How to Install Retaining Walls in Your Garden 

Install Retaining Walls in Your Garden

Are you feeling dissatisfied with the border area of your garden? Are you thinking about adding raised garden beds to improve your garden? A retaining wall is an excellent solution in such situations. You can use retaining walls to level your lawn or add some architectural structure to the existing landscape. In fact, you can also use these to build a raised vegetable garden.

There are all kinds of retaining walls. If it’s a big project and there are a lot of areas to cover, it is always better to use the services of a professional company for the job. 

Having said that, there are also some DIY options that allow you to build the desired wall to save on some cash. In this blog post, we will explore the idea of building a retaining wall, the things you will need for the retaining wall and how to build the retaining wall.

Brainstorm and Come up with a Plan

You can always start building a retaining wall and figure things out as you go. However, doing things without a plan often turns out to be much more time-consuming and expensive. This is why you should begin this project by brainstorming a few ideas and coming up with a design for your retaining wall.

You also need to know that building a wall higher than a metre may require you to get permits for design and certification. Usually, you don’t need to worry about permits if you’re building a shorter wall but still, it is better to check the local council rules before you begin digging.

Finalise the Design

Take a pen and paper and start designing your retaining wall. Depending on the length of the wall and materials you choose, you will come up with the number of posts required. There is no reason to stick to a straight wall. It can be curvy or you may have a zigzag design.

The next thing you need to work on is the material you are going to use for the retaining wall. When it comes to DIY retaining walls, the most popular materials tend to be timber, concrete or natural stone rock walls.

If you choose to go with timber, treated pine sleepers offer an excellent option though you could always go with hardwood sleepers. You also have the option of using concrete interlocking blocks. A big advantage of using interlocking blocks is that you won’t need any mortar. Also, these blocks are prefinished which means you don’t need to do any finishing work.

Install Retaining Walls in Your Garden

Things You Will Need

  • A shovel or a post hole digger
  • Level
  • String line
  • Tape measure
  • Timber slippers, natural stone or concrete blocks
  • Posts for supporting timber sleeper

How to Build a Retaining Wall

If you plan to use timber, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. Make sure the sleepers are at least 75 mm thick. When it comes to the height of the posts, keep in mind that almost half of the length of the post is going to be below ground level. 

This is why you will need at least 160 cm long posts if you are planning to build an 80 cm high retaining wall. 

Here’s the step-by-step process for a timber retaining wall:

  1. Begin by digging post holes. The spacing between posts will depend on the length of your sleepers. Keep them at half the length of the sleeper.
  2. Start inserting posts in the holes. Also, use a string line and level to ensure the wall is straight and level. Make the necessary adjustments if your garden has a slope to it.
  3. Once all the posts have been put in, you can start dropping in the timber sleepers. The bottommost sleeper needs to be embedded into the ground at least 10 cm.
  4. You also need to think of drainage as water can put on a lot of pressure on the retaining wall. For this, you can use a slotted drain. Cover the drain with geotextile fabric and fill it with free draining material. The fabric will prevent soil from going in but will allow water to seep through.

Concrete or Natural Stone Wall

  1. Begin by digging a footing
  2. Fill the trench with road base and make sure it is level after compacting
  3. Start arranging the prefinished blocks and lock them together
  4. Take care of drainage by laying a drainpipe at the foot of the wall as per the process explained above.

Final Thoughts

There are multiple uses for a retaining wall. It gives shape to the garden border and you can also use it to add architectural structure to your garden. You don’t always need to engage the services of a landscaping company to build a retaining wall as there are several DIY options. 

However, if you need to move a large amount of material, it is always recommended to call in a professional landscaping company to do the job properly. Also, don’t forget you might need a permit from the local council if the height of the wall is above a certain mark.

Buy landscaping Rocks with Rokworx

Rokworx is a premier supplier of landscaping rocks, boulders, and stones in a wide range of textures, shapes, sizes and colours. We offer a wide range of stones including Coldstream rock, Bluestone rock, Granite rock and more for building your rock retaining wall.

Please call us today for more information on 0407 456 045 or leave a message.



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