Washington DC’s historic neighborhoods are filled with brick homes built in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Brick retaining walls in front of the homes support tiered gardens, delineate walkways, and anchor fences. Backyard patios are buttressed by retaining walls, which are integral to the design. Renaissance Development specializes in brick restoration of these retaining walls whenever possible, using traditional materials and methods.
In the construction of new retaining walls, Renaissance Development utilizes modern building methods. The new structures are finished with historically appropriate materials that ensure continuing structural integrity for decades to come. There are generally two types of brick retaining walls. Although they look nearly identical, there is a difference in materials and method of construction.
- A cavity wall is made entirely out of brick. It has two standard brick walls just inches apart that share the same foundation. The space between them has steel and concrete for strength. Brick is used from top to bottom on both sides.
- A block core wall is constructed out of CMU (concrete masonry unit) which holds the steel within its cells filled with concrete. Block walls provide outstanding structural stability and are easy to waterproof against the long term effects of moisture. Different types of brick – whole brick, half brick, and brick veneer – can be laid on the outside of the structural block core like a veneer.
Brick retaining walls can be used to create a level area for an urban patio as well as beautiful terraced landscape areas for plantings and gardens. Well designed and maintained retaining walls will dramatically enhance the curb appeal of the house.
Renaissance Development is a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation of the area’s wonderful old homes and buildings. We specialize in brick repair and restoration projects in Capitol Hill, Shaw, Logan Circle, Adams Morgan and other areas in Washington, DC, as well as Old Town, Alexandria, VA. To find out more about our services, visit our “Contact” page and fill out the form or call us at 202.547.2345.