Small Granite Wall
This wall is small and effective, while at the same time providing a natural look by using stone.
Terrace Manor Stone Wall
Two manor stone walls create a terrace to prevent erosion and give functionality.
Pisa Block Wall
This wall replaced an existing rockery and steps.
Split Level and Single Level Wall
This split level wall is part of a much larger project involving a patio with fire pit, landscaping and other aspects, but is a great example of terracing at different angles to provide functionality and interest.
Installed to create more lawn space, this wall was also built in a wavy line and topped with a coping unit (cap) to add character and give a very finished look.
Retaining Walls, Natural Stone and Concrete Block
Retaining walls can be constructed using either concrete segmented block, or by using natural stone. Both styles can be used for the same purpose to provide you with the look and function that you desire. They can be used to construct raised garden beds, patios and paths. They can be used to terrace sloped property or to create terraces on your property. Sunken patios are also able to be installed by using retaining walls.
Concrete block is available in a variety of styles and colors to appeal to your taste, and are not limited to straight lines and 90 degree corners, although in some cases that may be necessary
Stone is also available in many different colors and can be installed to have a smooth or rough face. However, the bigger the wall, the bigger the stone must be to retain functionality. There are also different shapes of stone that can be used to build. Flat/square and also round stone can be used to build the wall, and can also be mortared or dry stacked. Stone can also be used as a veneer on a concrete wall.
Stone walls tend to be more expensive due to the amount of extra labor of fitting stone together and the quantity of material needed to stay within standards and guidelines, whereas concrete block are all the same size and are made to fit together perfectly. Both types of walls still provide the same functionality regardless of what is used.
Most retaining walls can not be built over 3-4 feet high without involving an engineer to design the installation. If an engineer needs to be consulted, they will take soil samples and test density of the soil etc. Using the information gathered, they will provide a plan and instruction on how the installation should be done. This will incur extra expense and possibly limit the installation to a certain type of material and should be reviewed on a case by case basis.
The completed manor stone retention wall. The natural slope of the stones works with gravity to hold the hill in place, stabilizing the landscape.
Prior to installation of the retaining wall, this graded area was held in place with stones and treated lumber. You can see the natural pressure of the landscape bowing out the wood. A manor stone wall will hold the ground in place and provide an attractive, finished look to the back of the home.
Here we've prepared the base with a drainage system to ensure the wall will last for many years to come.
After installing the drainage system, we prepare the base with 6" of compacted gravel. Manor stone can be used to build a walls up to 3' high. Higher walls are more complicated and require engineering and additional permits.
To complement the backyard features, we've created a matching softscape and retaining wall for the front yard, paying careful consideration to the original fir tree while adding complementary shrubbery and trees.
The finished backyard includes the split level retaining wall with stairs, low maintenance softscaping with mulch on top of weed fabric, and a lower lawn area.
The stairs on the lower lower level of this split retaining wall lead to a small landing area with a fire pit. This is a cozy gathering area to chat with friends while children play in on the lower lawn.
The goal with this split level retaining wall project is to transform this unfinished lot into a useful living area, maintaining the natural slope of the hill in the backyard and adding softscaping to blend in with the native landscape.
Here we've prepared drainage and irrigation systems, arranged granite rocks on the rear hill, and prepared the yard for installation of the retaining wall.