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Build a Retaining Wall in Your Yard

Updated:2013-09-23 15:51:18

A long sloping backyard looks pretty, but the unfortunate reality is that often because of that good looking slope, you just can't do much with your yard. Pools, patios, garden sheds, and even kids' play areas require level ground. A solution to your sloping yard problem might be a retaining wall. A good looking retaining wall can turn your unusable back yard into a safe, level area that you can actually use.

Retaining walls can be made from all kinds of materials - old railway ties, wood, natural stone, and concrete are just a few of the options. However, for the do-it-yourselfer, pre-cast concrete "stones" are a great option. These "stones" are made with a lip on the backside of them so they interlock with blocks laid on top of them, and as a result, don't require any mortar to hold them together. The interlocking bricks produce a solid wall that resists any pressure from the dirt behind them and gives the wall and attractive "stepped back" appearance. An added advantage is the stones are often cast with a taper from the front to the back, so building curved walls is much easier than when working with straight materials.


The main drawback to the pre-cast stones is they shouldn't be used in applications where the wall height is more than 3 feet. So, if your yard slopes less than 3 feet, the mortarless pre-cast retaining wall provides a very viable solution. Even if your yard slopes more than 3 feet, you could still use the mortarless stones to build a series of retaining walls, with no one being more than 3 feet high. In effect, you would create a series of level terraces in your yard.

However, keep in mind that even using the pre-cast stones, building a retaining stone wall is hard physical work - you'll need to do some digging and the stones are heavy - but it's well within the skill set of a DIY'er.
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