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I am just starting on a new project to build a small 10 x 10 patio in the front of my house. The 10 x 10 area is not level with the front left corner sloping down about 8 to 10 inches compared to the back half which is mostly level.

I am assuming I would build a small retaining wall to build up the front by that 8 to 10 inches. Any recommendations on the type of material or block to use?

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It really depends mostly on the look you are going for, any kind of retaining wall blocks should work fine. The most important thing is making sure that you put down a good foundation for the bottom row of blocks.

Make sure to trench it out a bit, put some gravel in the bottom of the trench and sand on top of that for good drainage and to prevent frost heave (if you have frost in your area). Level it out nice and put down the first row of blocks. Once you have that down, the rest is easy.

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To add to the answer above, since it's your patio on the front of your house you might want to go with something decorative that blends with the rest of the landscape. –  brheal Jul 23 '10 at 17:58
    
Do I need to cement them together? –  Jeff Widmer Jul 23 '10 at 18:38
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nope. They're designed to hang over backwards slightly, keeping everything in. They have a small lip on the bottom, too, that keeps them from sliding forward. –  Wayne Werner Jul 23 '10 at 21:01
    
@Eric: No weeping? I would think you would want some type of drainage behind the wall to prevent the gravel and sand from being washed out causing the wall to sag and fall. Or is this wall not high enough to require it? –  Tester101 Jul 23 '10 at 23:27
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See this article about retaining wall drainage. usinspect.com/resources-for-you/house-facts/… –  Tester101 Jul 23 '10 at 23:34

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