Hello orris and others,
Orris, have you considered options other than segmental blocks and poured walls? Depending on your slope conditions, there are many alternatives. But first let's talk about your poured wall idea.
Poured walls are an inexpensive and effective way to retain soils. Where they become expensive is when you choose to apply a veneer, such as brick. Since you have no experience, I would turn you away from traditional masonry and steer you towards more practical methods. Consider using "Cultured Stone" or "thin brick". Cultured Stone, or imitation stone, so to speak. Is a low cost alternative to real stone, and remarkably offers a fantastic look. There are times when I can hardly tell the difference, especially when a few natural stones have been thrown into the mix. The installation technique is so easy, a junior high student could learn it. Basically your dealing with lightwieght precast half-stones. Throw traditional masonry practices out the window. Instead of building a little at a time, because of weight concerns, you can litterally put all of the stone up in one day. It is refered to as "lick and stick" masonry and has become more common than natural stone masonry.
There is a similiar product called "thin brick". This brick is looks like a full brick but it's only 1/2 " thick. Again, it's not design to create a wall, it's designed to conceal one.
Your local concrete products retailer should have these choices available.
Other options would be wood walls, boulder walls, or creating rock and plant garden. The most appealing would be the garden. You can impalnt a series of large rocks into the hillside and plant all of the soil pockets with thick, colorful plant material. in a year or two this will look like a hilside flower garden.
Wood walls are another mid to low cost alternative. Stay away from boards. Use only 6"x6" treated timbers or 4"x6" treated timbers with plenty of deadmen.
Boulderwalls are a lot of work, but there's no rocket science involved. Take your time and lean your wall back far enough to prevent it from falling forward. Like the garden, you can plant the larger pockets and give the wall some life.
Hope this helps,
Professional Landscaping Companies, LLC
Traverse City, Michigan
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