We are inexperienced DIYers and this is our first venture into home repairs. Our neighbours installed a retaining wall which has created drainage issues in our yard. The space is a disused courtyard approximately 5.3m long and 2m wide. The soil is clay and gets direct light only for 2 hours/day so we intend levelling the ground out and turning this into a service space for the bins and incidentals. Looking for advice on how fix the drainage - if this is somethings we can do or best left to the professionals. Thank you!
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @KLH. It's a pleasure to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about drainage.
When someone builds a retaining wall on a boundary line, they must ensure that the wall has adequate drainage. In this instance, the best option would have been to have the drainage installed on the other side of the wall. Aggregate backfilled against the wall would allow the water to drop into an agricultural pipe and be diverted to stormwater instead of transferring through the wall. Rules vary around Australia on the requirements for retaining wall construction. In general, though, if you install a retaining wall on a boundary that negatively affects the other property, you must take remedial action.
I'd suggest speaking with your neighbours. Ask them what type of drainage was installed alongside the wall, as it doesn't appear to be working.
You could try to install the drainage on your side of the fence, but that is really trying to mop up water from an issue that should have been dealt with on the other side of the wall. You might like to take 100mm of that clay-based soil off the area and refill it back up to the path height with aggregate topped with pebbles. That will mean any water isn't sitting on the surface creating a muddy area.
Let me mention our resident landscape expert @Adam_W to get his thoughts.
Thank you - we ended up asking for professional advice and ended up with a great result.
Excellent result, @KLH. That looks like a fantastic solution.
Many thanks for updating us.