a timber retaining wall
Photo: Jerry Pavia
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Wall Materials: Timbers

Affordable and good for DIYers; the 6x6s, 6x8s, and 8x8s sold in lumberyards and home centers are held together with screws, spikes, or rebar. These walls need only a basic crushed stone footing and T-shaped timber deadmen to anchor them. Pressure-treated pine and fir that are rated for ground contact should survive 40 years; western red cedar or redwood lasts about 20.

Cost: Pressure-treated pine, $6.15 per square foot uninstalled; Lowe's
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