Gabion is a wire structure which is filled up with stones that are then shaped into a wall or fence. It is popular among civil works contractors because it retains soil well while preventing erosion and drainage. However, more residential property owners are starting to install it, and below are some tips for doing it the right way.
Gabion walls are heavy, so much so that a structural engineer might be required if you want a specific height. Those who are working with a flat site will usually require a height of about 600mm. The ground will need to be prepared, which means clearing the area of all types of vegetation, including grass and tree roots. Any a stones or rocks which are present will also need to be removed. You’ll also need to level the ground before aligning the baskets and filling them up, which can be accomplished with a level and timber piece.
Reinforced Strip Footings for the Gabion Wall
Next you’ll need strip footings which are reinforced and preferably made of concrete. Your footing cut should be approximately 400mm in width and 400mm deep. The footing is essential as it will give the gabion wall a solid foundation which will enable it to absorb both lateral and vertical loads. The steel reinforcement can then be installed in a horizontal way along your footing cuts and then steel columns can be inserted inside the footing and then firmly secured onto the structure of the wire basket.
Choosing The Stone
You’ll need to decide what type of stone you want to use. Although most stones can be useful, the larger ones will be more time consuming to work with. The reason for this is because each stone has to be placed individually in order to provide the classic look. A bucket can be used to pour smaller stones inside the basket, with little need to arrange them.
Filling Up The Gabion Wall
Now the baskets need to be filled up. Many homeowners choose the smaller river stones since they are easier to work with. The downside to using these stones however is that more ballooning will occur, which will require more lateral support. You also have to pay attention to the filling order. The stone will need to be filled up to 400x400mm for height, after which you will install the lateral support, and then fill up the stone again at 400mm, after which you must install the lateral support a second time.
If your gabion retaining wall is 900mm or taller, it can incorporate both plumbing and lighting with ease. However, although the service installation is straight forward, the structure must be secured and roughed into the ground via the baskets. The fencing itself comes in two types, which are the standard basket type and sheet mesh. Before installing the wall you have to decide whether the structure will be used for privacy, security, shading or safety, as this will help you construct it correctly.