When it comes to DIY home projects, building a retaining wall seems like a good place to start for most home owners. Amateur DIYers operate on the belief that if it looks easy, it must be easy to do. But once you take on the project, you’ll quickly realise that there is a lot more involved in building a retaining wall than you ever anticipated.
From obtaining permits to designing, planning and building the wall, the process requires careful consideration and expertise at every stage. Hiring a professional to build the retaining wall is the smartest thing to do. Here’s why:
In-depth knowledge and expertise
When you hire a professional builder, you are paying them—not just for the labour—but also for the knowledge and expertise that they bring on to the project.
A professional builder will know by looking at the soil what kind of construction will hold up in such a landscape. Knowing the local conditions and how it will affect the wall is just one of the factors that make professional builders so much more qualified to handle such a project.
Design and structure
To achieve desired results, objectives need to be set in place at the onset. Does the wall serve a functional aspect or is it just decorative? Decorative walls require different materials and are constructed in a very different manner as opposed to structural retaining walls. Knowing which materials to use and how will help save money, time and effort.
A professional asks some very basic yet very crucial questions that homeowners often overlook. Is the wall level? Is the drainage for the wall functioning as it should? Knowing to look for these issues is what separates an expert from an amateur.
Warranty, warranty, warranty
This point can’t be stressed enough. Professional builders offer warranty. This means that your wall is protected and you won’t have to spend more money if something goes wrong in the future.
A DIY project almost always ends up costing more than your estimated budget, and if you have problems later, you’ll have to foot the bill for damage-control and repair as well.
Labour and time intensive work
Building a retaining wall is a labour and time intensive job. On average, it takes an amateur almost four times longer than a professional to complete the same project.
So, unless you enjoy the idea of slaving over your project on the weekends, breaking your back digging holes, you would do well to hand it over to the experts.
Remember, professional builders come equipped with a qualified and highly trained team at their disposal. That kind of efficiency just cannot be replicated by a one-man job.
Hidden costs In DIY
What most people embarking on a DIY project fail to consider are the hidden costs involved. You will need to hire tools and equipment and pay a hefty rental fee for those.
Since you will be shopping for construction materials at a home improvement store, you are likely to be paying retail prices for materials that a professional would get at wholesale rates.
Unfamiliarity with the tools could lead to personal injuries, which in turn could mean that you have to take time off from work (another hidden cost).
Such accidents are very common when it comes to DIY home projects, which is what makes them a dangerous prospect to consider.
Affects your home’s resale value
A shoddily-built retaining wall can do more damage than good. We’re talking about issues as big as damage to the foundation. And if that occurs, then your home’s resale value will take a hit.
Retaining walls are usually put in place to protect the house from flooding, stop soil erosion and to fortify the foundation. With such important responsibilities to take on, a retaining wall should be built to last a life time, with no possibility of a leak or any other such issues.
Even if you do manage to build a structurally sound retaining wall, chances are that the end results just do not look as aesthetically pleasing as one done by a professional.
When working with a professional builder, you also get to see different options when it comes to design. You can pick and choose from those designs, taking into account your budget and preferred style.
DIYs are great if we’re talking about installing a herb garden or building some shelves for the garage. But when it comes to important home improvement projects that require experience, it is better to leave it to the experts.