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15.11.2013
Learn about and compare natural stone, wood timber and stacked concrete block retaining wall systems.
Large, heavy-duty walls are usually built with full-size blocks and may require professional engineering and construction. This handsome variation of tumbled and weathered block integrates different sizes to give a varied, custom-fitted look to the wall. Modern concrete block walls are fairly sophisticated systems designed for strength as well as for fast, easy assembly.
Most homeowners think of their outdoor landscape as a place where they can escape the walled confines of their houses in beautiful weather — but we at Neave Group know that walls have a place outdoors, too! You might install a retaining wall for a number of reasons, including solving draining problems, supporting your home’s foundation or simply creating new, usable spaces in your landscape. But depending on your needs and preferences, there are plenty of retaining wall materials to choose from. Decorative concrete block is a popular retaining wall material for New York and Connecticut homeowners.
The most popular of all retaining wall materials is decorative concrete block, which create segmented retaining wall systems (SRWs).
Concrete block retaining walls are also extremely variable in terms of height, from 3 feet to as tall as you need it, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. Another option is retaining walls made from wood — a completely different aesthetic approach from the concrete and stone retaining walls described in this post — including timber retaining walls or railroad tie retaining walls.
Depending on the look you’re going for, stone retaining walls and brick retaining walls can set off a beautiful new usable area of your landscape.
One cost-effective option is a stone veneer over a concrete retaining wall or cinder block wall.
A pricier option that offers solid construction and a super-high-end aesthetic would be a retaining wall made of natural stone, whether it’s naturally stacked or chiseled into the proper shape for your landscape.


Costs will vary, of course, based on the amount of labor needed and the cost of the retaining wall materials. Proper installation is critical for any retaining wall material, including stone retaining walls. Even with the perfectly chosen retaining wall materials, the most important factor in building one that lasts is proper installation technique.
If your landscape is in need of a retaining wall, give our design and construction experts at Neave Group a call. Sure, they have a structural job to do, but a creatively constructed retaining wall can also create additional seating or offer a pretty spot for plants and grasses. Segmental retaining wall blocks are becoming one of the most popular choices for retaining walls.
One thing to note: Walls more than four feet high need to be designed by a structural engineer. These walls are very strong — most concrete poured today is engineered to last for more than 50 years. With more than 40 years of experience in the field, Neave Masonry is your home for the best in custom-built retaining walls. After you set each course, you fill the cores with gravel, making the wall every bit as strong as a solid block wall. These walls are popular because they’re available in many different textures, colors and styles.
There are also many options for retaining wall caps that can also drastically affect the price. Selecting the correct backfill material, drainage, filter fabric or geogrid (for larger walls), which are all vital parts of any retaining wall, will give it a better chance of a long life making your landscape more beautiful and functional.
While purely decorative walls can be built with almost any type of material, retaining walls with a big structural load need a durable, long-lasting material that’s reinforced for strength.


One is to construct the retaining wall out of concrete, then face it with natural stone veneer. Concrete retaining walls use footings, so they can be built high when needed to contain a steep slope.
You can pour a colored concrete retaining wall, stain a retaining wall after it’s cured, pour the concrete into a patterned form or apply a stamped design. A retaining wall project might also include excavation, landscape restoration or lawn care. There are several materials to choose from, and the choices have come a long way since the days when your grandfather constructed a retaining wall on the farm.
And keep in mind, this type of wall has a contemporary feel, so it wouldn’t be an ideal choice for a home with a traditional design.
Installing brick is more labor intensive than some other materials, so it’s not as cost effective.
The best part of working with Neave was the one stop shopping and having all the professionals working in concert. You do need more space for this, because the sloping nature takes up more room than a more vertical wall. However, some pinned systems will let you slide the block forward (no setback) if you need a more vertical wall. In particular the owner Scott Neave is always accessible and demands the best from his team. Big walls usually entail excavating and moving tons of soil and gravel as well as the heavy block itself.




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