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Covering a retaining wall

Budding Contributor

Covering a retaining wall

Hi, i have a retaining wall, thats more of a plantar box, that i need to build in front of my deck.  Its 600mm high by about 5.4m long, and will be 1m wide.  I would like to cover the treated pine sleepers with spotted gum decking, and wondering if this is ok to just screw the decking boards onto the uprights?  Was going to use 200 x 75mm TP sleepers as uprights.

 

Secondly, is it also possible to use stacked stone veneer on a TP sleeper wall?  If i put up some thick cement sheet between the uprights, will it be ok to glue the stacked stone to this, or is a TP sleeper wall to unreliable to to this method?

The sleepers would be on one side of the uprights, and the sheeting on the otherside, so not directly touching.

 

Hope that makes sense!

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Covering a retaining wall

@Adam_W@pete_brig@Yorky88@LePallet 

 

Are you able to provide any assistance to @Crash76?

 

Thanks heaps,

 

Jason

  

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Established Contributor

Re: Covering a retaining wall

Hi @Jason, not my area of expertise (I'm just a "Jack of all trades") but here's some comments about the retaining wall itself (@Crash76 might've already thought of some):

 

If it's a true planter box (i.e free standing with sleepers on all sides) TP should be OK.

 

If it's more of a retaining wall (ie sleepers at front & ends with the back being the natural land/fill) then:

  • I suggest you use thick (75/100mm) TP sleepers for the (horizontal) rails or hardwood. Similar for the posts/uprights and/or consider spacing them at 1200mm centres if using TP rails (esp. if you opt for 50mm)--the neighbour across the road used 50mm TP rails @ 2400 mm for a 600mm retaining wall & unsurprisingly they're bowing. There's a lot of force exerted by the backfill/land as it settles & expands when wet (IMO TP sleepers aren't esp. strong & they will cup/bow/shrink)
  • Use appropriate drainage behind the wall/weep holes, put the uprights in a "good" depth (don't know what that is but a typical rule of thumb is 1/2 the wall height but 300mm doesn't sound enuf), ensure the posts are leaning back towards the fill (approx 1 in 10 gradient), concrete posts in place etc. I found some general info at the WoodSolutions' (a timber industry initiative)  retaining-walls-landscaping section & also this guide: timber-garden-retaining-walls-1m-high 

Maybe check out @Adam_W 's  "How-to-build-a-retaining-wall" and/or get some input from more seasoned amateur or a "pro" if the above guide isn't sufficient (e.g. @Adam_W ). 

 

W.r.t. the decking cladding, it would need appropriate intermediate support depending on the span ie less than 2400mm 

 

Cheers

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Valued Contributor

Re: Covering a retaining wall

Hi @Crash76 , yes, it's actually pretty easy to cover-up a basic timber retaining wall. It's all about getting the right spans between fixing or adding the right substrate.
One of my early YouTube videos I show how to clad a retaining style raised garden bed. This just uses blueboard painted with texture-finish paint.
The photo I've included is a pond & board-walk I built where I created a stable substrate and then applied stackstone. I used two techniques with this project. One was blueboard the other was horizontal sleepers (hard to explain without showing all the images but had to do with the pond structure.)

 


 

 

 

IMGL7505.jpg

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Budding Contributor

Re: Covering a retaining wall

Thanks for the info guys.

That video is great, really helpful!

I've realised i have a heap of hardwood sleepers (ironbark) which i can use, so will be using them instead of TP.  Will 2.4m centres be too far or is that ok?  It won't be holding any load bearing soil, literally just a garden bed.

 

With the 2.4 distance between uprights, i will put in blocking between at 600mm intervals to take the cladding or blueboard, depending on which way i go.

Thanks again for the help!

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Valued Contributor

Re: Covering a retaining wall

Hi @Crash76 , no worries.
Just to make it easier, think of the uprights as posts and we'll call the horizontals beams.
To prevent bowing over time, even in non-load bearing walls, 3 evenly spaces posts are always used. If your beam is 2.4 then the centre of post 1 would be at zero, post two at 1.2, post 3 at 2.4 if the wall is continuous.

This would obviously be modified to suit your situation. (see diagram I just quickly drew up, note there's no scale to this)

In your case you'd then want blocking too as I'd say that 1.2 is too great a span for blueboard.

 

Slide1.jpg

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