What is the height of your wall? If your wall is taller than 4 feet, most communities will demand a construction permit as well as a design from a professional engineer (measured from the bottom of the first block to the top of the last block). You should also consider how much weight the wall will support before you build it. Retaining walls can be used for erosion control, to create visual features, and for many other purposes. The only requirement is that they must be stable.
The weight of the wall and its contents is measured in tons. The amount of pressure applied to each square foot of wall is called its "bearing strength." The required bearing strength depends on the type of soil behind the wall and how much weight is placed on it. A common mistake is to under-build a retaining wall. This can cause the wall to collapse during an earthquake or heavy rainstorm.
A retaining wall can be made of any number of different materials. Concrete is by far the most popular because it's durable, easy to work with, and affordable. It can be colored to make it look like rock, poured into molds to create shapes not possible with other materials, or used as a base for other materials. As long as it stays upright, you can use it to hold back soil and plants.
Retaining walls come in four main types: gravity, earthworks, concrete, and wood.
It is not commonplace to build designs with h/t values ranging from 32 to 50. This might result in wall heights of up to 33 feet for walls constructed with 8-inch concrete masonry units (CMU), 41 feet for walls constructed with 10-inch CMU, and 50 feet for walls constructed with 12-inch CMU. Regionally, 14- and 16-inch CMU is available, allowing for even greater wall heights. Concrete block is also used in building foundations and other structures where height is a concern.
The maximum height of a wall that can be built with standard size bricks depends on the type of construction used to build it. A wall made with standard sized red bricks can reach a maximum height of about 18 feet, while a wall composed of white bricks can go up to 24 feet. The actual height will depend on the quality of workmanship when the wall is finished. A skilled bricklayer can build a taller wall than an average worker, so this limit is just a guide.
Brick walls can be as thin as two inches or more, depending on the style used. Thin walls are easier to build and less expensive than thicker versions. They're also much cooler to look at! There are several different types of brick used for building purposes, each with its own characteristics. Standard size bricks can be combined in many different ways to create unique shapes and patterns. One side of a brick wall is generally plain, but it may have special features such as lintels (overdoor transoms) or keystones (underwater portions of windows).
First, permits must be sought for any retaining wall exceeding 36" in the District, and if necessary, a structural engineer may be required to approve the retaining wall construction designs. Retaining walls can be made of many different materials including dirt, rock, concrete, and metal. The type of material used will determine how the wall is built. For example, a wood fence panel can be attached with screws to a steel frame which has been built on site. This would be considered a permanent wall because it's intended to stay where it is placed.
A temporary wall can be constructed by placing loose rocks or soil in a line along the property border. These walls are taken down at the end of the building contract. In order to be classified as temporary, the wall needs to be removed at some point during the year. If it's not possible to remove the wall, such as when it's inside the owner's yard, then a structure permit is needed.
A permanent wall requires a building permit that covers the construction details including the size, height, and material selection. Examples of permanent walls include brick, stone, and wood. A concrete block wall that is painted white or gray does not require a permit since it is considered a surface treatment and not a structural element.
You'll need these design suggestions and tools. All walls, regardless of height, must be erected on a solid foundation. This might be an existing concrete foundation or a "dwarf" wall (one less than 600 mm high) built on top of an existing paved area. The building code may also require that certain types of new construction be done on a foundation.
If the wall is more than one metre high and close to a road or footpath, or more than two metres high elsewhere, planning approval is necessary. Independent, freestanding retaining walls may not need to be approved by building officials. Any construction, however, must be structurally solid and carefully maintained. The soil should be tested for stability before work begins.
Retaining walls can be used to create a new look in your yard or to protect existing structures such as fences or trees. They can also be used to prevent erosion of low-lying land or to provide support for elevated buildings. The type of wall used depends on its purpose and location within the property. A boundary wall will usually be needed where there are property boundaries or driveways to maintain. An internal wall can be used where space is limited or if you want to divide up a large area into different gardens. An earthwall works best when you want to create a natural looking structure because it blends in with its surroundings. A concrete wall is most suitable if you want to use the ground as a decorative feature rather than just a foundation.
It is important to consider how much force the wall will be expected to withstand without collapsing before it is built. This would depend on how high it is, but also on what kind of material it is made from. Concrete and stone retain walls that are at least 2 meters high and wider than 1 meter require formal approval from building authorities.