Why the concrete versus stone wall debate is now completely real


If you had even mooted the idea of building a concrete retaining wall as opposed to a natural stone one you would have been laughed out of the door several years ago.

Suffice to say, times are changing.

Retaining walls have always been hugely important elements of a property. They’re not just structures to “hold something back” (despite what the dictionary might tell you). Instead, they need character and if done incorrectly, they can look absolutely dreadful.

This is one of the reasons why concrete has always come second best, or worse. In comparison to natural stone, this was something that looked very-much manufactured and in simple terms, not very nice on the eye.

Developments in the way in which concrete retaining walls are put together has changed this though. You only need to cast your eye on some of the case studies that David Montoya Stonemakers has put together to see this; the effects can be stunning.

Let’s now take a look at some of the reasons why concrete retaining walls are back in fashion – and have almost ridded themselves of the stigma that was once attached to them.

They’re no longer boring

We’ve made quite a lot of statements regarding the appearance of concrete retaining walls so far, or at least what they used to look like.

As you may have gathered, the industry has changed a lot over the years. Now, concrete doesn’t have to be boring, the fact that it arrives in so many different color options means that the homeowner has a lot of opportunity to experiment when it comes to erecting one of these walls. When we talk about these options, they’re not necessarily solid color blocks and the designs of some of these walls make them appear like completely natural materials.

Additionally, there is plenty of scope to change the shape. Concrete blocks can be formed into pretty much any shape that is desired and again, this provides more versatility than ever before.

Of course, the same about shape could be said about stone. However, this obviously comes at a cost, as we’ll soon find out.

They don’t cost the earth to install

We touched upon costs just there and in the case of concrete retaining walls, you won’t be paying nearly as much as you would for one formed from stone. Sure, the material itself is usually more expensive when you take it into a cost per square ratio, but installing one of these walls is a breeze and doesn’t require expensive craftsmen.

Additionally, because it’s so easy to buy and form different shaped blocks, there’s no added expense with complicated designs either.

Modification isn’t a problem

The point of using expensive craftsman is going to be made again here. If you do have a natural stone wall and need alterations, it’s not a case of just adding to the existing structure. The nature of stone means that you will need a professional to spend significant amounts of time customizing the stonework and carving it so it fits with the new design.

With the versatility that concrete provides, this again doesn’t need to occur.