Have you got a slope in your garden that needs retaining? Erect a retaining wall that looks good, performs brilliantly and that goes up as quickly as you need it to! Gabion retaining walls have been on the outer for a while but now they are making a return, and for good reason! Here’s what you need to know about this classic retaining wall system. For more information or advice about building a gabion retaining wall, have a chat to your local retaining wall specialist.
What is a Gabion Retaining Wall?
A gabion retaining wall is essentially a retaining wall that is constructed out of a wire basket (gabion) and then filled with stones. The wire basket is formed to the necessary shape on site (straight or curved) and then it is filled up. Any stones can be used to fill the basket but it’s actually easier and faster to use smaller stones rather than larger ones. That’s because larger stones need to be placed in one by one by hand to get the look right, while smaller stones can just be poured in by the bucket load. Building a gabion retaining wall is relatively simple. You start with level reinforced concrete footings upon which the wall is built. The wire baskets are then created and they contain steel reinforcing as well as the stones to ensure that they support the soil adequately and that the baskets don’t balloon outwards.
Benefits of Gabion Retaining Walls
Gabion retaining walls are a type of dry retaining wall which means that they have no mortar anywhere in the construction. This makes them incredibly well draining, so they don’t have the pressures of water building up behind the wall as can happen with other types of retaining walls. Gabion retaining walls also effectively stabilise a slope and control erosion well. once built, gabion retaining walls will last for many years and they look great, whether you allow vegetation to grow up them or not.
Gabion retaining walls can look quite spectacular when they are fully built and you can enhance the effect even more by using in gabion lighting. In gabion lighting is where lights are strategically placed during the filling the basket stage of building the wall. When turned on at night, you get the stunning effect of a glowing stone wall – truly spectacular! Alternatively, you can use in ground lights that are angled upwards to create a wash of light over the wall.
How Much Does a Gabion Retaining Wall Cost?
The cost of a gabion retaining wall depends on two main factors – the stones you use and the size and complexity of the wall. The cost of the stones will depend on the type and the size. “Waste” stones are generally cheaper to buy and they look just as good as or better than first run stones. A lot of smaller stones can also be cheaper than fewer large stones. The size and complexity of the wall also affects the cost considerably. The larger the wall the more expensive it will be as it will need to be engineered and you’ll require more raw materials. Curved walls also tend to cost more. Be aware that gabion retaining walls are very labour intensive if you are having a professional build it for you, so you will have to factor in the increased labour costs when budgeting for your wall.