How to Make a Sleeper Retaining Wall

How to Make a Sleeper Retaining Wall

The construction of a retaining wall is often a necessity when it comes to keeping your outdoor space looking tidy and aesthetically pleasing. Whilst there are multiple methods of building a retaining wall, sleeper retaining walls are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their sleek design and lower cost.

Retaining walls are not only practical, but they can add character to your existing outdoor space too. Whether you require it to be tall, short, horizontal, or vertical, building a retaining sleeper wall is a versatile step to creating an eye-catching garden area, whilst being a great alternative to fencing.

Whether you require a retaining wall to offer security and structure in your garden, or whether it is a much-needed addition to your landscape, building a sleeper retaining wall is now easier than ever to complete yourself, saving time and money on outsourcing a contractor to do the job for you.

At PPC Concrete Products we understand building a sleeper retaining wall can seem overwhelming if you haven’t done it before, or you are looking to gain a new skill, so we have put together a guide of all things to do with sleeper retaining walls so you can ace your next construction product with ease!

What Are Sleepers?

To successfully build a sleeper retaining wall, you must at first understand exactly what sleepers are.

The term sleeper refers to a versatile, flat-surfaced product typically made from timber, concrete, or another durable material. A common use for sleepers is to build walls, however, they have other uses that may include:

  • Railway construction- ensuring a smooth running surface for trains
  • Decking construction
  • In the process of fitting flooring
  • Soundproofing floors and ceilings

No matter the use, sleepers are a fantastic option for cost-effective construction products, particularly when it comes to building a retaining wall requiring a sound structure and a high level of durability.

What Are The Benefits Of A Sleeper Retaining Wall?

In landscaping and construction products, sleeper retaining walls offer a wide range of benefits:

  • Cost-effective– if you plan to build on a budget, sleepers are the ideal solution to save you money whilst maintaining the attractive finish of a beautifully built retainer wall.
  • Easy to build- sleeper retaining walls are known to be easy to construct, even for a construction novice. This means they will require minimal specialist equipment and building expertise.
  • Versatility- their versatility means they can be built in any position, location, or format. Therefore, you can build your new sleeper wall horizontally or vertically to meet your garden’s needs.
  • Aesthetically pleasing- the sleek design of sleepers means they can enhance the look of your outdoor space.
  • Durability- no matter the material of your sleeper, they create a durable foundation meaning that you can enjoy your new sleeper walls for years to come. Not to mention, the fact most sleeper materials are built to be used outdoors, so they can withstand any weather conditions.
  • Adaptability- sleeper walls are very adaptable in the sense that they can be built in conjunction with other garden features such as planters, seating, and other walls.

As demonstrated, sleeper retaining walls have a wide range of benefits making them an unmistakable addition to your garden. No matter your requirement, a sleeper retaining wall can save you both money and time.

How To Build A Sleeper Retaining Wall

Building a sleeper retainer wall is considerably straightforward for an inexperienced building novice if you follow the steps carefully to achieve your desired outcome.

Before you begin, you should gather the following tools:

  • String line
  • Wooden pegs
  • Shovel
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Galvanised screws or your screw of choice
  • Capping material (optional depending on your personal preference)

Plan And Gather Your Materials

Before you begin to construct your sleeper retaining wall, you must consider the site, the size of the location, and the amount of materials you will need. Depending on the size of your sleeper walls, you may need to reach out to your local authority for planning permission– however, you should seek advice from them on this directly.

 Once you have planned these aspects of the project you can proceed with purchasing the correct amount of sleepers you require. You can visit the PPC Concrete Solutions website to browse our range of affordable sleepers.

  1. Begin by marking out the correct size of your sleeper wall and line up the measurements using line string and pegs. This will allow you to get the correct size and placement of your new wall.
  2. Using a shovel, carefully dig a trench along to your desired wall length. You should ensure that your trench is marginally larger (400mm) than the width of your sleepers to comfortably accommodate the new wall.
  3. Lay down a layer of gravel in the trench you have just dug- this will allow appropriate drainage of water from the wall.
  4. You can now begin to lay the sleepers in the trench on top of the gravel you have just placed down. As you lay down each later, ensure you are securing them with the suitable screws.
  5. Once the first layer of sleepers has been laid, go back to fill the remaining space with gravel to enhance the stability of your sleeper retaining wall.
  6. Continuously layer your sleepers until your wall is of the correct height, securing each layer as you go.
  7. You may consider adding some form of capping material to the top of your new sleeper wall to increase its aesthetic value and make it weatherproof.

You have now successfully built a sleeper retaining wall.

Can I Paint My Sleeper Retaining Wall?

Can I Paint My Sleeper Retaining Wall?

In order to enhance the look of your garden further, or to help your newly built sleeper retainer wall to fit your garden aesthetic, you are able to paint your wall. However, before you proceed to do so you should consider whether the type of paint you plan to use is suitable for the material of your sleeper retaining wall.

You should ensure that you use high-quality paint suitable to be used outside to avoid any fading or peeling in certain weather conditions. As well as this, the level of painting skill will play a big role in the longevity of the overall paintwork.

When painting your sleeper retaining wall, you must make sure to paint carefully in thin layers at a time to avoid any obvious dripping or streaks.

Painting your sleeper retaining wall is not essential, it is ultimately down to personal preference. Unpainitned sleeping walls still enhance the aesthetic of a garden considerably whilst maintaining their practicality.

In Summary

To conclude, using sleepers is the ideal way to build a retaining wall in your garden whilst saving on cost, and time and outsourcing to building or landscaping contractors.

Sleepers have been found to be a durable alternative to brickwork, providing a stable and long-lasting structure whether it be to enhance the look of your outdoor space or to pose as a practical solution to retaining other garden matter.

No matter the use of your new sleeper retaining wall, sleepers are a savvy way to create solid structures at a fraction of the cost of alternative building materials.

PPC Concrete Products

Established in 2006, PPC Concrete Products is the go-to building supplier for concrete building materials. Whether you are a DIY master with a small project at hand, or a larger contractor looking for supplies for a substantial job, here at PPC Concrete Products we are here to help.

Based in the heart of Royton, Oldham, Manchester, we have the ability to deliver our products all across the United Kingdom, meaning you can receive your required supplies right to your front door in just a few clicks. Check out our affordable range of products today.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with our friendly customer service team at 01706 580 106, or visit our website. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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