Stone patio in sloping backyard

Looking from the inside of our house to the backyard, it slopes from left to right and slightly back towards the street. We want to build a leveled stone patio, only slightly sloped for drainage.
Should we excavate the soil to make patio leveled with the lower grade, or should we build the lower grade up, with retaining walls on the side? Thanks.
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That depends on the heights of what the patio meets up to, eg the house ettrances, walkways, etc. and aesthetics. Everything else being equal, it's usually easier to avoid having retaining walls. Either way, you'll have to remove the topsoil that is there and backfill with base material.
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We would be digging into the soil to level it with the lower grade, so it would be soil on all sides.
To give you a clearer picture,
- This patio won't be adjacent to the house or any other structure. We'll have a 10x12" deck attached to the house, about 2' high.
- When you step onto the deck from the house, a garage wall is on the left, backyard is in front and on the right.
- This patio would be in front of the deck.
- Looking from the deck towards the patio, the slope of the backyard goes from left to right.
- The size of the patio would be 12'x14', the longer side goes L to R, shorter side B to F.
- The slope in that longer 14' section is about 8". I understand that the patio should have slope of 1/4" per foot for drainage, so that's 3.5". We'd still like to level the rest.
Please let me know if you need more info. Thank you all for your help!
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How you expect anyone to give you more advice than you've already gotten without some pictures is beyond me. It's pretty much about aesthetics and without seeing it, all you're getting is guessing.
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