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retaining walls

    A retaining wall is an ideal way to get more useable outdoor living space from a yard that has the challenges of sloping grades. Whether you have small mounds throughout your yard, gradual slopes away from your house, large hills or even a house on an elevated perch, a retaining wall can transform those grading issues into flat, useable space. The robust design nature of retaining walls gives you a firm foundation to create new level areas for patios, swing sets, built-in planters, flat grass areas to run around or any other landscape features to fit your home's personal style. An optimal choice for erosion control, retaining walls can be either free-standing or tied into a new or existing landscape design, flawlessly matching form with function. Material options of wood, boulders, natural cut stone, manufactured block, and even concrete, along with unlimited design possibilities, assure we will find a retaining wall that will maximize all of the space your yard has to offer. Instead of grass hills that only need weekly mowing, enhance your homes curb appeal and value by creating a new focal point of your landscape.

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    One of the least-expensive retaining wall materials typically is pressure-treated timers. 4x4 or larger timbers are stacked and fixed together along with being tied back into the landscape for structural support and to prevent leaning. The wood is chemically treated to stand up to the elements while also resisting rot, mold, and insects. The downside of pressure-treated walls is that, although the chemical treatment slows down the decaying process, the constant contact with the ground makes the wood susceptible to eventual rot. The strength and longevity of the timber retaining walls are inferior to natural stone, manufactured stone or concrete wall construction options. 

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    Fieldstone boulder walls are a popular choice for stabilizing a sloped terrain while maintaining a rustic appearance. Boulders are a rounded natural stone that comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are one of the more affordable options for retaining walls due to the reduced labor time involved in "gravity wall" construction and a less expensive material cost. Boulder “gravity walls” don’t require any cutting, adhesive, underground base or anchors to help stabilize them, or even complete levelness across the face of the wall; all resulting in reduced installation costs. The nonlinear appearance of the boulders adds to the natural, visual appeal and provides weeping holes for proper water drainage, however, the loose stone construction of these walls can be susceptible to boulders shifting by people, animals or nature.

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    Natural cut stone walls have similarities to boulder walls with the biggest difference being the cost. Similar to the boulder walls, the cut stone is impressive with its raw beauty and natural ability to provide structural support as a wall material. Natural cut stones are a locally quarried stone that is larger, heavier, and denser than boulders. The overall size of the cut stone allows for "dry-stacked" construction without the use of adhesives, however, laying a cut stone wall is labor-intensive and in many cases requires heavy equipment to move the stones. Each stone is unique and may need to be cut, chiseled, or manipulated to fit into the wall. Once installed though, natural cut stone walls look great in every landscape and will stand the test of time.

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     The best all-purpose wall for both residential and commercial landscapes are poured concrete retaining wall blocks. Wall blocks come in a nearly endless variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes while still providing a uniformed appearance. There are even options now that look like natural stone or wood planks. Wall blocks are laid on a prepped level base, bonded to each other through the use of adhesives or pins, and cut or split to make curves and corners. Wall blocks are capped with a thinner block that has an overhang on each side, providing the perfect opportunity to incorporate a seat wall, pillars, or pergola into the design. The overall cost of a block retaining wall is fairly low considering the customization available and long-lasting durability of the concrete blocks.

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    A poured concrete wall is a mid-range option for retaining wall construction. Typically reserved for walls over four feet tall, poured concrete is very labor-intensive and can be expensive compared to the other landscape retaining wall options. However large the wall, poured concrete may be the best or only option for certain elevation conditions.  In these cases, the design is no longer limited to just grey concrete. Different options of coloring the concrete along with a wide variety of stamping designs can give a concrete wall a one of a kind, unique look custom to the property. A concrete wall is fireproof, rot-proof, rustproof, extremely durable and long-lasting with its only obvious drawback is that with all concrete, there is the possibility of cracking. 

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