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Building a retaining wall isn’t as hard as it sounds; it’s actually a great project to get stuck into when the weather’s good, and it can add both support and visual appeal to your yard. If you’re considering building a retaining wall, it’s well worth using steel posts in your foundations; galvanised steel posts don’t deteriorate with rust, and will last many years in the ground, holding your retaining wall up and keeping your wall strong and sturdy for years to come. Our team at Top End Steel hopes that our three main tips for building a sleeper retaining wall with steel posts helps you with your next project.
Before you dig anything up, it’s important to plan exactly where your wall is going to go, and how big it’s going to be. You’ll need to order the materials in advance, including your steel posts.
When calculating the size of steel posts, it’s important to remember the rule of thumb that the height of your retaining wall is also how deep into the ground your posts should sink, which means to calculate the size of steel posts you’ll need, just take the planned height of your wall and double it. This will give you firm foundations for your retaining wall.
You’ll also need to buy sleepers, and any tools you might need to complete the wall.
Next, mark out where your wall will be built, and use stakes and string to set up a string line in place. Measure out where your steel posts will be sunk into the ground, ideally at equidistant points to ensure stability down the full length of the wall.
Next, you’ll need to dig holes for the steel posts. Again, remember to dig approximately to the same depth as the height of your retaining wall, so that when you insert the posts around half of the post is underground, and half is above ground. Insert the post and ensure it’s held firmly in place.
Next, it’s time to cut your sleepers to size and fit them between your galvanised steel posts. Most steel posts for retaining walls will be designed with space to slot your sleepers into; you can use a wedge to firmly hold the sleepers in place, too. Slot the sleepers into place and, once this is done, remember to place a plastic membrane behind the wall to protect your wall from damp and moisture.
Finally, it’s time to mix up your concrete and pour it into the holes around the base of each steel post. Once this has been done, cover each post hole with soil while you wait for the concrete to set. You will then need to ensure adequate drainage; you can do this by simply pouring scoria behind your wall and placing a drainage pipe on top, before covering it with more scoria.