retaining walls come in all shapes and sizes

If you live with a sloping yard, you’ll know how hard it is to plan any major changes to your house or garden without first dealing with the slope.

To improve the usability of a sloping garden, terrace garden beds or retaining walls will provide a solution, but you’ll need to consider a few things before you jump in:

  1. It needs to be functional – allowing good drainage while levelling out the slope
  2. How you’d like it to look should be a big part of the project – you’ll spend a lot of time looking at – or sitting on – your retaining wall, so the last thing you want to do is build something ugly
  3. You’ll need to decide on the materials you’d like to build the retaining wall from - whether this be wood, brick, gabion (stone filled baskets) a retaining wall should be built to last
  4. Lastly, you’ll need to establish whether or not you’ll need council approval fo your wall

On the subject of council approval some general rules for most parts of Australia are:

  • Council approval is not required if the retaining wall is less than one metre. Max height may be reduced to as little as 60 cms in some parts of the country
  • Retaining walls should be at least one metre away from drains and not close to bodies of water ie. ponds, lakes, or river ways
  • Retaining walls should not be used to divert water into a neighbours yard (they are not dams or weirs)
  • As with buildings, retaining walls should be at least 90 cms away from a property boundary

If a council approval is required you’ll need to lodge a building application, so consult with a builder or architect early on. You’ll also need a building certifier to approve your plans and check periodically to ensure the work carried out is compliant with building standards.

Once you’ve decided on the materials you want, you’ll need to have a plan to work to, or employ a reputable landscaper or builder to do the work.

To help you decide on a material we’ve outlined the benefits of each below:

  • Sandstone rocks or stone cladding walls look incredible and suit the Sydney’s Inner West environment. Sandstone can be cut to measure and doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Treated timber walls are by far the cheapest option. They are easy to install (bolting onto cemented posts) and give your garden a very natural feel. Tip: Look for hardwood to get that weathered silver look with time
  • Brick and masonry walls are a very versatile option. As well as being relatively cheap, they come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes and are easy to install. They also provide an easy to negotiate bend or corners
Good luck with your wall!
For a free quote on your retaining wall or for trade enquiries please contact Just Screw It.
Just Screw It recognises and encourages employing sustainable design and building practices to have a positive effect on local and global environments.