Factors to Consider When Building a Concrete Retaining Wall

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Factors to Consider When Building a Concrete Retaining Wall

30 March 2023
 Categories: , Blog

You may have decided to improve your property with a concrete retaining wall. If so, here are some factors to consider.

Different Configurations

Concrete can be used in various forms to build a retaining wall. One option is interlocking concrete blocks, which are manufactured to fit together without mortar. They come in different shapes, colours, and textures. Some styles mimic sandstone or other types of rocks.

Other types of concrete blocks can be used that have hollow centres. These are stacked and glued together with mortar. For reinforcement, steel rods can be threaded vertically through the hollows. The contractors can render the outside and paint it in different colours, or they can use decorative techniques to stain the concrete and imprint it with texture moulds.

A more complex set-up is when you have cement poured into forms on site to create the wall structure. This can be a more complex construction method. Concrete contractors can advise on which type may suit your installation.

Council Approval

Many home upgrades require council approval, and a retaining wall may sometimes need it. You should check your local regulations. Some councils specify that if a retaining wall is one metre or higher, it needs to be designed with the approval of a structural engineer, who will ensure that the wall has the strength to restrain the mound of soil behind it. High walls may also need a building permit. A retaining wall will typically need to fall within guidelines that state how close it can be to the boundary of your property. The wall shouldn't be set up to create runoff that floods onto your neighbour's land.

Versatile Uses

A retaining wall can help a garden in various ways. On sloping ground, walls can be set into the hillside to create tiers of level land. This will increase the usability of the property and allow you to create extra garden beds or a patio.

Retaining walls and steps let you take advantage of one of the best assets of hillside yards: the view. They let you get higher in a safe way and give you access to a beautiful vista. The top may be the perfect place for a table and chairs.

Flat properties are also a good place for retaining walls, as these gardens can lack dimension and visual interest, especially if you don't have tall trees. If no natural aspects are raised to create varied heights, you can use a retaining wall to do that. A raised garden bed or patio area is a great example. The ground of the patio can be heightened, and you can add a low wall, which creates another object at a different level for visual interest.

To learn more about retaining walls, reach out to a service provider near you.