Standard retaining walls are a great way to reclaim sloped ground or create flat areas for patios and garden beds. Often, retaining walls are built close to a property to make the land immediately adjacent more usable. However, a fantastic way to double the value of a stone retaining wall is to incorporate a seat wall. Seat walls are part of the retaining wall and are a convenient, all-year-round bench seat using the retaining wall as a backrest. So, simply extend the wall by half a metre in depth at a comfortable seating height, and hey presto! You now have a durable and practical outdoor seating area. In addition, seat walls add strength to higher retaining walls, and provide easy access to raised garden beds.
Seat Walls – Patio Ideas
Incorporating seat walls around a patio area is an increasingly popular idea. And for good reasons. They provide seating for family and friends without needing lots of garden furniture, and seat walls mean there’s always somewhere to sit, even in the off-season when the furniture has been stored. In addition, they are popular for fire-pit patios because they reflect the heat and create a cosy outdoor environment. Lastly, consider L-shapes, curves or even mini-amphitheatre style areas.
Things to Remember About Seat Walls
Height: Plan for around 45cm but adjust for the majority of the users.
Depth: To be comfortable and safe, make the seating depth around 30cm.
Seat Surface: Choose a smooth finish such as marble, smooth pavers or polished concrete.
Seat Wall Caps
For a pleasing effect, go for a contrasting colour for the cap compared to the stone veneer. For instance, a light stone wall combined with a dark slate cap looks impressive. Also, make sure you incorporate a slight overhang on the cap and allow for water drainage.