Andrew

Landscape Blogger. Over 10 years of residential landscaping experience.

Getting A Retaining Wall? Here are the DOs and DON’Ts!

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The main function of a retaining wall is to reduce soil erosion by holding rocks and soils in place. If you live in hilly areas, retaining walls will solve your outdoor problems! Retaining walls are built using materials like wood timbers, boulders, concrete, and natural stone.

Unlike any structures, building retaining walls have certain structural requirements you should meet.

A well-built retaining wall transforms your outdoor space into a beautiful and functional space.

If you’re building a retaining wall, here are some things you should do and you should avoid.

DOs:

Consult local authorities

Installing a retaining wall can impact the water flow of your neighbours. Informing your local authorities is important because some communities require a building permit. 

If this is how it works in your community, you may have to submit your building plans and they will conduct an inspection to make sure there won’t be any drainage issues once you start building your retaining walls. 

Know how to backfill correctly

Once the drainpipe is in place, you need to backfill the remaining space with either sand or pea gravel. These two will allow water filtration.

Choose a sturdy material that works best for you

There are a wide variety of materials to choose from in building a retaining wall – from concrete, to natural stones to bricks. It can be challenging to choose which material works best. It’s recommended to hire an expert from Cairns Retaining Walls to help you choose the correct material.

Start on an even and strong foundation

In building any structure, a strong foundation is a must. If the foundation is an uneven surface, the retaining wall won’t be strong enough to handle the pressure from the soil to the moisture build-up on one side of the wall. 

DON’Ts:

Lay blocks on an unlevel surface

If you lay blocks on an uneven or unlevel surface, your retaining wall will look unattractive. By using a four-foot carpenter’s level, you can ensure that the first row up to the subsequent rows of blocks would be at the perfect level.

Forget to sweep surface before stacking

If you do not sweep pebbles or small stones on the surface prior to constructing the retaining walls, it will cause misalignment.

Forget to allow drainage

Installing drainage helps moisture to escape easily rather than staying on one side of the wall. You should also be aware that drainage is often the reason why retaining walls fail. It is important to make sure that there won’t be any water buildup behind the wall.

Opt for a single tall wall if you’re capable of constructing multiple tiered walls

Multiple short walls add visual texture. Each wall will also support less soil weight – making sure that the retaining wall will not fail.

Need Professional Help?

If you’re still struggling to plan and design your retaining wall, we can help! Here at Cairns Retailing Walls, our team are experienced and well-trained. We can inspect your location to determine if there will be any problems when we start constructing your retaining walls. 

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