The Beginners Guide To Garden Walls
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Transform your outdoor space with confidence using The Beginner's Guide to Garden Walls. PRK Building Services And Property Maintenance Ltd offer professional builders services throughout Southampton, Andover, Basingstoke and Crawley. Whether you're a novice or seasoned enthusiast, this guide offers expert tips and inspiration for creating stunning garden walls.
What Are The Benefits Of A Garden Wall?
A garden wall offers numerous benefits that contribute to the stability, safety, and overall appeal of your outdoor space. Whether you're dealing with soil erosion, potential sinkholes, or seeking to enhance your property's aesthetics, a well-constructed garden wall can make a significant difference.
One of the primary advantages of a garden wall is its ability to keep soil in place. This is particularly valuable for gardens situated on sloped or uneven terrain where gravity can cause soil movement over time. By effectively retaining the soil, the wall prevents erosion and helps maintain the integrity of your garden.
In addition, a garden wall serves as a protective measure against sinkholes. By securely containing the soil, it reduces the risk of unsightly and potentially dangerous sinkholes that can pose hazards to you and your pets. Moreover, a garden wall plays a crucial role in preventing flooding.
It acts as a barrier, directing excess water away from your property and protecting your home and basement from potential water damage. Additionally, incorporating vegetation on the wall can aid in managing moisture by optimising water absorption and distribution.
Another benefit of a garden wall is its ability to prevent property damage. By effectively controlling soil movement and erosion, the wall helps safeguard features such as pools, spas, patios, decks, and even the foundations of your home or outbuildings.
This protection minimises the risk of costly repairs and maintenance. Furthermore, a well-constructed garden wall reduces the need for regular maintenance. By stabilising the landscape and preventing erosion, you can avoid the hassle of replacing soil and vegetation lost to erosion, resulting in a lower-maintenance backyard.
A garden wall also adds visual appeal to your landscaping. It introduces new levels, contours, and textures, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. You can incorporate seating areas or decorative features, adding charm and character to your garden.
Lastly, a garden wall can increase the value of your property. When selling your home, a well-maintained garden with a thoughtfully constructed wall becomes an attractive feature for potential buyers, showcasing your attention to detail and providing added functionality to the property.
What Types Of Garden Walls Are Available?
Brick walls are a popular choice due to their affordability and versatility. Bricks come in different colours, textures, and finishes, depending on the type of clay and manufacturing process. They can be smooth or rough, multi-coloured or mottled, allowing you to create various aesthetic styles. Second-hand bricks can provide a weathered look that blends well with old house walls, but their frost resistance should be considered.
Natural Stone Walls
For a natural and timeless look, natural stone walls are an excellent option. Natural stone can be sourced from quarries or reclamation yards, though it is typically more expensive. It can be purchased in its natural state, known as random rubble or undressed stone.
Semi-dressed stone offers uniform blocks with uneven surfaces, while fully-dressed stone (Ashlar) features machine-cut faces. Natural stone walls exude a rustic charm and add an elegant touch to your garden.
Semi-Dry Stone Walls
Semi-dry stone walls emulate the appearance of true dry-stone walls but incorporate hidden mortar joints for added stability. True dry-stone walls are built without mortar, relying on carefully chosen stones to create a stable structure. Semi-dry stone walls retain the aesthetic appeal of dry-stone walls while offering enhanced durability and longevity.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Garden Wall UK?
The average cost of building a garden wall in the UK ranges from £800 to £1,200. The total price will depend on factors such as the chosen materials, height, length, and thickness of the wall. Garden walls are a fantastic way to enhance the aesthetics of your garden, adding visual interest and dividing different landscape features. Typically, these walls are around 18-24 inches in height and serve as decorative elements that highlight and define specific areas.
It's important to differentiate between garden walls and retaining walls. While garden walls are lower in height and primarily focus on visual appeal, retaining walls are designed to stabilise hills, slopes, or mounds of earth. Retaining walls often require compliance with specific construction standards and may necessitate engineering assessments and local approvals. For instance, a garden wall measuring 1 meter high and 4 meters long with a single-skin thickness could cost approximately £650.
Alternatively, opting for a double-skin thickness for the same size may start at £750 or more. To accurately determine the cost, it is recommended to seek detailed quotes from reputable builders or contractors. They will assess your specific requirements, provide precise cost estimates, and ensure that the project aligns with your budget and desired outcome.
Do You Need Planning Permission For A Garden Wall UK?
If your property is a flat, you will typically need to apply for full planning permission for a garden wall. For houses, the requirement is generally household planning permission. However, planning permission may be necessary in the following scenarios:
If the garden wall would be over 1m high and located next to a highway used by vehicles. Alternatively, if it would be over 2m high and situated elsewhere, such as in the back garden.
If you plan to rebuild an existing wall over 1m high higher than its original height, and it is located next to a highway used by vehicles.
If you plan to rebuild an existing wall over 2m high higher than its original height, and it is situated elsewhere, such as in the back garden.
If the garden wall is positioned at the front of your house or the side visible from the street, and your property is covered by an Article 4 Direction.
If your house or flat is a listed building, you will need planning permission for the garden wall.
If the fence, gate, wall, or any other boundary involved forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage, planning permission may be necessary.
To determine the specific requirements for your area and circumstances, it is important to consult with your local planning authority. They can provide guidance on the necessary planning permission procedures and any additional considerations related to your garden wall project.
Can I Install A Garden Wall Myself?
If you have the necessary skills and enjoy DIY projects, you can certainly take on the task of installing a garden wall yourself. Here are the general steps involved in the process.
Start by digging a trench where the wall will be located. The trench should be 200mm deep and 300mm wide. Use wooden pegs and string to mark out the trench and ensure proper alignment. Use a spirit level to check that the tops of the pegs are level.
Next, prepare the foundations of the wall. Fill the trench with a 100mm layer of compacted hardcore, followed by concrete. A standard concrete mix of 6 parts ballast to 1 part cement is typically used. As you begin building the wall, work one course at a time. Use a building line or tightly pulled string as a guide, stretching it from one end of the foundations to the other. Spread mortar evenly over the foundations and the blocks of each course using a trowel.
The mortar should slightly exude from between the joints (around 10mm), and any excess should be removed with the trowel. Fill vertical joints by applying mortar to one end of the block before positioning it adjacent to the previously laid block. Check each course with a spirit level vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. Remove any excess mortar to maintain a clean finish.
To achieve a strong and visually appealing structure, ensure that the blocks are laid in a stretcher bond pattern. This involves using half blocks at the end of each course. If needed, you can cut the walling blocks using a chisel and hammer or an angle grinder. Finally, top the wall with matching coping. Use a pointer trowel to smooth and finish the mortar joints, ensuring a neat and professional appearance.
PRK Building Services And Property Maintenance Ltd offers a thorough list of building and property management services to domestic and commercial properties in Southampton, Portsmouth And Winchester. Contact us today, and we’ll provide a free quote and any information you need.