Hillside Landscaping

When your home or business is positioned on a hillside, there are some issues

Hillside landscape design by Environmental Construction Is the hillside stable or will it begin to shift when the ground becomes saturated? Is the there an adequate water drainage system in place? Will the landscaping and ground cover protect against erosion? Does the hillside reduce your living space?

You may not know the answers to these questions. Our landscaping team can help you determine if your hillside is protected against mud slides, falling rock, and unstable trees.

Slope Restoration

We are experts in steep-slope repair. If you need slope restoration, we have the tools and expertise needed to repair your hillside and ensure stability and adequate water drainage.

Read more about our slope restoration service.

Water Drainage Systems

Hillside landscaping with plantings and rock We install effective water drainage systems and rain garden designs -- giving you peace of mind. There is no way we can guarantee that the forces of nature won't have an ill effect on your property, but we lean on our knowledge and experience to create hillside landscaping that will hold up to the elements and protect your landscape through all weather conditions.

For hillside landscaping service in the steep sloping areas of Seattle and most of Northwest Washington, contact Environmental Construction, Inc. We are the experts in water drainage, retaining wall construction, landscape terracing, and hillside repair.

Retaining Walls

Retaining wall and stone steps Two of the most effective landscaping features used to create additional living space for a home built on a steep slope are retaining walls and landscape terracing.

Retaining walls are primarily for holding back earth and increasing stability. Although landscape terracing serves the same purpose, it also allows for addition plantings, pathways through your landscape, and uniqueness to the garden by providing various levels. These rock outcroppings offer an excellent area for plants that can thrive with very little soil and flourish from the warmth of the rock.

Rock retaining wall Creating a garden shouldn't make you feel like you're on a slippery slope. Retaining walls, landscape terracing, or rock outcroppings are a great way to create a more useful, beautiful, and safer garden in Northwest Washington.

The Purpose of Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are built for slope management, drainage control, and aesthetic purposes. Retaining wall installation in Seattle is common, due to our terrain. There are three types of materials used by Environmental Construction -- natural stone, timbers or wood, and segmental units or block walls.

Natural Stone Walls (outcroppings and dry stack walls)

Decorative rock wall Natural stone is typically used for low-rise retaining walls and across slopes to provide pockets for plantings. The use of stone in the landscape can create a variety of appearances from "New England Dry Stack" to "Alpine wilderness-looks." Stone effectively holds soil preventing erosion.

Timber Retaining Walls

Timbers can be used for low to mid-rise retaining walls. It is the easiest of the retaining wall materials to work with. Wood retaining walls complement both contemporary and rustic looks. A timber retaining wall more than likely will require drainage to prevent the buildup of hydrostatic pressure.

Block Retaining Walls (segmental units)

Cement block wall built by Environmental Construction Block walls use various interlocking systems for increased stability for low to high-rise retaining walls. It is the strongest wall material and most likely will last the longest. Cement block walls offers a clean "industrial" look that could add a modern feel to the garden.

Wetland Mitigation - Erosion Control and Slope Restoration

If you own property on a hillside, you may have special landscaping needs. Landscaping for erosion control and slope stability is common in the Seattle area.

Landscaping a Steep Hillside

Erosion Control and Slope Stabilization Slope restoration provides a stability for hills prone to erosion and landslides through a combination of steep hill landscaping, deep-rooting plants, a strategically placed water drainage systems, hillside terraces, and specially designed retaining walls.

For more information about hillside landscaping services offered by Environmental Construction Inc., view our Water Drainage and Retaining Walls webpages.

When stabilizing a hillside, we often use heavy granite rock and plants with a root system that will hold the ground in place and grows will in our wet climate.

If you have made changes to your yard during the summer months which has affected water run-off or have been experiencing erosion control problems over a period of time, you may need a complete slope restoration.

Choosing a Landscaper for Erosion Control Issues and Slope Restoration

It is important to choose a landscaper who is knowledgeable in hillside repair and effective slope restoration. Erosion control, mud slides, and flooding are a serious matter. We are a Seattle landscaper experienced in hillside landscaping and slope stability. Environmental Construction consults with soils engineering firms to create stable and insurable hillsides.

Typical Slope Restoration Disclaimer:
Hillsides in this area are subject to unknown forces. Landslides have repeatedly occurred in the Puget Sound region and, by definition, these events occur in unstable areas. Environmental Construction, Inc. therefore disclaims any and all liability, whether for consequential damage or otherwise, that may occur during or after completion of this project as a result of our hillside work. ECI's concern when entering into a hillside restoration project is that we create a long-term stable situation on your hillside. Toward that end we strongly suggest that you employ a soils engineer to make recommendations and set standards for your project. ECI only warranties that our workmanship will follow the recommendations made by your soils engineer.

Water Drainage and Flood Prevention

Proper water drainage is one of the single most important component of quality landscape installation.

Flood Damage Landscape Repair

French Drain Poor water drainage can lead to flooding and ultimately ruin property and landscaping. It is much easier and less costly to improve landscape and repair drainage problems during the initial design and construction phases of a project rather than afterwards.

Water drainage solutions and modifications can be accomplished by using either surface water drainage, or below ground drainage, or both.

Surface Water Drainage

Surface drainage systems pull excess water from hardscapes, planting beds and areas where water tends to collect and provides a path on the surface for the water to move.

Catch Basins collect the above-ground runoff at the edge of landscape features (patios, lawns, driveways, etc.) and carry the water to a collection point via an underground drain pipe that doesn't impact your garden.

Dry Streambeds or shallow swales that can be planted are an aesthetically pleasing as well as functional addition to your landscape. The streambed creates a natural path for the water, containing it and preventing erosion. Dry streambeds and swales require that your site has natural slope.

Retention Ponds are located at the lowest point on the property to collect runoff.

Below Ground Drainage

Sub-surface drains prevent erosion and protect drainage sensitive plant material or lawns.

Sub-surface drainage systems remove water from a saturated yard and carry it through a French Drain (drain rock columns) or a channel structure. The water is then moved into a buried collection pit, drain line, or into an existing drain swale.

In the Seattle area, it is especially important to pay close attention to proper water drainage. We want to protect your landscaping investment. That is why we focus our attention first to the effectiveness of your water drainage system.

If you suspect a water drainage problem in your yard and need a Seattle landscaper who specializes in water drainage systems and erosion control techniques, contact Environmental Construction.

Environmental Construction, Inc.

It's not simply about designing and building beautiful garden spaces, it's about providing a landscape oasis where you can relax from the daily grind and recharge. Let us create an outdoor space that will enhance your home and quality of life.

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