NOVA Construction Pro is a retaining wall contractor that serves Northern Virginia. We build retaining walls for various applications, such as planter walls, seating walls, landscaping walls, and structurally engineered walls. We also build walls with a wide selection of materials such as pressure-treated lumber, timbers, architectural concrete blocks, poured concrete walls, and CMU, also known as cinderblocks which can be veneered with natural stone or brick. Any retaining wall 3 feet or taller will need to be permitted through your local building authority. NOVA Construction Pro is a Class A Contractor that is licensed and insured. This means we can install any project and be able to obtain permits from any building department located in Northern Virginia. We can provide references and reviews from our past customers to give you confidence that we can design and build a great-looking and long-lasting retaining wall. We only use the best materials and highly qualified craftsmen to ensure customer satisfaction. We believe the best advertising is a satisfied customer, and that is our number one mission. We make it easy to get started with any project and offer free consultation and estimates.
A retaining wall serves to keep dirt and vegetation in place. This mostly applies to landscapes featuring uneven ground or large slopes where retaining walls act as a necessary barrier to prevent the soil from sliding forward in a landslide. Certain soil types which retain more water can lead to sliding of land and erosion of soil in your yard. A retaining wall is often a necessary safety feature for your landscape, ensuring your land will stay intact and prevent water from pooling around your foundation and letting water into your home through a weakened foundation.
Erosion is ever prevalent in any landscape, whether it is due to wind or water. Retaining walls are very important, especially if your landscape does not feature a lot of deep-rooted vegetation to hold the dirt in place. In addition to providing necessary support to the soil, retaining walls also help reduce the surface runoff by reducing sharper gradients. This reduces the speed at which water travels over the surface and thereby reduces erosion.
Retaining walls do all this while also providing effective flood control in the form of water drainage to prevent flooding. Channels and drainage pipes can be integrated into the construction to provide further measures for proper drainage and water control. Lastly, retaining walls also reduce the gradient through terracing, allowing water to soak into the soil rather than run off the surface.
While hills and mounds can be attractive features in your yard, they occupy precious space. Using a terrace sequence of retaining walls, you can add more usable space to your yard, which can then be used for planting. Terracing also creates an imposing and attractive foundation for your yard, which can be used to help add space for patios and gardens.
Gravity Retaining Wall
Crib Retaining Wall
Gabion Retaining Walls
Cantilever Retaining Wall
Counter-fort / Buttressed Retaining Wall
Anchored Retaining Wall
Piled Retaining Wall
Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Retaining wall
When building a retaining wall, a permit will be required for walls that are 3 feet and over. Homeowners can apply for permits; however, in most counties, the building departments do not recommend it. If your contractor wants to put the permit in your name, a red flag should go off because the responsibility of the permit is now your problem. That’s why it’s best to have the permit pulled under the contractor’s company. Contractors must be licensed to obtain a building permit. Furthermore, your contractor will need a business license for the county or city in which the property is located. Depending on the project’s scope, permit applications will be submitted and reviewed by various departments.
One of the first steps in the permitting process is obtaining approval from the zoning department. Zoning will require a plat to be submitted that includes the proposed location of the retaining wall. It’s the zoning department’s job to make sure that the structure meets all codes related to the property’s current zoning. the zoning review will make sure that all setbacks and other criteria are in line with the zoning for the property.
When obtaining a building permit for a retaining wall, plans must be submitted for review and approval. Using a typical detail for the plans will save money as there will be no need to pay for the plans. There are situations where plans will need to be prepared by a civil engineer. These plans need to be signed and stamped and will need to meet the building department’s guidelines. It’s also important to note that additional site-related plans can be required when 2,500 square feet of grading occur during the construction. A conservation plan will also be required when more than 5,000 square feet of land is disturbed. In addition to plans, a house location survey or plat will be required to ensure the project will not encroach on any easements or setbacks. If your property has a well or septic system, your permit will need approval from the health department.
As you can see, there is a lot of work that can take place before the construction of a retaining wall can begin. The good news is that NOVA Construction Pro offers turn-key projects. We will take care of everything required to obtain any required permits for your project. We are experienced builders and know the ropes to getting a permit for your project. The timeline for obtaining a permit can vary significantly. Some cities and counties offer walkthrough permitting, while some locations only offer drop-off permitting. Extra time should be expected for any project that will require additonal reviews.
It’s very important that you have the permit pulled by a licensed contractor because the responsibility then falls on your contractor. Be careful if your contractor is unable to obtain the permit on their own and ask you to help them by filling a homeowner affidavid for the permit. That means you may be reponsible for things you really don’t want to be.