Concrete blocks are a great choice for garden walls. They’re tough, hardy, extremely durable, cost-effective, come in a range of colours, shapes and styles, require minimal maintenance, and to top it all off, are easy to install. Here’s what you need to know before you get started on your concrete block retaining wall.

Getting permission

Before you even start planning out your wall design, you need to ensure your project will meet local council guidelines. Consult with your council regarding local design requirements and wall heights prior to the construction of any retaining wall.

If your wall is to be over a certain height, it may need to be designed and certified by a suitably qualified engineer.

Planning your design

Planning is crucial to a successful garden wall build, as the wall will need to carry a significant load in your garden. Before you begin, consider what you want the retaining wall to actually do. Do you need it to prevent soil erosion, stop water run-off, even out a sloping site, create a barrier or simply create more usable space?

This will help you decide what type of wall to build. Evaluate your site for suitability, and consider any problems that may arise. Take into consideration the type of soil you have and the amount and direction of water run-off, as well as any structures that are located close to your wall.

Creating a plan for your retaining wall will help prevent problems down the track and reduce unnecessary costs. Design your wall and the surrounding areas carefully, and adjust for any difficulties.

Choosing your product

Concrete blocks might sound like they’re all the same, but you’ve actually got a great deal of choice with this handy wall-building product. Concrete blocks are available in a wide range

of specially designed shapes, from regular blocks to wedge-shaped blocks, from those with rounded corners and split faces to those cut into shapes designed to interlink with each other. And they come in a variety of different colours, tones, finishes, textures, patterns and styles that will give you completely different looks and feels.

The type and height of wall you want to build, as well as its position in the garden will determine what type of blocks will be suitable for your project. Certain blocks are suited for straight or curved walls, or for walls up to a certain height, so you’ll need to consider this first. Once you’ve selected the right type of block for your situation, you’ll then have to choose the colour, style or finish of the block to complement your décor.

As well, you’ll need to consider whether you want to install an interlinking concrete block system or use traditional mortar to connect the blocks. Interlocking blocks are a great choice for making your wall build easier and adding strength and stability to the wall. You can find a great range at National Masonry here:

Follow local manufacturer’s advice when ordering your products, and make sure you have the dimensions of the wall to hand. It’s always wise to order some extra blocks in case you need to replace any in the future.

Find the time

First thing you’ll need to do is block out a chunk of time to build your garden wall. It’s usually a weekend-long project, and not something you want to do in stages. Choose a free weekend and get prepared early for the build.

Site Preparation

Once you’ve chosen and ordered your blocks, you’ll then need to prepare your site for the build. While you’ll no doubt complete the actual removal of soil and construction of the wall on the day, there are a few steps you can take to get things ready to go. Prepare your area by removing any plants, debris or garden material from the chosen space.

Remove any pot plants, furniture, lights etc. that might get damaged in the build and place them in a safe area. Also, make sure you provide space for backfill, unloaded materials and any machinery and equipment you’ll use. Mark out the area for the garden wall with string and pegs.

Categories: Home & Garden