Modular Walls for Strength…But Sometimes Not for Beauty

Hardscape · Written by Roger

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Aesthetically, I’m not a huge fan of precast modular walls, but they do offer a cost effective, strong and long-lasting wall solution.  The industry has come a long way and many manufacturers now offer different styles and technical design.

One thing I find interesting and helpful is that many of these modular wall manufacturers offer in-house engineering help.  This can be huge because in most instances you’re proposing your modular wall design to a town’s construction office for approval and permits.  The town will often require construction detail drawings and engineering calculations as part of the application.

Strong and Cost Effective

On this project we needed to level an area for a swimming pool, patio and cabana. The land sloped down towards the rear property line. The design called for a well-engineered wall that would create this new level area.  Appearance was secondary because all viewing and activity on the property would happen from above. The retainment wall would rarely be seen.

This was an ideal situation for a modular wall.  It was constructed quickly and cost effectively as compared to a natural stone wall.  And the way these modular walls are designed, I have no doubt it will remain strong and solid forever.

All of the hardscape work for the pool and patio was to be of natural stone. So we decided to “cap” the precast modular wall with the same natural stone because that would be the one portion of the wall that someone might see.

This to me is an effective use of modular wall design. Nothing was compromised – the construction integrity was 100% and the visible portion of the wall (the cap) was natural stone.

Modular wall is a great tool to have in landscape construction.  You really have to consider all its aspects to see if it fits your situation.  My concern with any “manufactured” feature is whether or not it will eventually become outdated.  With natural stone I never have that concern.

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