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Landscaping: Stone Block Retaining Wall Blocks

Landscaping Services - Block Retaining Walls

RETAINING WALLS | TREATED WOOD | BLOCK RETAINING WALLS | NATURAL STONE | CONCRETE

Treated Wood retaining wall in backyard landscaping project

Stone Block Retaining Wall Blocks

It could be argued that there are very few flat yards in Calgary. Lucky us, because changes in elevations can provide lots of design potential to make very interesting gardens. Terraces provide opportunities for flow in the garden and make small spaces seem bigger. Retaining walls can give a garden strong bones and be offset by interesting plant materials for a sensational looking garden. Retaining walls are also functional in providing flat spaces for play areas, patio, lawns, planting beds. The grading is one of the first elements of designing a garden, retaining options are explored early in the design process.

Stone block retaining walls are structures designed to hold back soil or other materials and prevent erosion or landslides. They are commonly used in landscaping, construction, and civil engineering projects.

Retaining walls made of stone blocks are a popular choice due to their durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. They can be made from a variety of stone materials, including granite, limestone, sandstone, and concrete blocks.

The construction process for stone block retaining walls typically involves excavating a trench along the slope where the wall will be built. The trench is then filled with a base material, such as gravel, to provide a stable foundation. The stone blocks are then stacked on top of each other, interlocking to create a sturdy wall. Drainage pipes or weep holes may be added to allow water to flow through the wall and prevent damage from water pressure.

Stone block retaining walls are versatile and can be used in a variety of settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. They can be used to create terraced gardens, level out sloping yards, or create boundaries between different areas.

It is important to note that building a stone block retaining wall requires careful planning and professional installation to ensure proper construction and prevent safety hazards. It's also important to consider local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before beginning construction.

If your stone block retaining walls are not installed properly, water and ice become a problem and several issues may arise:

  • Hydrostatic Pressure: Water that builds up behind the retaining wall can create hydrostatic pressure, which puts significant stress on the wall. Over time, this pressure can cause the wall to crack, bulge or even collapse.
  • Frost Heave: In our colder climates, water that seeps into the wall's cracks and pores can freeze and expand during the winter months, causing the wall to shift or move. This movement is known as frost heave and can lead to significant damage to the wall.
  • Erosion: Water that flows down the slope can erode the soil and undermine the retaining wall's foundation. This can cause the wall to sink or lean, resulting in a loss of support and stability.
  • Damage to the Stone Blocks: Water that seeps into the stone blocks can cause them to crack, chip or even split apart. Ice can expand inside the blocks and cause them to break apart.

To prevent these issues, proper drainage is crucial. Drainage systems such as weep holes, French drains, or a combination of both can help remove water from behind the wall and prevent hydrostatic pressure buildup. Additionally, the use of water-resistant materials and sealants can help protect the wall from water penetration. Finally, regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and address any potential issues before they escalate.

Landscaping project examples using stone block retaining walls

Front Yard - Braeside 001 landscaping project

Using Rosetta Outcropping manufactured stone blocks was the answer for this large backyard space, which is less expensive than natural stone and takes less install time. The land naturally climbed from the house to the back of the lot, so it made sense to design a larger retaining wall near the back of the property to make more useable space for the family. The fire pit area was carved out using these large retaining wall blocks and then gave a large flat space for a patio and grassy play area on the same level. From a design perspective, the retaining wall faces the house, so from the house or outdoor kitchen area, the customer chose the larger size and scale of the Rosetta Outcropping stone blocks rather than a smaller stone block which could look busy. Also due to the overall length of retaining wall required, it made sense to use the larger chunky looking stone block.

View the project page for more landscaping photos, videos and information.

retaining walls and gardens
View the original yard prior to landscape design and construction
The front yard space prior to constructing the retaining walls and landscape design
Front gardens designed with retaining walls
The first terrace created by the retaining walls create a beautiful garden area in the front yard design

Using retaining wall blocks to level a large patio and lawn area - Auburn Bay 001 landscaping project

Using Rosetta Outcropping manufactured stone blocks was the answer for this large backyard space, which is less expensive than natural stone and takes less install time. The land naturally climbed from the house to the back of the lot, so it made sense to design a larger retaining wall near the back of the property to make more useable space for the family. The fire pit area was carved out using these large retaining wall blocks and then gave a large flat space for a patio and grassy play area on the same level. From a design perspective, the retaining wall faces the house, so from the house or outdoor kitchen area, the customer chose the larger size and scale of the Rosetta Outcropping stone blocks rather than a smaller stone block which could look busy. Also due to the overall length of retaining wall required, it made sense to use the larger chunky looking stone block.

View the project page for more landscaping photos, videos and information.

path with retaining stepping down to patio
large reatining wall blocks create a lower patio with fire pit
Larger Rosetta retaining wall blocks with steps
manufactured clock to look like large armor stone
retaining walls created large flat open spaces for backyard activities

Using retaining wall blocks to level and an area for a fire pit patio - Auburn Bay 002 landscaping project

This backyard space did not required a level turf area for activities, therefore it was not required to put in a larger retaining wall at the back of the property to level the ground. Belvedere walling was used in this very sloped backyard space and the objective with the landscape design was to cut in a bit of flat space for a patio and fire pit area while leaving the rest of the yard with a view and maintain low maintenance gardens. The retaining wall was designed tin a curved shape and provides a back wall which gives a tucked in cozy feel on this patio. The choices made in this landscaping design and construction project enabled the customer to minimize the amount of retaining walls required while still accomplishing what they want.

View the project page for more landscaping photos, videos and information.

patio and walks in flagston pavers
flagstone patio and sitting space around firepit
The fire pit and pation with supported retaining walls
stone block raised garden beds
Dimensional steps made from concrete leading to backyard landscaping
firepit area in flagstone pavers for unique landscaping

Landscaping Services Photos - Landscaping Services - Block Retaining Walls

patio design for backyard spa using Pisa2 retaining wall
retaining wall blocks frame garden spaces on steep slope
Pisa2 retaining wall blocks used in landscape design
raised garden beds and steps built from Pisa2 retaining wall blocks
Steps and retaining wall made from Roman Pisa blocks
Curved retaining wall design using retaining wall blocks
Roman Pisa retaining wall blocks used for patio landing and steps
Belvedere retaining wall blocks build structure for patio landing
Roman Pisa blocks build the base of this landing
Garden terraces created from Belvedere retaining wall blocks
Rosetta retaining wall blocks for large spaces