Thursday, 3 July 2014

Concrete Sleeper Retaining Walls

Retaining walls was always something that played on our mind from the very first day! We had removed the drop edge beam from our plan, so had to retain our soil and slab with walls.

We didn't want wood, and couldn't afford the block walls installed by landscapers - for our 25m approx we were getting quotes from 9-12k just for one boundary. So we had to look for a way to do it cheaper, and something we could install ourselves. 

We came across concrete sleepers. They had many designs to choose from, but i liked the wood look ones. The supplier was Concrete Sleepers Canberra they supply all the bits and pieces you need to build your wall. There are instructions and guidelines on their site so you know what parts you need to order to build the walls.

Delivery of the sleepers
The day after we moved in, the boys (hubby,dad and uncle) had to take down the current boundary fence and prep for the walls. Such a big job ahead of them, and the sleepers weigh a lot so lots of digging and heavy lifting. There were many beers drunk each night to ease the back pain.

Boundary Fence removed ready for walls
We hired a post hole digger to help with the digging, some holes had to go down 600-800mm and through the thick clay too. at one stage the thing was really stuck in the ground, and just wasn't budging, we didn't know how we would be able to get it out, it was stuck for a couple of hours, thankfully they were finally able to get it out.

When digging the holes we quickly realised that the supplied drainage plan was totally wrong, we thought there would only be one sewerage pipe in the way, which already had been uncovered and damaged previously when some fill had been removed, so we could see that one clearly. Each we dug uncovered another pipe. For those that have to dig around in the yards be really careful for the pipes that could be underneath. We had to repair 3 in the end.

Diagram shows in the red where our pipes were uncovered - to where they lead to we dont know!

3 red lines where we hit pipes
Images of all the pipes we discovered during set out

  

Once all the holes were dug the boys had to then put all the steel posts in the ground and get ready for concreting. This involved making sure every post was at the correct height in needed to be for the sleeper to fall in place. It took them a while to careful position each of the posts in place.

Posts in along boundary ready for sleepers
 putting the sleeprs in seemed to happen really quickly. The longest part of the process was setting it all out and making sure the posts were level. It was great to finally see the wall coming to life, and creating some much needed privacy for us and our neighbours.

The new site supervisor checking out the days work!

Boundary wall almost complete

Backyard wall


Looking down into backyard
Once the walls were up the next stage was getting the boundary fence back up again. To fix the fence onto the wall we had to buy extra posts and concrete them in behind the wall and then screw the fence onto them. The sleepers aren't the same length as a normal fence panel, and we didn't want to cut all our fence sections down to 190, so this was the next best way we could think of doing it. Lets just hope it doesn't fall down on us!

Prior to the wall going up the fence was about 1.4m high from the alfresco level. So its great to have a normal fence height now.




Standing on alfresco after fence was put up

The original fence height
In the end it took about a week to complete. Im relaly happy with how they look. We havent decided if we will paint them or just leave them natural. Ill decide this once the rest of the yard is looking a lot less like a building site.


7 comments:

  1. such an awesome job... good work.

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  2. I was wondering what concrete sleepers are. I've heard of them before but I didn't realize what they were. I'm going to have to look into getting some of these put in at my house. http://www.copeindustries.com.au/sleepers/cat/

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    Replies
    1. Hi, We purchased them from Canberra Sleepers - http://www.concretesleeperscanberra.com.au/

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  3. Wow, those look really good! I had never even thought of using concrete sleepers, but it's really smart. I would leave them natural, because I love the way exposed concrete looks with grass and plant life. Great job on the installation, you may have inspired me! Thanks for sharing!
    http://www.barrymedewbuildingsupplies.com.au

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  4. Superb! A wonderful post, informative and engaging. I particularly like all the photos. Wonderful. Keep up the fantastic work and the blog posts.
    Concrete Sleepers Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a informative blog! Thanks for the instructions of Concrete Sleeper Retaining Walls.
    Tuff ozy concrete sleepers

    ReplyDelete
  6. hese can be purchased at any hardware store. We need to make sure that you have the same amount of courses above the line on each of the corner post or our wall will not be level. Once that’s done, we’re ready to start laying the brick. iron gates for sale

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