Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is an architectural structure that also serves a purpose to hold sloping ground in place and to prevent the movement of soil.  Retaining walls are also built to raise living spaces above the surrounding ground plain. They can be built with a series of steps or tiers or even built to create planting beds leaving room for the addition of landscaping. If they are built with quality material and designed well, they can be the focal point in a landscape design rather than something that is necessary, but you may want to hide.

A variety of different materials can be used to construct a retaining wall. Most common materials used are concrete, Stone, and wood. 

Retaining Walls Ringwood

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT  RETAINING WALLS

Your local council sets the maximum height that you can build walls without approval. All councils are different and you must check with your local council as to height regulations in your area before you begin to build.

If you’re building higher than councils regulations, you will need a building permit from your local council and certification from a private building certifier as per the engineer’s design.

DO I NEED APPROVAL TO BUILD A RETAINING WALL?

Legislation on the construction of retaining walls is set by your local council. The ‘magic number’of 1 metre is commonly referred to as the maximum height you can build to without a permit. 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 suburb via a quick call to your council’s development team.

If the wall you are building will exceed the maximum non-engineered height set by your council, then you will need to lodge a building permit application with your local council. You will also need an engineer to design the wall and a building certifier to sign off on your handy work to complete the approval.

Retaining Walls Vermont

HOW HIGH CAN I BUILD A RETAINING WALL?

There are two conditions that determine how high you can build a garden retaining wall. The first condition is the height restrictions set by your local council, and the second condition is the physical capability of the retaining wall block, or sleeper wall, that you wish to use.

Retaining wall manufacturers will specify the maximum height that products can be built to without engineering. These are often referred to as ‘gravity wall heights’ because the wall gains its structural integrity, and performs its retaining function, by using its mass weight to retain soil. In some cases, you may still need an engineered design to build below the council height limit – it all comes down to the capacity of the retaining wall system you use.

Retaining Walls Surrey Hills

How do I get approval to build a retaining wall?

If your retaining wall exceeds the maximum height set out by council, you will need to gain approval before you build. There are some instances like building in soils with high clay content, or building walls that bare significant load (i.e. driveways), where you may also need approval or an engineered design for your retaining wall, regardless of the wall height. Outlined below is a checklist for your consideration before building a retaining wall.

Retaining Walls Rowville

Step 1: Check with your local council and confirm if you need approval to build the retaining wall.

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

  • Submit the development application to council and lodge required forms.
  • Tell you of any design / construction ‘certificates’ that are required to gain approval. These are professional “assurances” that the work is to be completed by an industry professional (i.e. a registered engineer), and ensure that the work is up to industry standard.
  • Inspect the finished work and provide approval documentation which is then lodged with the council.

Retaining Walls Wantirna Sth

Step 3: Once you have approval to build, you will be issued with a building construction certificate that allows you to begin construction. Always dial before you dig – call 1100.

FOR RETAINING WALLS call Andersons Professional Landscapes on  0411 646 364

LET US SHOW YOU WHY WE’RE THE NUMBER ONE RETAINING WALL EXPERTS IN MELBOURNE