Retaining walls can be as beautiful as they are practical for your property. They can serve may purposes beyond just being something that holds back soil or levels out a steep site to make it structurally sound.
This blog will hopefully give you the inspiration you need to help you decide what type of look that you may be interested in. (Gallery below)
The size of wall you need/want may dictate what materials you need to use and the process involved in creating the wall. For example, a low wall (less that 600mm) requires far less effort, engineering and approval, than something over several levels or quite tall.
In NSW you will require council approval to build any retaining wall above 600mm whereas in other states it is above 1 metre. Make sure you check with your local council to ensure you are within their regulations. The simple reasoning behind these regulations is that it can be dangerous if your wall is above regulations and not engineered correctly. You don't want you wall falling on someone or something.
Types of Retaining Walls
When you are planning and looking for ideas for your retaining wall we have illustrated the most common types that are used here in Australia. Timber sleepers are one of the most common you will see, they are very durable and long lasting plus they tend to match most properties. Stone blocks are another durable and popular choice.
Railway sleepers is probably a name you may recognise but these days you will find most sleepers made from a treated pine as to avoid termites destroying your wall.
Besser blocks or concrete moulded blocks are designed to lock into place and can often be built by a capable home handyman (under 600mm) for a small wall. Getting them level is the most important part as when you start level you then will finish level.
A personal favourite that you are seeing more and more in Australia is the Gabion wall. These can be used with both small and large retaining walls or they can be used to disguise something like a pole or or ugly structural concrete. A wire cage or basket is created and then filled with stones, river rocks or similar. Again you are best to use a professional if it is going to be over a certain size to ensure it is structurally sound.
Using a professional here is important as drainage can make or break this type of wall. Without the correct drainage you are risking the wall collapsing or being pushed over, at the very least you will see cracks forming. Remember too you can always render the bricks if you want the look of smooth concrete.
Speak to the team at Branching Out Landscape & Design for an obligation free chat about how we can create a garden for you that includes a retaining wall solution.