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Large limestone retaining wall with zoysia grass, Cedar elms throughout the property.This is an example of a large traditional shaded front yard landscape in Austin with a retaining wall for spring.
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Common ProblemsAlthough retaining walls are simple structures, a casual check around your neighborhood will reveal lots of existing walls that are bulging, cracked, or leaning. If you have your retaining wall built, figure about $15 per square face foot for a timber wall, $20 for an interlocking-block system or poured concrete, and $25 for a natural-stone wall.

A retaining wall is an obvious solution and one that makes sense if you need a level terrace for entertaining or playing sports. But it does give us a good idea how the true ha-ha works; from the lower side, the wall ceates a secure barrier unseen from the open garden above. All of the horizontality, emphasized by the Cort-Ten on the slope, beautifully blends the landscape and the Prairie-style house.This is an example of a contemporary landscape in Austin with a retaining wall. That's because most residential retaining walls have poor drainage, and many aren't built to handle the hillside they're supposed to hold back. A 4-foot-high, 15-foot-long wall could be holding back as much as 20 tons of saturated soil.

Double the wall height to 8 feet, and you would need a wall that's eight times stronger to do the same job. With forces like these in play, you should limit your retaining wall efforts to walls under 4 feet tall (3 feet for mortarless stone).
If you need a taller wall, consider step-terracing the lot with two walls half as big, or call in a landscape architect or structural engineer for the design work (have the architect or engineer inspect the site thoroughly) and experienced builders for the installation.

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