Renovation and Home Design

Sleeper Wall – Appearance

concrete sleeper 1

Have you thought about about concrete for your sleeper wall?

As well as plain concrete it’s possible to have a wide variety of other finishes, and colours.

Here is an interesting ‘Stacked Stone’ appearance wall I saw the other week.

Some of the other options include ‘Exposed Aggregate’ and ‘Split Stone’ and even ‘Wood [read more…]

Silt Pits

silt pit 2

Any drainage system should have silt pits at regular intervals.

This includes both stormwater systems and agricultural drains.

In the case of the above photo this is a combination drain and grate silt pit. (As the water can become stagnant this is a potential breeding ground for mosquitos!)

The pit may be either circular or [read more…]

Placing Fill

vibrating plate compactor

Of so you want to place some fill. . . .perhaps behind a retaining wall to level a garden . . . So what do you need to understand?

Here are some things to consider.

Final Volume – Loose Volume

Most people underestimate the volume of material they need because they measure the volume they [read more…]

Retaining Walls – Besser Blocks

besser block 1

If you want a rendered surface on your retaining wall one of the best ways of achieving this is by using ‘Besser Blocks’.

These are hollow concrete blocks which are designed to incorporate steel reinforcement within the block.

A few issues when building these walls are:

Don’t skimp on the foundation. Even a 600mm [read more…]

Block Retaining Wall – Loose Lay

block retaining wall

Loose lay retaining wall blocks are concrete blocks that have a nib cast on the underside. (see photo) This stops each block slipping forward of the block below.

There are a number of different manufacturers and most produce more than one type of block. You will normally find several different types of block in any [read more…]

Retaining Walls – Gabbions


Gabbions are big wire baskets filled with rocks.

The baskets are typically available for retaining wall use in 1m x 1m x 2m units. and you arrange the rock fill yourself.

Gabbion walls can be described as a Permeable, Steel Reinforced, Low Skill, Dry Stone Wall.

read more…]

Retaining Walls – Sleeper Wall Details

Post and sleeper retaining wall

Here are some details I would be using to build a retaining wall with galvanized steel posts up to 800mm high. This is not a guarantee that these details will be suitable for your application.


I would want to be building it in reasonable ground such as Hard Clay, Compacted Coarse Sand, or [read more…]

Retaining Wall – Sleeper Walls

timber retaining wall

Although most people refer to these as Sleeper Walls the Technical term is ‘Post’ and ‘Whaling’ * Walls.

The posts can be Galvanised Steel like the example on the right.

Other alternatives are timber sleepers, like the example below, or even round timber posts.

For Whalings the choices are:

Timber Sleepers, Probably the most popular [read more…]