Building a retaining wall? They’re a great way to add structure and support to an outdoor area, and prevent erosion and water damage, as well as adding value and kerb appeal. In fact, retaining walls are one of the best and most popular ways to correct the problems caused by sloping areas, and are a fantastic way to create more space in your garden.
However great they are, though, no one wants to pay more for a retaining wall than they have to. Here are some handy ways to avoid racking up additional costs for your retaining wall.
Check if you need approval first
While you don’t always need approval for a retaining wall, there are certain circumstances in which you do. You may need to get planning permission for retaining walls over 2 metres high, or walls over 1 metre high which are located next to a road or pathway. Generally speaking, councils require retaining walls to be designed and certified by an engineer when the wall is over 0.5 metres high, or when there is a house, driveway or other structure located near the wall.
Your local council will certainly have regulations in place about when retaining walls need approval, but requirements may differ from area to area, and from state to state. It’s always best to be sure before you start the retaining wall build, so check your local council’s specifications, and make sure you get approval first if you need it. This will save potential complaints from neighbours later, as well as costly adjustments you may have to make. You may even have to remove the wall entirely if a complaint is upheld.
Choose the right materials
You can build a retaining wall from many different kinds of materials, but it’s always best to choose products specifically designed to be used for the construction of retaining walls (such as these: https://www.nationalmasonry.com.au/blocks-bricks-pavers-retaining-walls-qld-nsw/retaining_walls/). That’s because these products contain features that will make your retaining wall strong, secure and solid – such as link block systems, specially shaped corner blocks, purpose-made caps, bevelled edges and interlocking pin systems. Your retaining wall will be easier and quicker to build, and will last a lot longer than if you use materials not suitable for the purpose.
Make sure the surface is level
Before you even start to install and construct the retaining wall, it’s vital to set the stage correctly and get the surface perfectly level. If you don’t, your retaining wall will end up lopsided and uneven, and will cost you more money down the track if it needs to be
corrected – or worse still, replaced. Any unevenness in the prepared surface will show up in the retaining wall later – so make sure you get this right.
Lay the foundation correctly
Installation is an area you can’t afford to get wrong if you want your wall to last. Your retaining wall is only as good as its foundation – as this will help keep the wall from settling and shifting and costing you more in repairs later.
Allow for drainage
A lack of proper drainage will certainly cost you later on, as a build-up of rainwater can put excessive pressure on the rear of a retaining wall. To avoid your wall failing, install a perforated, flexible drainpipe during your retaining wall installation to provide an escape for pooling water or run-off. This pipe should direct the water away from the wall towards the ends, where it can harmlessly drain away.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a retaining wall that won’t cost you any more money or time – and that will last for as long as possible.