We’ve provided a rundown of the materials you can use to build retaining walls in your garden and how the WoodBlocX retaining wall stacks up against them.
Lets start with our versatile modular timber system. WoodBlocX retaining walls make a fantastic alternative to brick, stone, gabions and railway sleepers they are ideal for landscaping your garden and they can be built easily by you, without the need for concrete foundations, substantial groundworks or cutting lengths of wood.
Made from sustainably harvested Scots pine, the BlocX themselves are lightweight, easy to handle and building requires no heavy lifting. The structures are held together a series of strong dowels that fit into pre-drilled holes which have been pressure treated with our water-based preservative to ensure 100% off the wood is treated, making them extra strong, we even guarantee our structures for 15 years but they're expected to last around 30 years.
How much can they retain?
Each dowel can withstand a tension force of up to 0.9 tonnes. A single WoodBlocX modular garden wall can retain earth up to one metre (approx. 3”). For customers that require higher walls we recommend using a terrace design, which looks great and creates additional planting areas.
All of our structures are made to measure so there's cutting or waste during your build and we supply steps by step instructions and links to helpful videos ahead of your delivery to ensure you have everything you need for building. We provide step-by-step instructions for building all of our structures and you can find out how easy it is to build a WoodBlocX modular retaining wall click here.
Brick retaining walls are a common choice, but these materials can prove expensive and need regular maintenance. You will need to include foundations to build on to create a stable structure. To build a wall yourself could prove to be challenging as you need to ensure the bricks are laid straight and level and the mortar mix is correct. If you’re not experienced in bricklaying it is best to enlist the help of a skilled tradesperson. This can be costly and is another added expense you wouldn't get with a DIY product.
Gabion retaining walls are made using gabion baskets and cages. They provide a more industrial look and are generally used for retaining earth where water is close by and for extremely high retaining walls. No foundations are needed with gabions as they are super strong, you can buy them pre-filled or you can by the baskets and the stone separately, this option is generally cheaper but it is important to seek information about filling them correctly to ensure an even weight distribution.
Railway sleeper retaining walls are popular and single lengths of railway sleepers can be used to build a wood retaining wall for the garden; but the individual pieces can be very large and heavy. To secure the lengths in place you will need reinforcing bars and a large drill bit to create the holes for the bars. The old treated sleepers contain harmful chemicals too, which can have an unpleasant odour and leach into the soil. New untreated versions are available, but they will become susceptible to rot after only a few years. You can read more about the pros and cons of using railway sleepers for retaining walls here <add the comparison blog>
Many of our retaining wall customers have told us that by using our system and building it themselves they have saved a considerable amount of money. Check out Ryan’s story; he originally asked a building company for a quote to build his terraced walls. The cost was way too high, but thankfully he found us! Click here to read the case study.