Hey guys...just wanted to introduce myself. I'm what you guys call an old time lawn jockey here in VA. Beach, VA. Started out as an irrigation contractor in the mid 80's. Started doing landscape and maintenance in the late 80's. These days we do mostly lawn maintenance on large commercial properties. The only hardscaping i've ever really done is some low, dry stacked walls in large landscapes. These were mainly for a visual aid versus actaully retaining anything. I'm planning to do a hardscape job at my mothers house this coming Winter and have come here to absorb all the knowledge I can about doing things the right way. Been doing alot of searching here and have already found alot of good answers to most of the questions I had. I'm sure as the times comes closer to actually starting this project i'll have some questions to ask. My project is still in the early planning stages but will probably consist of a 16x24 raised patio with seatwalls and very wide steps leading to a 24x14 ground level patio with a firepit and seatwalls around the firepit. Just wanted to say "Hi" and to let you guys know that you've compiled a great resource here on these forums for those willing to search out the answers, keep it coming.