To build a Retaining Wall correctly and for You to know how to build a wall I first need to outline several important factors for you to consider.
MUST blend in with a look that you are trying to create.
Although the wall has a major functionality it can still blend in with your theme.
It can be hard work building any kind of Retaining Wall correctly, there are however a few tips that will help the process and in the long run you’ll end up with a much better job.
Check on the Individual Walls in the index to see the procedure on How to build these walls, this is just some general info for you to think about.
What is the purpose of your Retaining Wall.
This might seem pretty obvious at first, but are you just building up the ground for a specific theme in your garden or do you live on a slope and the ground has been cut out for your home. This cut needs Retaining of course, not that it makes much of a difference to the structure but the time schedule in which the job has to be completed.
These circumstances may however need a specific design of wall along with the building specifications and the Government Authorities involvement. The height of the Retaining Wall may be subject to building codes etc.
The Local Governments and Engineers will all play a part in the construction, so you will need to find this out before you start building your wall.
Generally if the wall is higher than 1.0m (3’4″) it will probably need to be approved by Council.
Having said that, most councils will then require a Stamped Plan by a Civil Engineer.
The Wall Material and style.
You then have to think about the material and style of your Retaining Wall. If it doesn’t need to comply to any Council application, then your options are far greater and it would depend more on the theme you wish to either create or continue with, in your garden.
Building a Stone wall is a lot more labour Intensive than a Timber Retaining Wall, but will provide a completely different look and theme to your garden. You are able to curve the base in and out much easier and height variation of the ground doesn’t really effect you when building. For your Guide on how to build and work with stone in more detail just look in the index.
Old Railway Sleepers or any other type of Timber then of course you are subject to more directional straight lines.
Posts are usually a larger profile than the Rails, which are fixed behind.
You will obviously have a look of horizontal lines created by the rails,this will give you a longer appearance to your area. The theme it will create will be more square and ridged than stone will but this can still be softened. So you really need to think about your Retaining Wall as a feature in your garden that needs to blend in as well as doing the job it is meant to do.
Now pop on over and see what I have to say about Ted… Just CLICK the picture below,
How to decide on your wall.
Deciding on the many different design walls when you realise they can be a feature to your landscape sometimes can be a bit overwhelming but don’t let it confuse you. just consider what else you want to do in that area, what shapes you want to create, what plants will do well there including grass and so on this will help you when deciding on your wall. we cover here the main designs but it’s important for you to know the what theme you are trying to achieve in your garden.
Drainage behind the wall.
Drainage from behind the wall is essential to consider. When a wall exceeds the 600 mm (2ft) in height it’s then it falls into the category of defiantly needing drainage, see Drainage Guidelines.
So whether the design of your Retaining Wall is such that water can or cannot escape through the front or at the end or even if it’s collected from behind and plumbed into your storm water pipes, it has to be catered for.
When the soil retains moisture it expands, putting enormous pressure on the wall.
An adequate drainage system that allows this moister to escape will prevent this from happening therefore allowing you to enjoy the purpose of your retaining wall much longer.
This wall has a drain in front for the paving and behind.
More Tips on building a Retaining Wall.
1. If you are working with Timber and on the side of a slope, then just be careful of the post concrete levels.
You will more likely need to cut the bottom rail to follow the ground level, although this is fine to do, just make sure that you have enough of the sleeper rail to fix to the next post.
2. You may have to slope the top of the wall too and the need for that step might not be at a post so you can see by the picture how I achieved this and still looks good. It’s important to try and even up all the steps with each other, working on a set measurement from a post for example.
3. If you are building a wall that is high enough to consider a batter placed on the face of the wall, See the Specifications for this either for an Open Face (Tie-Back Crib style) or a Closed Face Timber Sleeper wall. where it leans back in at the top, then this is achieved quite simply by setting the posts or stepping the face according to the design,
Here is a quick method of working that out.
4. Keep the level of concrete supporting your posts just lower than the surrounding ground level, that way you can fill that little bit in with the surrounding dirt and it looks more natural. This is also very important if you are laying Brick Pavers up to the wall, or Concrete Pavers for that matter,you will need to keep it low enough that your paver can be laid over the top.
5. All your fixings, whether they are Nails, Bolts or Screws should be galvanised without exception. If you are building with any treated pine then the CCA (Copper Chromium Arsenate) treatment will corrode steal fixings to nothing, resulting in the collapse of you structure. But the use of any fixings outside should be Galvanised.