Retaining walls are a very interesting feature and present in many backyards across Australia. In the past, they were traditionally made with wood, but even the best-treated wood will start to show signs of wear and tear in only a decade or less. That is why most people in the industry, and indeed outside of it, have begun to move towards concrete sleepers instead. If you are thinking about making a retaining wall, you should really be focusing on concrete sleepers over any other material that you see advertised, and here are a few reasons why that is.
Concrete is tried and tested to last for decades outside with little more than a dulling of its colour. It can easily withstand extreme ranges in cold and heat, as well as very strong weather patterns. It will not get uprooted, bent, jostled or smashed out of position as it is likely to be the strongest and most weather-resistant material in your whole garden. It can also survive being partly underground or fully above ground, depending on your design preference. It is also impervious to insects and other rodents that might try to use wooden materials to make part of their nest.
Concrete is stronger than wood and even metal in many cases. Metal options are going to get corroded a lot quicker and lose their internal strength, but concrete does not have the same problem. In fact, to hold back a similar amount of weight, you would most likely need a lot more wooden sleepers or retaining walls. This all adds up to the price of the project, which can mount if you try to use more ornate materials, rather than ones that are functional and ready for immediate installation. If you want your retaining walls to last the test of time, there is really only one material you can choose.
Concrete retaining walls do not have to be ugly. Many people see or hear about concrete sleepers and think of brutalist architecture but that is not the case. Many concrete sleepers are designed with faux patterns on the outside or designed to look more like stone or a natural rock rather than concrete. The only limit to this is the imagination you bring to the table. Have a look through a catalogue or a local hardware store and see if you notice any that you like, you will probably be shocked at the number of options.
Keep these things in mind as you look for concrete sleepers for your wall.
If you are planning to start a new construction project, you may be wondering about the best type of materials to use. About 6 months ago, I decided to carry out an extensive renovation of my home. This would involve demolishing one wall, extending the kitchen and the construction of a new patio area. I really wasn't sure which materials would be best. I consulted with a contractor and he explained the pros and cons of each material. In the end, I opted for wood and steel. I am really pleased with the end results. I hope this blog helps you to plan your construction project.