KEY POINTS TO TAKE AWAY
- Retaining walls over 1m in height should be designed by professionals, with calculations provided by structural engineers. They will assess soil conditions as well as the loading on the walls, contributing essential information to the design process. To ignore this could not only damage your property but potentially cause accidents should structures collapse due to a lack of experience in construction.
- Care should be taken during the construction of any retaining wall, as excavated banks can easily collapse due to soil type or heavy rain. Seek professional and skilled advice. Without careful planning, problems that arise out of shoddy or unsafe work could lead to a project taking much longer than it should.
- Soils such as heavy clay will have an impact on the design of retaining walls. These soils shrink when dry and expand when wet, creating additional problems for construction and maintaining the structure’s integrity through the seasons.
- Always consider the drainage implications of creating retaining walls and structures of any type. Inadequate drainage is likely to have serious implications in the long term.
- Create more space in smaller gardens by relocating plants on to the walls. Hydroponics – growing plants without soil – is increasingly popular and can be practical as well as decorative.
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