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Sourcing Materials - Where to Get Enough Used Concrete Slabs?

diy garden projects sustainable gardening

In the world of landscaping and DIY projects, the possibilities are endless. Building retaining walls using reclaimed concrete slabs not only adds a unique touch to your outdoor space but also contributes to a sustainable future. You can turn your vision into reality with the right sourcing methods for getting enough materials for your project and using the help of a reliable hardscape contractor if needed.

 In a previous blog post, we delved into building those retaining walls, and today, we're taking a deeper dive into focusing on sourcing reclaimed concrete slabs and finding the right hardscape contractor for the job.
I got a question from Belle, who is eager to design and create stunning retaining walls but needed ideas on sourcing enough materials for her project.


”I am obsessed with the reclaimed concrete slabs used as retaining walls. What an amazing idea! I am looking to do something similar for a client of mine in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Can you give me an idea of how you went about sourcing the concrete slabs? And what kind of hardscape contractor you had for installation? Thanks much! Love your website and content!”

There are many ways to find enough materials for your creative project; sometimes, you need to use them all. So, let's get started!



Sourcing Reclaimed Concrete Slabs

Building with reclaimed materials is eco-friendly and a fantastic way to infuse character and uniqueness into your landscaping projects. To source those old concrete slabs, consider the following options:


a. Reclamation Yards: 

These hidden gems are treasure troves of reusable materials. Check out local reclamation yards, as they often stock various materials that could be perfect for your project. Keep in mind that availability may vary.


b. Online Marketplaces: 

Websites like eBay and other online auction platforms can be valuable resources for finding reclaimed concrete slabs. While a cost may be involved, the convenience and variety make this option worth exploring.


c. Local Facebook Groups: 

One of the most environmentally friendly ways to source materials is through local Facebook groups. Many people are eager to give away materials they no longer need. Sharing information about the type and quantity of slabs you're looking for can connect you with individuals looking to part with their surplus materials. Do the same if you have extra materials other gardeners could use.


d. Reuse Existing Slabs: 

If you have concrete slabs on your property that are no longer needed, consider repurposing them for your retaining wall project or give them forward to someone in need. Sharing these materials with others in your local community fosters sustainability and helps reduce waste.


Choosing the Right Hardscape Contractor

Now, think about the second part of Belle's question: finding the ideal hardscape contractor for your project. When selecting a contractor, focus on the following criteria:


a. Reliability: 

Opt for a reputable contractor with a track record of delivering quality work. Check reviews, ask for references, and ensure they have the necessary licenses and insurance.


b. Experience: 

Please be sure to look for a contractor experienced in retaining walls, mainly using concrete blocks or natural stone. Their familiarity with the process ensures a more successful outcome.


c. Stability: 

In regions with ground frost, a stable foundation is crucial to prevent your retaining walls from toppling over. Ensure your chosen contractor has the expertise to create a solid foundation that can withstand freezing conditions.


d. Specifications: 

If you’re using a contractor to build your project, provide them with clear and detailed specifications. Proper specifications help ensure your vision is executed accurately, resulting in a structure that meets your expectations.


So, to all the home gardeners, aspiring designers, and creative minds out there, whether you're working on your own property or planning a project for a client, remember the key elements: source materials wisely, do a proper foundation, or have it done correctly, and choose a dependable contractor, if you are using one. With these in place, you're on your way to creating beautiful, enduring landscapes that bring joy for many years.




PS. I was so excited to get the following message from Belle after sending her my video: ”Thank you Sari! 🙏Incredibly helpful! You are such an inspiration! I'll let you know what I end up doing.” I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful project Belle ends up creating. 😊




Turn your Pinterest board full of garden dreams into reality with a set of solid guidelines to follow. It takes only 3 minutes, but the results will serve you for a lifetime.