Things to Consider When Designing a Patio Seating Wall
Even the “small” details play a significant role when designing your outdoor living area. Every aspect matters if you want to create a space that’s truly enjoyable and functional.
Seat walls are among the most crucial elements to consider.
Seat walls are basically short walls that serve as seating. They can be a fantastic way to enhance the appeal and usefulness of an existing retaining wall. Whether for looks or seating comfort, you can build seat walls, even if the retaining wall isn’t strictly necessary.
While seat walls might appear minor, they can have a major impact on your outdoor living space, making it more inviting and usable.
Here are some landscape design ideas to keep in mind when thinking about adding a seat wall to your Northern VA home.
Best Uses of Patio Seating Walls
As you may know, a seat wall can add extra value to a retaining wall. Retaining walls serve an essential purpose in preventing erosion, especially on sloped yards. These walls are often used alongside graders to keep your landscape intact.
But here’s the interesting part: these retaining walls can also serve as seating areas, especially in places where people like to gather, such as around a patio.
Sometimes, homeowners want a seat wall even if erosion control isn’t a concern. For example, when hosting an event and all your patio chairs are occupied, a short wall can provide additional seating. It’s a smart way to increase seating capacity without buying more furniture. Plus, it can help define your patio space, creating a cozy and intimate “room” feeling.
When you have rounded bump outs with seat walls, they’re perfect spots for integrated fire pits. These seat walls offer extra seating around the fire pit and help separate this area from the rest. If you have a dedicated dining area on your patio, these bump-outs can serve as a great space for post-dinner drinks around a fire.
Some homeowners even incorporate outdoor fireplaces into these walls, making them a seamlessly integrated part of the design.
5 Patio Seating Wall Design Considerations
Although installing one of these might seem like an easy project, there are a number of factors that you should consider prior to choosing a specific style or size.
1. The Height Should Be Comfortable for Sitting
A seating wall has to strike the right balance between being too high or too low for comfortable sitting. If it’s not at the right height, it loses its purpose and becomes just a plain wall. So, when you’re planning to create a seating wall, height matters.
Typically, seating walls fall in the range of 18 to 24 inches in height, including the capstones. But here’s a practical tip: think about the height of your sofa as a guide for your preference. If your sofa feels a bit low for comfortable seating, compare it to the height of an end table. This comparison can help you figure out the ideal height for your seating wall.
You can also use other seating options at home, like dining chairs, to make a comparison and find the height that suits you best.
2. Durable Materials Are Important
Once you’ve settled on the height of your wall, the next important decision is picking the right material for building it. Your seating wall should be tough and comfy, much like your indoor sofa. These materials need to endure the weight of your outdoor setup and handle various weather conditions. Not only are these materials strong, but they also bring an appealing, sturdy look to your outdoor area.
3. Comply with Any City Zoning Restrictions
Before giving the green light to any construction project, it’s crucial to always check your city’s rules, zoning regulations, and other restrictions. These rules often set limits on things like the size or length of your seating wall. You’ll need to stick to these guidelines. Additionally, if you live in an area with a homeowners’ association (HOA), you might want to see if they have any rules about the wall’s color or materials.
If you decide to work with a professional concrete company, they’re already familiar with these city-based restrictions and have experience dealing with local HOAs. They can ensure that your wall complies with all the necessary rules and regulations.
4. Add Landscape Lighting
Lighting up your seat wall serves both practical and visual purposes. Adding landscape lighting is a smart way to extend the usability of your outdoor area after sunset. It’s important to ensure that people feel safe when moving around the vicinity of your seat wall.
Well-placed lighting around your seating wall can also enhance its overall look, making the space even more welcoming and appealing.
5. Add Landscaping Near or Around the Seat Wall
Adding landscaped areas around or near your hardscape can bring color to the space and soften its overall appearance. When it comes to hardscaping, it’s essential to choose the right plants carefully. You want to avoid selecting plants with invasive roots that could cause issues under your patio or seating wall.
It’s a good idea to steer clear of placing plants with thorns too close to your seating wall, as they can snag clothes and scratch people who are sitting in the area. Keep plants that attract bees at a distance from your seating walls to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety.
If you’re unsure about the right plant choices, a landscape designer can assist you in making the best selections.
Contact Us for a FREE Quote Today!
If you’re in Northern Virginia and on the hunt for the best company to design and build your ideal seating wall, you’re in luck! Look no further than NAV Construction. We have the expertise you need to create a stunning seating wall that meets all the necessary codes and regulations.
Give us a call at 703-789-5839 to request a free quote and discover what we can bring to your project. Your perfect seating wall is just a phone call away!
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