A retaining wall
is a great idea for any home landscaping
project. If you have a sloping block, it can enable you to use space that otherwise may otherwise go to waste or be under-utilised. On a flat block of land, a retaining wall can be used as a decorative feature or to keep a flower or vegetable garden separated from high traffic areas. Here are some retaining wall ideas to help get you started.
Since the wall itself is going to be a visible and important feature, the first thing to look at is the material you are going to use on your retaining wall. The four most common materials used are concrete blocks, stones, bricks and timber:
- Concrete retaining walls are made from concrete blocks, poured concrete or concrete sleepers. For a DIY project, there are some great purpose-made, interlocking systems that make it easy for anyone to build a retaining wall up to a metre in height.
- Stone retaining walls can make a stunning statement in any garden. Because of its irregular shape and the need for mortar, a natural stone wall higher than one or two courses may be difficult for a DIY project, but there are stone cladding products available that create the same effect at a lower cost that are designed for DIY installation.
- Brick retaining walls are perennial favourites. A reasonably skilled do-it-yourselfer can erect a low brick retaining wall, but for larger projects, it is probably advisable to get a local bricklayer's help.
- Timber retaining walls are always in style. Start with treated timber and be aware that over the years, ongoing treatments and maintenance will be required.
If you are planning on building a retaining wall over one metre in height, you are legally required to get a structural engineer
or licensed tradesperson to help you. If you are building a large wall or an extensive network of retaining walls, check with your local council before you begin. You may need to get a building permit.