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Our Favorite Materials for Retaining Walls in State College and Harrisburg, PA, Areas

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As outdoor living spaces continue to become more sophisticated, many homeowners recognize the design potential of retaining walls in the State College and Harrisburg, PA, areas. No longer simply a humble utilitarian feature, retaining walls have become important landscape design elements that allow for as much artistic expression as any other hardscape feature.

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As outdoor living spaces continue to become more sophisticated, many landscape professionals recognize the design potential of retaining walls in the State College and Harrisburg, PA, areas. No longer simply a humble utilitarian feature, retaining walls have become important landscape design elements that allow for as much artistic expression as any other hardscape feature. To inspire your next landscape project, here are some of our favorite materials for retaining walls.

Related: Get the Materials for Your York, PA, Retaining Walls From Our Stone Supply

Natural Stone

All over the world, ancient stone walls are still standing—and still looking great, even with the patina of time. Natural stone is considered to be unbeatable for character, durability, and structural integrity. A well-built stone wall is beautiful and will last practically forever.

Natural stone is available both cut and uncut. When using uncut stone, construction can be labor-intensive and time-consuming because finding the perfect stone from a random assortment of rocks and boulders takes not only structural know-how but a creative touch and a lot of patience.

Building a wall using natural stone is simplified using cut stone, or stones cut into shapes such as rectangles or squares, which are then stacked. Stone walls can be installed using a dry-stack method (no mortar or locking systems) or mortared, depending on the application and the desired look.

The upside of natural stone is that the wall you construct will be completely unique, and you have seemingly endless options for shapes and sizes.

The downside is that the labor involved can be very high. Finding the right stone or boulder for corners can be tough. And, the rocks are very heavy, which increases shipping costs. In general, natural stone walls are more expensive, but some people are swayed by the idea of a lifetime wall that’s as beautiful as it is durable.

Concrete Wall Blocks

Today, poured concrete wall blocks are still popular wall products. Blocks can be hollow or solid and use various technologies that enable the blocks to lock together securely.

Some blocks feature a lip at the rear, which secures a block to the one below it. The advantage of this method is a very sturdy wall; the disadvantage is you will find you cannot build a vertical wall, only one with a predetermined setback.

Another locking method is called the pin system, where pins are inserted into holes in the block to secure them. You can control the setback using this method and build vertical walls; however, corner pieces will need to be a separate purchase.

Concrete blocks are very easy to use and result in a sturdy wall. They are lighter than natural stone, usually more economical, and available in a wide range of colors.

Veneers

Another option is to construct a wall using a concrete block core, then cladding the wall with a thin natural stone or manufactured stone veneer. This will significantly expand your design options to include more colors, styles, and the ability to construct round or curved walls.

Veneers can be rustic, featuring the appearance of a stacked flagstone wall. Or they can be sleek and modern, utilizing plank-style veneers. Best of all, you can mix and match styles to achieve a completely custom look.

Related: Create Dramatic Walls With Stone From Our Masonry Supply in State College, PA

Image Source: Unilock

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