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Kinds of stone used. Consider using native stone in your area for dry-laid retaining walls. Fieldstone and boulders create a more natural look, while layered flagstone can provide a groomed and clean look. You can also integrate boulders within the wall, as shown here, to combine both.
Stone with a sandy texture, such as the red sandstone found in the American Southwest, may not be wise to use around a pool or patio area because of the sandy residue that can accumulate.
Benefits of dry-laid stone retaining walls:
Installing the stone. Achieving a sound structure means adhering to specific guidelines. When choosing a contractor, make sure he or she is experienced in the craft and check out previous work. Each stone is hand chiseled to fit within the wall, and there are no wobbly stones. Stone wedges are used to stabilize rocks within the wall. Rubble rock, or backfill, is placed behind the cut stones to help with the integrity of the wall.
Cost. Labor costs vary greatly, depending on the area and the expertise of the contractor, but usually are between $36 and $45 per square foot. Materials are extra.
Design options. Dry-laid stone retaining walls can complement most landscape designs. Curving lines or structured lines create definitive boundaries from one space to another.
The retaining wall pictured above has a stone bench integrated within the structure. If you are limited in space for seating, why not integrate seating into your wall?