Gabion can be described as a wire basket or wire form. It is filled with stones and then shaped into a fence or retaining wall structure. Its civil history is what gave it its name. It is still used in civil works for soil retention and drainage. Gabion fencing, the latest trend in residential fencing and soil retention systems, is used by architects and building designers for renovations and new homes. It’s easy to build and looks great for DIYers.
How to build your Gabion fence or retaining walls
Gabion fences can be very heavy, and depending on their height, the site conditions may require the assistance of a structural engineer. Let’s say your site is flat with a fence 600mm high for ease of understanding.
First, you must research to ensure that your fence or retaining wall meets your expectations. These are some things to keep in mind.
What do you need your stone fencing for? Security, privacy, safety, shading? Gabion fencing can also be climbed easily, so it should not be used near pools or for children’s safety.
Structure type The term Gabion basket fencing can be used to describe both the basket and sheet form of Gabion basket fencing, which are used as fencing or retaining walls. This picture shows a heavy-duty box wire sheeting formed on site.
Stone selection – Which type of stone is best for your overall development? You can use any stone, but the larger stones require more effort to fill the baskets. To achieve a classic look, larger stones must be placed individually. You can use a bucket to pour smaller stones into the baskets. There is no need for special stone arrangements. Gabion fencing can be costly if the labour content is high.
Fence height Your requirements and restrictions will dictate the height of your fence. The council often won’t allow street fences to rise more than 900mm above ground level. You will be permitted to build your fence up to 1800mm tall if it is a back or side boundary fence. A structural engineer will be required to consult for any fence that is between 600 and 1800mm in height.
Services Fences above 900mm can accommodate lighting and plumbing conduits. It is very simple to install service, but you will need to ensure they are secured in the ground and baskets before you can fit your services. In-Gabion lighting can look amazing. Amazing can be done with in-ground spike lights that are placed on top of a Gabion wall.
Let’s get started!
Ground preparation flat block makes it easier to work on, but you still have to clear the area of vegetation, including trees, roots and stones. You will only need to level the ground if your fence is very low before you can align the baskets and fill them. It is simple to level the ground using a level or a long piece of timber.
Reinforced concrete strip footings – The footing should be approximately 400 x 400 mm in width x 400 mm deep. Refer to the Australian Standard for strip-footing construction. Concrete footings provide the Gabion fence with a solid foundation to absorb vertical and sideways loads. The steel reinforcement is then installed horizontally in the footing cuts. Steel columns are also needed at this point.
Lateral support – If you use a sheet form fence, and the fence height exceeds the fence width, then lateral support is required. The lateral support keeps the fence from expanding outward and provides bracing.
Filling the fence- Any stone can be used, but it is more difficult to fill baskets with larger stones. If you want a classic and ordered look, consider using smaller stones. Although small river stones make the best fills, ballooning is more common and may require additional support. Filling mesh Gabions is as follows: Stone fill to 400x400mm in elevation, then add lateral support. Stone fill to 400mm in elevation and then again install lateral support. Due to possible damage to the mesh cage and lateral support, it is impossible to install all lateral supports in one step.
Engineering – This type of stone-filled fence will need to be designed and checked by a structural engineer. It is also recommended to hire a building designer, or architect, to ensure that the aesthetic has been thought out.