Top 3 Things You Must Know About DIY Retaining Walls

Building a garden retaining wall can be considered a big investment of time and money. Before getting started with the laws and regulation of retaining walls, learn these tips to make sure your project is a huge success.

Why You Should Build a Retaining Wall?

Retaining walls provide several functions which makes them a popular choice for most properties in Australia. A retaining wall can provide you with extra space to tier or create a terrace garden. They are often useful for properties that are built on a slope. A retaining wall between knee and shoulder height can provide you with an easy-to-access level, which is the appropriate height to put soil down and grow plants

Such types of walls can also provide runoff for water, helping to support an effective drainage system and reduce the amount of pooling during rain or while watering the plants. Sometimes the main purpose of installing a retaining wall is visual appeal. It can help make your garden look clean and well landscaped.

Before you get started, here is a list of things you need to consider while building a retaining wall at home.

1) Getting Facts Straight

Your local council will set the maximum height that you can build walls without approval. However, you should know that all councils are different and you must check with your local council as to what the height regulations in your area are before you begin to build a DIY retaining wall.

Additionally, 1 metre is the maximum height of the retaining wall you can plan to build without a permit. As mentioned above, It’s important to note that all councils differ, so the best advice is to get the right advice. You can determine the regulations for retaining walls in your area by getting in touch with your council’s development team. If you are building the wall higher than what stated in the council’s regulations, you will need a building permit from your local council. You will also need an engineer to design the retaining wall for you and a building certifier to sign off on your DIY work to complete the approval.

2) Height of The Wall

There are two ways to determine how high you can build a retaining wall:

  • The height restrictions set by your local council.
  • The physical capability of the retaining wall block, or sleeper wall, that you want to use.

Most retaining wall manufacturers will also specify the maximum height you can build without engineering. Retaining walls are often referred to as gravity wall heights because the wall gains its structural integrity by using its mass weight to retain soil. Note that in some cases, you may sometimes still need an engineered design to build a retaining wall below the stated height limit. In the end, it all comes down to the capacity of the retaining wall system used.

3) Understanding The Steps for Approval

If your retaining wall exceeds the maximum height set out by the council, you will need to gain approval before you build. Here is a checklist for you before building a retaining wall:

Step 1: Check with your local council and confirm whether you need the approval to build the retaining wall or not.

Step 2: Talk to a private building certifier to manage the approval process. Your building certifier should.

  • Submit the development application to the council on your behalf and lodge the required forms.
  • Let you know if any design or construction certificates are required to gain approval from the council. They provide you with an assurance that your work will be completed by a registered engineer, and ensure that the work is up to the industry standard.
  • Inspect the finished work and provide you with approved documentation which is then lodged with the council.

Step 3: Once you have the approval to build a retaining wall in Perth, you will be issued with a building construction certificate that allows you to begin your DIY retaining wall.



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