Decking as a retaining wall

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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molenpadmolenpad Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
The house I'm buying has a bit of a sorry garden, but its a nice size and has potential to be a nice family space. I am planning to do the work on the garden myself having done the paving and decking in my current garden to a decent standard and really enjoyed it.

The difference with the new house is that the garden is in three tiers. There is a bit of a patio at the back, then the lawn and then the patio at the front. The back patio is about 2 foot higher than the front patio and the lawn about somewhere in between.

As a retaining wall there is currently a brick wall holding it all together but to say it's in a bad state is an understatement. The wall can probably be knocked over without much effort.

I'd like to deck the front and rear patios and I want to dig out the current lawn and relay it properly. I was planning to retain the back patio area and the lawn with sleepers but I reckon that will cost a few hundred quid. I was wondering if decking boards would be sufficient to retain the lawn and patio. It's not going to be a huge level to retain as I say. But would it be strong enough?

Is it worth spending the extra money on the sleepers or building another small wall?

Replies

  • martinthebanditmartinthebandit Forumite
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    To be honest I'm a big believer in doing things right the first time.

    For me a retaining wall has got to be brick or similar.
  • kerri_gtkerri_gt Forumite
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    My mum had sleepers put in her garden for what sounds very similar, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon. However, they were extremely heavy to manoeuvre and she has noticed they leech tar (or whatever) when they get very hot in the summer (south facing garden).

    Hers are proper reclaimed sleepers. They looks lovely though.
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    molenpad wrote: »
    The back patio is about 2 foot higher than the front patio and the lawn about somewhere in between.

    I was planning to retain the back patio area and the lawn with sleepers but I reckon that will cost a few hundred quid. I was wondering if decking boards would be sufficient to retain the lawn and patio. It's not going to be a huge level to retain as I say. But would it be strong enough?

    No. Do the job properly once and it will last for many years.

    Do a bodge job and it will cost more to put it right.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Dung board from farmers' suppliers is more substantial and will last longer than decking board. If you use proper tanalised 100mm posts and outdoor screws/coach bolts it would probably last 10 years.


    I state this on the basis that I've used tanalised fencing rails and posts to do something similar and on our aggressive soil they've lasted about 6 years and are still holding fine. Unfortunately, here, even 15 year guaranteed posts can fail in as little as 7 years. I know because I have a few hundred, and now a rolling programme of replacement too.
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