Pool Retaining Wall: Why Have One?

Whether you’re getting a new pool installed for the first time or you’re looking to do a backyard makeover, a retaining wall may be a vital part of your design.

What exactly is a pool retaining wall, and why would you need one? The answer might surprise you.

Read on to learn more about the why and how you might need to add a retaining wall around your pool so you can be prepared.

What is a Pool Retaining Wall?

In landscaping, a retaining wall is designed to do exactly what it says – retain dirt or rocks and prevent them from falling down into your yard. As for a swimming pool, this type of wall does something similar as it serves to be a barrier around your pool.

Pool retaining walls are usually only installed around a portion of the pool and not completely around the entire thing. In some cases, this wall could be added in order to support extra features like a slide or a waterfall.

A pool retaining wall can be short or quite high depending on the specific design and your specific needs. These walls can be as short as one foot tall to as high as seven feet or even more.

You can opt to add a few extra features to your pool retaining wall. A bench, built-in storage, planters, or decorative fountains are just a few creative ideas. These features can add value to your pool as well as to your home.

It’s important to note that a retaining wall is not always required, but many homeowners choose it as an option. On the other hand, if you have a sloped pool, you’ll probably need one just so that your pool will be installed up to code.

Why Would You Need a Retaining Wall for a Pool?

People with a perfectly graded, level yard will likely not need a retaining wall for their pool. You can still opt to have one built, but it won’t necessarily be required in order for your new pool to pass local building codes.

However, if your yard is on a slope, this type of wall is probably required. The purpose of a pool retaining wall is to prevent materials like soil and debris from running down the slope and into your pool or onto the deck or patio.

Backyards with a particularly high slope are at a much higher risk of eroding over time. The retaining wall helps to serve as a sturdy, protective barrier to keep the soil and rocks from falling onto your patio or into the pool which can cause serious damage.

Areas with particularly loose or very sandy soil will certainly need some kind of retaining wall to keep everything in place. In Florida, the high levels of humidity and heavy annual rainfall are contributing factors that can make soil especially vulnerable to eroding or coming loose.

Before you determine whether or not a pool retaining wall is required, talk to the contractor who is overseeing the pool installation. They can take a closer look at the grading of your yard as well as the soil’s stability. Once they do a thorough inspection, the contractor can tell you whether or not a pool retaining wall is needed.

Design and Build

Once you determine that you’ll need a pool retaining wall, it’s time to think about the construction and the design. Not all contractors build these walls exactly the same way, but almost all of them begin with a concrete footer or slab.

Once the concrete is poured, steel rebar is run throughout the length of the deck for added reinforcement. Cinder blocks or bricks are stacked to form the wall, and they’re filled with mortar and rebar that ties back to the footer.

This process is repeated as each layer of the wall is built to make sure that everything is strong and able to support the weight of the slope. Each layer continues until your new retaining wall reaches the desired (or the required) height.

A paver board is added to the very top of the wall, secured by mortar to finish it. You can have the wall painted or stained if you desire so that everything matches the rest of your backyard pool aesthetic.

One terrific bonus of having a pool retaining wall is that you can customize the design. Make the most of your new wall by opting to include a unique feature that will make using your pool more enjoyable while increasing the value of your home.

Some things you can include in your new pool retaining wall design are a built-in bench for additional seating, a flat, protruding surface for planters and decor, or a beautiful waterfall. Just make sure that any additional features you want will fit into your budget. The cost to build a pool retaining wall will vary, but it’s often less expensive if you have one installed at the same time you get your new pool.

Protect Your Pool with a Retaining Wall

Whether it’s a sloped yard or you just want to add a unique feature, a pool retaining wall can be a wise addition to your backyard design. Make sure you determine whether or not this wall is required and what height it will need to be before you commit.

For all of your construction needs in the Cape Coral and Fort Meyers area, be sure to contact us today for a quote or for more information.