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Retaining walls are both an aesthetically pleasing and functional addition to your landscape. In Downers Grove, IL, retaining walls are used to create flat terraces, to prevent erosion, and to make a clear delineation of a property’s levels. There are typically two popular options to choose from when having a retaining wall built: concrete or natural stone. Here are some of the pros and cons of each.
Concrete Retaining Wall: Pros
Concrete blocks are manmade and therefore can be made to fit most spaces, and can easily fit and stay together. They are made in virtually any color, any shape, and any size you can think of. Concrete wall units are easily modified, and can even be used to create rounded borders and sharp edges. Because of their versatility, concrete retaining walls are easier to have installed and are, therefore, more affordable than stone retaining walls. Concrete walls can be built in virtually any size, whether tall and large or narrow and long. Concrete retaining walls are also easily modified for drainage purposes, ensuring that the integrity of your wall is not compromised over time.
Concrete Retaining Wall: Cons
If you need a retaining wall to be built higher than four feet, special attention must be paid to stabilization. This can mean a higher installation cost. However, if your wall is going to be built lower than four feet, installation is far less complicated, less labor intensive, and therefore, far less expensive than stone. Although many concrete wall units resemble the look and feel of natural stone, a concrete retaining wall may not be able to achieve the exact level of authenticity and rusticity that you desire.
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Natural Stone Retaining Wall: Pros
Natural stone retaining walls are simply beautiful to behold. They are a symbol of the early days of America and have been used in construction for centuries, if not thousands of years. Natural stone retaining walls are perfect for a rustic look, and are the perfect complement to a country setting. Natural stone comes in many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. Because of the subtle diversity of natural stone, creativity can play a large role in creating a natural stone retaining wall that is both unique and beautiful.
Natural Stone Retaining Wall: Cons
Natural stone retaining walls are more expensive per square inch than concrete. Because natural stone retaining walls are most effective when using dense and heavy stones, the cost of installation reflects the intensive labor required. Unlike concrete retaining walls, natural stone retaining walls are likely to have spaces and gaps between the individual stones. Alternatively, if mortar is used, this may cause problems with drainage, which can cause damage to the wall over time. For large or tall retaining walls, stone can prove quite a challenge, which the cost of labor and installation will certainly reflect. Additionally, in some cases, a large or tall stone retaining wall may not even be possible to have built. Thus, stone is best used for shorter and narrower walls where stability is less of a requirement.