As Edmonton grows, more and more home builders are opting to construct homes loaded with impressive features that buyers want. In particular, we’re seeing more and more new builds with walk-out basements. These layouts are highly desirable to buyers, but they do require structures that the average home doesn’t have: wing walls.
What are Wing Walls?
A wing wall is a little bit like a giant retaining wall that helps with a transition in grade in the yard. The wall will normally start at the corner of the house and descend in a downward slope from the main level of the house to the basement level.
Most houses with this feature have two wing walls that sit on either side of the house, which surround the deck area for the walk-out basement. They get their name because this formation makes the walls look a little bit like the house has a pair of wings.
Wing Walls Materials
Wing walls serve a functional purpose in the landscape, and need to be made of strong materials that can firmly support tonnes of soil. They also need to be built to last through decades of exposure to the elements. Here are the most popular materials to choose from:
Concrete is the most common material for wing walls. It’s tough, straightforward to install, and much less expensive than other options. Many of the homes around the Edmonton area have concrete wing walls, however, some opt to face them with brick, cultured stone, or stucco for aesthetics.
Stucco facing can be mixed to match the colour of your house, which creates a nice, uniform look. Stucco is less expensive than other facing options, so it’s a more budget-friendly option if you’re looking for a step up from plain concrete.
Cultured stone facing adds a rustic look to the wing wall that looks great with homes that already incorporate a lot of natural stone into the landscape design. The materials and installation come at a higher price point than stucco.
Brick facing looks awesome if the home has a more traditional and clean appearance. Like cultured stone, it is a bit higher on the cost scale.
While concrete wing walls are the most common, there’s another option that has been growing in popularity—and it looks incredible:
Boulder wing walls are exactly what they sound like—walls built from large stones. Since the wall is built carefully from hundreds of boulders, this is without a doubt the highest-end option. You can choose from a more natural-looking stone or an ultra-modern engineered stone to achieve any look you want. The finished product makes an incredible visual impact and beautifully frames the lower-level deck.
Wing walls are built for function, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice form. When well designed, wing walls can become a focal feature of the landscape, increasing both the property value and the beauty of the space.