I have a small backyard with a large sunken seating area that measures approx 15'x13' (see pictures). The bottom is concrete and it's surrounded by retaining walls/fence. I want to fill it completely to create more or less a level yard. Deck over it? Fill it with dirt/gravel/concrete? Hoping to gather some opinions from the creative minds out there.

  • Side B is 2' higher than side A.
  • The small perpendicular fence with creeping plants on it will be removed.
  • New surface can be anything - concrete, grass, deck, as long as it's flat.

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  • Access? so big tipper lorry or you with wheelbarrow? Also should you remove the base concrete and re-instate the soil system?
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 22 at 5:10
  • If it was more commonly available you could fill it with foamcrete, but unfortunately that's a product easier to find articles about than a local contractor for.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 22 at 13:10
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    – TylerH
    Apr 22 at 14:31
  • I agree with TylerH, particularly since you've given us no idea whatever how you'd like to use the yard. It looks to me that the depression is due to lowering grade in that general direction, which calls for a retaining wall, so any fill would require a new retaining wall at the fence line. Whether you build a deck to avoid that situation is not for us to decide.
    – isherwood
    Apr 22 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


I would fill it in rather than deck over it. You're going to need to build a retaining wall where that fence is if you want to fill it in. You might be able to reuse the blocks from the existing retaining wall for that purpose. But like @SolarMike says, remove the concrete base before filling in, otherwise water won't drain and you'll have a swamp.

  • IDK, water goes somewhere now—possibly the neighbor's yard.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 22 at 13:44

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