Exterior Projects

The first thing everyone sees is the exterior of your home. Through landscape design, siding, roofing, decorative accents and other curb appeal, upgrade your exteriors with latest ideas from those who work in the home design industry. There are incredible new technologies and color theories that can add a brilliant new look to your home's exterior. The front of your home isn't the only thing that people look at. Backyards and gardens are just the beginning for your outdoor renovation project. You can create the perfect outdoor scene for parties, entertainment, family gatherings and barbecues. Hot tubs and swimming pools aren't the only way to add an exciting outdoor oasis. Whether you want to add an outdoor entertainment area, new landscape or even a greenhouse, your exterior projects can define how your exterior flows with your home and define you as a creator and designer.

One of the biggest DIY remodeling projects is a backyard deck. These wooden structures do not have to be so traditional. You can create decks from wrought iron, wood, and even glass. Decks are perfect for creating a flow from your interior to exterior, placing a hot tub, or a safe passage to an above ground pool. These structures are also amazing for picture perfect views. Decks can overlook lakes, pools, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Changing an exterior is an intensive project. You have to provide for structural defects and weather damage. You also want to make sure that you are choosing durable furniture, ready to outlast constant sun and rain exposure. The typical outdoor areas can still require the help of an architect to plan and direct the outdoor space that you have to work with. You may also have to change your interiors to create a better flow throughout your home. For example, if you're adding a sunroom or screened porch area, you may want to tear down a wall to make it more open and provide space to install stairs. From green landscapes and hot tubs to flower gardens and luxurious pools, your exterior designs can really improve the value and beauty of your home.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are necessary if you want to prevent movement and erosion of soil. As part of an outdoor remodeling project, building a retaining wall allows you to protect your home and your foundation. For a good retaining wall, it must be made of quality materials and be a sturdy enough for lateral pressure. Seepage holes are common in a retaining wall, as they help water from the ground to get through. It releases pressure from the wall. There are a variety of materials used to build retaining walls, including concrete and special blocks.

Project Ideas

Before attempting to install retaining walls, be sure you have the proper tools and materials. This may include rebar, cement, slab steps, stone, tape measure, level, rake, shovel, hammer and a number of other tools and materials. Be sure you plan the project very carefully by taking all the measurements, figuring out the material of the wall and where it will go, and get detailed instructions on installing it properly. It needs to be stable in order to perform its main functions of protecting your property. Remember the footing should be at least 18 inches with 6 inches on the base of the wall.

Remodeling Considerations

There are some factors to consider before you start your retaining wall DIY project. You will need to seal the wall next to the house by sealing the gap, and backfill as you go along. Also, you want to install gravel to hold back the slopes from the house and wall and create a curve in certain areas. The different elements of building a retaining wall may be too much work for you to handle, so consider hiring a contractor. You can save money with the contractor if you spend the time looking for one, if cost is an issue.


The cost of installing a retaining wall yourself is about $1,000 to $1,200, depending on the size and quality of materials. Add an additional $200 to $700 just for the labor costs, again depending on how large of property you need the retaining wall for. To save on costs, get financing options, such as those offered by Remodeling Central. You may also be able to get it done professionally, but save by purchasing the materials yourself and getting multiple bids.

Now that you’re familiar with what retaining walls are and how to install them, you can decide if you’re willing to do the extra work and turn this into a DIY remodeling project. If not, Remodeling Central provides you with a list of contractors in your area who can install the retaining wall for you. You can also use their other tools and resources, which is a great start to any project.