windows

Many older homes also use energy inefficiently due to leaky windows. Window replacement is an opportunity to recapture those lost utility costs while updating the look of the home and increase curb appeal.

Retaining walls

Working with retaining wall contractors to optimize the landscape around the home is also an ideal green project. Retaining walls can protect the foundation of the home from soil erosion and water damage, which can eventually lead to costly and resource-heavy repairs in the worst case scenarios. Additionally, retaining walls can be made of recycled materials and can function as a component of a water catchment system, managing and collecting groundwater for reuse in the yard or the home.

Skylights

One of the simplest green remodel projects can be installing venting skylights. In addition to the incorporation of natural light and reduction in electricity use that skylights are known for, venting skylights allow homeowners to remotely-control or automate their open/close functions, allowing healthier outdoor air to circulate throughout the home.

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