Tips for Installing Retaining Wall Blocks

These days, home improvements are becoming increasingly popular – yet we often only focus our energy on interior solutions. If you’re wanting to show your whole property some love, consider landscaping and how it can change the shape of your yard. Whether or not your home sits on a slope, retaining wall blocks can be a great way to see quick and effective results that last. If you’re wondering what they are and how to install them, then simply read on!

What are they?

Before you learn all the tips and tricks to installing retaining wall blocks, it pays to know what they are. Essentially, a retaining wall, which can be made from any strong and durable material (like timber or stone) is used to keep soil back and provide a level area for you to use. Depending on their size, they can double as garden bed edging or even additional seating for your outdoor area.

Tips for their installation

It’s important to note that many councils do require you to obtain a permit for structures over a metre in height, as well as the presence of a licensed builder or engineer. However, for smaller walls, you’re more than capable of attempting a DIY – with the right knowledge of course.

  • Ensure you have everything you need before you begin. For most smaller walls, you can build them in less than a day, so having everything laid out on the ground in front of you won’t be an issue. This way you’ll have access to everything when you need it, and you won’t get half way through the job and realise you don’t have enough stone or materials. It’s also important that you make allowances for breakages and other mistakes, as even the best made plans can go astray.
  • Depending on what materials you’re using, you may need to dig a small trench first to ensure it sits properly and can support the earth behind the wall. This is definitely the case for many timber and stone walls, whilst gabion baskets may not need the same level of attention – they are usually thicker, and therefore heavier, than their counterparts.
  • You can never have too much drainage! Water build-up in the soil behind your wall can create significant pressure, causing cracks and even knocking it down completely! This is where Gabion baskets can be a great choice, as they are naturally permeable, and any water can easily flow out from behind them. Otherwise, add pipes frequently, and ensure they are draining into gravel or another material where water won’t continue to build up.
  • Once you’re finished, use a stiff bristled broom to sweep away any debris that may be left. You may also consider sealing the wall with an appropriate solution. This will depend on the materials you’ve used and the manufacturer’s instructions.

The most important tip we can give you before you begin installing your own retaining wall blocks is to check with your local council. That way, you’re not risking fines or having to take it down once it’s finished. To choose the material that’s right for your home, speak with our friendly team for their expert advice.