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Gabion Wall to stop water ingress to garage

Home Improvement Guru

Gabion Wall to stop water ingress to garage

I had water entering my garage after I had put up false walls and retrofitted it. I had found a couple of points that were leaking but I still had a quantity of water coming through the brick work. The problem was that the ground was leveled half way up the outside wall. The job we all know we will have to do but dread when we have water entering a location was on the cards. During one of the downpours I had an inch of water in the garage, so I started digging near my steps in the rain to see if I could source the leak... Yeah I wasnt thinking. Once I thought about it I knew I had a couple of options. Could dig the wall out and waterproof it and then backfill, dig the wall out and retain wall to keep the soil away. Or lastly dig the area out and move the retaining wall back the width of a path with the intention of putting a door in and going under the house one day. This is the one I choose.


Galvanised mesh, various sizes (Leftover pieces i had)

3mm Fencing Wire

Bitumen Rubber

Geo cloth (Well actually re-used upholstery cloth that was being thrown out)

8mm Gravel



Long nosed pliers


Broom handle

Paint brush

Sledge Hammer

Pound Hammer



Step 1

The area that I had to excavate used to be a pond. I figured there wouldn't be a lot of soil to move. Underestimation to the max. (The excavation and fixing the water ingress are two projects. This is the second part for the Gabion wall itself) I started by winding fencing wire to become the spirals needed for holding the cage edges together.  


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This is the area that was potentially allowing the water entry into the garage. (The garage is on the right)


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Making up the spirals for the gabion walls edges. I wound 3mm or 3.5mm fencing wire around the broomstick in a tight spiral. It really works out your hand and arms.


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So you hold the end of the wire hard with your left hand and then wrap the wire tightly around the broom with the right, then release and another half turn twist. Later version I drilled a hole through the center of the broomstick to insert the end of the wire. It made it easier to do. Also I cut the lengths of wire around 2m so the spiral didn't end up too large.


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I had almost enough mesh for the cage but they pieces I had were of different types. The largest sheet I kept for the Front facing edge. 


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I have since modified into doing shorter spirals as the longer length it not needed as I can chop it into segments for easier installation.

Step 2

With the different sized pieces I really wanted to make sure they were secure and wouldn't stretch with time. I also made sure I put in stay wires to stop the middle wanting to spread out when filling the cages.


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The mesh against the wall is for the front gabion walls yet to be built so I couldn't use that. The mesh I used was bits left over from previous cages.


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As you can see I kept the cage dimensions the same but used different types of mesh. It worked as all the stitched together mesh was buried behind the wall.


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Putting the cage together. It is taller then the usual ones I build but I wasn't particularly concerned as it was going to be sitting on a soapstone base and only hold soil for maybe 2/3rds max of its height.


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Slowly coming together.


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Just showing the stay wires to make sure the middle doesn't get that "spread" expansion.


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How I joined two sections together on the same wall. not the tidiest but it was going on the back side of the cage so wouldn't be seen.


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Putting the lid on. I do it as it really squares the cage up and shows if anything has gone badly wrong. I also spiral the far side of the cages lid/spine completed as it makes it easier to fill the cage (As compared to leaving the lid off until its full which would make it harder to stitch the top down)


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Completed and ready to be dropped in.

Step 3

Placement and filling the cage are next. making sure I put some geo technical cloth behind the cage to stop fines from entering the cage so easily. I reused some upholstery backing that was being thrown out at work. Its still going strong after almost 2 years of being buried.


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Making sure the cloth went to the base of the cage. There is gravel underneath the cage by about 30mm and then soapstone rock. 

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In place and ready to be filled.19 07-08-2021.jpg

Making sure the lid closes square and the geo tech material was going to be in the right place.20 08-08-2021.jpg

One of the rock/waste stone piles I have21 08-08-2021.jpg

Filling bit by bit. Placement of the concrete/stones is important as I dont like the idea of having air gaps/holes in the basket itself. Think of it like a jigsaw ish that slowly builds up. Its not super tidy but definently binds together better then just throwing the rocks in.22 08-08-2021.jpg

One pile gone.24 08-08-2021.jpg25 14-08-2021.jpgAlmost done, This is where I pick and choose the top facing rocks I want. Things to make it look consistant and level. 26 14-08-2021.jpg

Wall is full, I usually pour small fragmented gravel/leftover concrete over the top for infill. Just depends on what it looks like.27 14-08-2021.jpg

I went through so many pairs of gloves as chipping concrete trashes all gloves.28 14-08-2021.jpg

Course leftover concrete used at the base of of the wall to allow better drainage.

Step 4

The last bit was drainage (I cover this in the second part of the project) and paving this area. Plus waterproofing the brickwork of the garage.


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Time to waterproof


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Backfilled with a little clay just to get the material to stay in place.


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This old stormwater pipe goes under the house (it has horizontal slits in it) and follows the wall. Im not sure how it should have functioned as it is dry under the house. 


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The waterproof material I used. I did not know that bricks are pourus :surprised: Or cracks in brickwork can let water through... Seriously should have used logic on that but I just didn't think. After this, nothing is going to leak!


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All waterproofed. The Bitumen is extremely gluggy and the paintbrush is thrown away afterwards. Do not get on hands or clothes as it will not shift!


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After paving. I think it came up nicely


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There is drainage under the pavers and gravel and that is shown in another project.


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This was during an absolute downpour at the beginning of March 2022 The drainage worked a dream, the wall has not shifted and it all seems to have bed in nicely.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Gabion Wall to stop water ingress to garage

Hi @Dave-1 


Thank you very much for sharing that very detailed repair job. It's an amazing D.I.Y. effort, I can only imagine how much it would have cost if you had to get contractors to do this job for you. 


Again, thank you for sharing such an awesome project.




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Home Improvement Guru

Re: Gabion Wall to stop water ingress to garage


I shudder to think of what a retaining wall would have cost. And also shudder at having to pay someone to take away all my broken up concrete. 

I had a lot of fun reusing stuff that would normally have been thrown away. This cage really works for the area it is in. I really want to put a door in at the end of the pavers and escavate under the house one day! :smile: Tho do not know where the soil will go when I do :smile:



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