Stone retaining walls area an aesthetic way of terracing your property or for providing a step down area on your property to create a flat area for a walk or garden. There are different materials to use for a retaining wall. Since this is a structural element, heavy stones need to be used to hold back the movement of soil and water erosion. Most walls should not exceed three feet in height unless designed by an engineer.
Most retaining walls are what are called dry fit. This type of wall is constructed of stones with flat surfaces to stack and consistent stone height. The weight of the stone will be the factor holding the wall in place. There are different types of stones that work well for such a project:
Natural Stone Wall
Natural stone such as granite is a good choice for a retaining wall. Its darker color with lighter grain gives a nice look to the wall. Also granite is one of the heavier materials available which will help in holding back the soil movement and can be built higher than using limestone blocks.
Limestone is another stone used in retaining wall construction. Limestone is lighter in color and in weight. Because of the lighter weight a larger stones are needed to develop enough gravity to hold back the soil from pushing out the wall.
Faux Stone Wall
Faux Stone is a concrete product made to look like natural stone. These units come in standard sizes and some are designed to lock together to form a more rigid wall. This is helpful in a more unstable environment with wet soil conditions.
In the wall, small vertical spaces should left every few feet on every other stone course to allow for water to weep out.