Concrete Block Retaining Wall & Garden Renovation
The customer was no longer able to manage the maintenance of the large sloping garden bed in this backyard and was looking for a low maintenance solution with plenty of room for the dog.
First, the vegetation was removed by hand, and all roots were clearly marked for removal by the machines.
After this, the area was excavated down below the existing yard level. The excavation stayed outside the ‘area of influence’ of the fences. This is basically a 45-degree line from the bottom of the fences into the yard, and prevents undermining of the fence posts (and anything else that might be on the other side of the fence).
Once the machines had finished, the batter (or angle that the wall and therefore the earth behind it leans backward from the vertical) was adjusted to match the finished wall. We also confirmed that the final wall height would be 650mm which is well below the 1000mm limit above which engineering and council approval would be required.
Next, a trench was dug for the base of the retaining wall and this was partly filled with crusher dust. Then the customer’s chosen Balmoral Blocks were laid into the crusher dust. Using string lines and rubber mallets, the first row of blocks were carefully bedded into the correct position so that the finished wall would be straight, level, and parallel to the existing fences.
Then plastic ‘ag pipe’ was laid behind the bottom row of blocks and covered with drainage gravel. This will allow any water buildup behind the wall to easily drain away, rather than pushing the wall over.
The wall was built up layer by layer, resetting the string line for each row to ensure a straight wall. To make life easier, more drainage gravel was added along the way rather than all at the end.
The returns on each end were added last as they had to be built into the sloping ground, requiring ‘stepping’ of the bottom layer of blocks, as well as the top layers.
Once the top row of the wall was in place, a layer of decorative pebbles was added between the top of the wall and the fences.
Finally, a 100mm layer of quality underturf was laid and fresh turf to match the existing lawn was laid over the area.
The end result is more usable yard space and virtually zero garden maintenance, which matched the customer’s requirements for the project.