Want a Truly Unique Retaining Wall? It's Time to Go Gabion

Construction & Contractors Blog

Retaining walls are a necessity in many backyards. A vertical slope needs reinforcement, and this reinforcement is provided by the wall. Most retaining walls are made from brick or wood, and this is a neutral, unobtrusive look that offers durability as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The sheer fact that so many retaining walls are made from these materials can make you want to have something a little different. A truly unique and stylish retaining wall doesn't have to be expensive, which is why it's surprising that many backyards don't feature the gabion style of retaining wall. But what is a gabion wall? And how is it made?

What Is It?

The gabion wall is essentially a stacked pile of rocks, held inside a metal cage to prevent them from slipping. It's a truly remarkable wall and the rough look of the stacked rocks means that each wall looks different. There is a uniformity to the style, but no two gabion walls will look the same.

What Kind of Rocks Are Used?

The choice of rocks is entirely yours, and the price and availability of certain kinds of rocks will vary. It's possible to construct the wall using different types of rocks, which results in a pleasing patchwork look. The metal cage is made to the desired height and then put into position on a piece of levelled ground.

How Is It Made?

The rocks are carefully stacked inside the metal cage, with smaller rocks being used to fill in any gaps. It's much like playing a game of Tetris using rocks. Any shape of rock can be used, although a number of right-angled rocks are necessary to place in the corners of the rectangular wall. Those making a gabion wall themselves will need to source rocks with an appropriate corner. Professionally made gabion walls can have rocks roughly cut to be right-angled. These rocks are roughly cut so that they retain a natural look.

Does It Need Additional Strengthening?

Once the metal cage has been filled, the gabion wall is essentially finished. The weight of the rocks keep them in place, with assistance from the metal cage. For large gabion walls, the centre can be filled with concrete for added strength. This is only necessary for tall walls, and the company constructing your gabion wall will tell you if it's necessary. You might wish to have a plastic weed mat attached to the back of the wall to ensure that weeds are not able to grow through the rocks.

Construction of a gabion wall doesn't take long and it's surprisingly inexpensive. It's certainly something to consider the next time you need a retaining wall.


26 October 2015

Repairing Broken Buildings

Welcome to my blog! My name is Richard and my big passion in life is looking for old buildings to restore. My love of old buildings started when I was seven years old and I visited my grandparent's house in Alice Springs. It was a large Victorian building which looked magnificent even though it was in a bad state of repair. Once I grew up and made some money, I decided I would like to invest in old buildings to bring them back to life. I hire a range of different contractors to complete the work on my behalf but I take a keen interest and I have learnt a lot of things.