Gabion, natural rock, concrete or timber – there are many ways to design and build a strong retaining wall. Get the experts from Zones to help you protect your property, especially if yours is a sloping section.
Zones can support you with every aspect of your landscape design, build and installation. In terms of retaining walls, our services include:
It all comes down to your property type and garden-style combined with the structural requirements of your wall. Timber retaining walls are very common in and around the Bay of Plenty. They work well for most wall sizes and requirements, with large, treated timber posts and horizontal rails for a high wall. As another cost-effective option, Gabions, or gabion stone walls, are quick and easy to build. The system consists of gabion baskets, available in different sizes and styles that can be filled with rocks. Cantilever retaining walls made from reinforced concrete slabs offer a sleek and modern look. Concrete retaining walls are at the higher end of the budget spectrum.
Interlocking retaining wall blocks provide a strong wall without the need to use mortar. They are generally made from concrete. The Firth Eziwall system sometimes referred to as Firth garden wall, is one of the easiest segmental retaining wall systems around. It comes in a range of three colours and required minimal foundation work. It can be stacked to create straight, concave or convex curved walls up to 500mm high. For a more natural look, you could consider the Firth Keystone retaining wall with blocks that imitate the look of quarried stone, or you could opt for a natural stonewall.
The best type of retaining wall and material will depend on how much earth you need to retain and on load-bearing factors that may require engineering work. Some systems cannot take any loading or surcharge on the retained area behind the wall, and the experienced Zones retaining wall builders will discuss with you what’s required for your project.
From a functional point of view, it pays to think about the retaining wall as a part of your overall landscaping design. Our Zones landscaping designers can help you make the most of every space in your garden, including a retained area. For example, you could include stairs or planting spaces for vegetables and herbs in a segmental retaining wall.
And finally, can a retaining wall look nice? Absolutely! There are many ways to ensure that a retaining wall looks the part and blends into your garden design. For example, it’s easy to ‘green up’ a wall with plants if you’re using retaining wall blocks, or to plant creepers that will cover a concrete or timber wall. You could opt for a natural stone or masonry retaining wall that incorporates planter boxes. Stepping a series of walls can also break up taller retained areas which can then be softened with planting.
Putting a retaining wall in a place that will stand the test of time is about planning and installing a well thought-through design. This may include drainage solutions and engineering work. The building work and duration will be affected by the amount of soil that needs to be shifted in and out of the site, and by how easy the site can be accessed.
Extra time needs to be factored in when building consent or resource consent is required. As a rule of thumb, you will need building consent along with a specialist structural design for a retaining wall that is higher than 1.5m. Any walls over 1m in height will also need to comply with the fall to safety regulations and incorporate a handrail where the wall is accessible by people. The experts at Zones can assist you in the process and ensure that all necessary building requirements are met. If you need to retain your property along a boundary fence, it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with your neighbours early on.
Costs for a retaining wall depend on a variety of factors including the size of the required retaining wall, materials, soil type and access to the building site. The team at Zones Tauranga can give you a budget indication range following an initial brief and design concept. Once the design and scope of the project is agreed on, they will be able to provide you with a fixed price quote before the actual building work starts.
You can find more information on general retaining wall costs here, but to get a better idea on cost estimates for your specific project and find out what’s involved you can contact Zones directly.