Used for both practical and aesthetic reasons, retaining walls are use to create level areas in the garden, hold back earth in excavated areas and as a design element in landscaping.
Simple walls may be easily built as a DIY project. Structural retaining walls may require professional installation and even council permits and engineering certificates.
The range or material used is huge and the choice of the right material for the project will ensure longterm strength and integrity.
One of the major factors in construction of any retaining wall is the height. A very low wall may require little technical or engineering skill. And in gardens walls as low as 30cm are not uncommon. It is essential to check with local councils regarding regulations and required permits. Poorly constructed wall are dangerous and may lead to legal liability.
A major factor with any retaining wall is drainage, a build up of water behind a wall is a major factor in structural failure. Whether it be a major retaining wall to reinforce and secure the faces of a large excavation, or a low garden wall that acts as design element both the choice of material and method of construction are important.
Retaining walls are usually a permanent feature in landscaping. A well built wall can last a lifetime.
Materials for Retaining walls
Retaining wall costs
The cheapest material is treated pine. It is easy to work with however it does have a limited life span. It is not long lasting when set directly into the ground or when set into concrete.
Hardwood sleepers are more durable and more expensive. After this you move to the link block retainer walls and then higher in cost to concrete and masonry walls.
The price of gabion walls is difficult to calculate as it depends on the stone. If sources on site they can be cheap, if stone needs to purchased it will depend on the type of stone used.
Wet Stone and Dry Stone Garden Retaining Walls
Wet and Dry stone walls are a traditional methods of building retaining walls and fences. Stone is decorative, durable and functional
Wet stone retaining walls are generally more stable than dry stone walls and when properly designed can be used for walls that need to hold back large quantities of soil.
Dry stone walls do not require solid foundations like those of wet stone walls.
Timber Retaining Walls or Sleeper Retaining Walls
||Timber walls (sleeper retaining walls) are one of the most popular DIY garden walls. Timber sleeper retaining walls have been used for many years to create walls. Railway sleepers (red gum) and treated pine are the two main types of timbers used in walls. Metal or steel uprights are now a popular alternative to sleeper uprights. Concrete sleepers are also available.