Minneapolis - St. Paul, MN(612) 460-7577terravista@mac.com

Must-Have Techniques for Retaining Walls and Patios

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At Terravista we believe that your hardscape should stand the test of time. We make this happen by painstakingly constructing them to the highest standard.




retaining wall detail

Retaining Walls

Our natural stone retaining walls use the same construction methods that have been used across Europe for over 1000 years. There are two main construction methods for retaining walls – dry stacking fits stone together with friction, and mortaring uses a binding agent to join the stone. These seams make dry-stacked walls superior to mortared walls, since stone doesn’t break down like mortar does. Mortared walls require footings which significantly increase their cost. Our dry-stacked walls use a six inch Class-5 (crushed stone) base for support. Dry-stacked walls are able to flex with the freeze thaw cycle while retaining their strength. We backfill our walls with crushed stone to allow for proper drainage and line them with fabric to prevent wash-through. These hidden measures ensure a retaining wall that is strong and beautiful for a lifetime.

We prefer to stack an ashlar style, giving the wall a beautiful patterned look. This method blends many sizes of stone together to create a rich texture. We take the time to cut and grind almost all of the stones that are in the wall, creating a smooth, clean look. These techniques require our craftsmen to have a keen eye and excellent design sense.

All of these things together will create a wall that will last a lifetime. We may be more expensive, but things that are to last the test of time, take some time to create.





A lot of consideration goes into your outdoor space. Since the primary element in most outdoor spaces is the patio, it should compliment your home’s architecture and your personal style. It should create a space that allows for relaxation and does not hinder movement within it. Whether it is made of concrete pavers or irregular Bluestone, it needs to last years without sinking or heaving. All of our foremen and supervisors are ICPI Certified, which means they have the skills and knowledge to create surfaces that will remain stable and level for years to come.

Our craftsmen are adept in using both manmade and natural products to create your paving surface. We have utilized the latest technology in permeable pavers for driveways and installed many projects using reclaimed pavers. Natural stone is our favorite for patios. The aesthetic quality of natural stone is incomparable to that of pavers or any other paving product.

Each patio we create is unique, and every stone is fit in to place with precision and skill. We maintain a natural and organic feel to the stonework without large seams and small pieces. The small pieces that many contractors use to fill gaps can shift easily and are not a permanent solution to filling a gap. Since we use only premium stone in our patio construction, there are virtually no small pieces. Using the highest quality materials, our craftsman can produce a patio of superior surface quality and durability.