How to Build A Retaining Wall

Gabion Wall DesignMany people love the look of gabion baskets, from the subtle variations in stone colour to the texture of the different rock fillings. If you are interested in using them to build a retaining wall on your property, you might be searching for some valuable information on how to actually tackle the construction.

Just note that, if the wall is under 1 metre high, you won’t need engineer’s computations to build it. But if the wall is more than 1 metre high, you will. In this case, it’s definitely recommended that you seek the assistance of a professional to design, engineer and put the baskets together for you. The instructions provided here are for a small (less than 1 metre high) wall.

Step 1: Level the Ground

The first thing you will need to do is level the ground where you want to build the retaining wall. If the soil is quite hard in consistency, you should be able to build on what’s there. If it’s on the slippery side, however, you should replace about 150mm of the top layer with compacted crushed rock for better support.

Step 2: Keep the Grass Out

If you’re building the wall in a location that is quite close to grass, you might want to take steps to prevent it from getting up into the gabion basket. Some powdercoated edging can be placed into a trench along the sides where grass is present and the addition of weed matting over the base is also a great idea.

Step 3: Assemble the Cages

You will need to put the baskets together before placing them onto the base you have prepared. Check out our handy video where we demonstrate just how easy it is to put our baskets together. Once complete (be sure to leave the lid off for now!), you can place it onto the base.

Step 4: Pack the Rocks

You can begin packing the baskets with your natural stone selection. It’s a good idea to save those with a flatter face for lining the exposed faces of the basket, particularly if they’ll be visible. Some people use old concrete blocks and bricks to bulk out the centre of the cage, but you can completely fill them with stone if desired.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once you’ve finished packing the gabion basket, you will be able to wire the lid on and you’re finished! You may need to repack a little to ensure that the lid sits flat. If your retaining wall is going to be two baskets high, you can put the next one together and then place it on top of the finished cage before filling, or you can tie the side walls of the next basket to the side walls of the lower basket thereby avoiding doubling up the mesh between the baskets. This will save in the overall cost of the wall.