The Top 3 Reasons To Engage and Engineer When Building Your Retaining Wall

When it comes to retaining walls, engaging an engineer is required more often than not due to variety of challenges such as soil types, access issues, council requirements.  Being the experts in our field we thought we’d shed a light on what we believe to be the most prominent reasons why you’d engage an engineer.

Taking out the most important reason is your local council’s requirements. In Queensland council regulations state any retaining wall over 1m above the natural ground level or within 1.5m to a building or another retaining wall requires building approval.

To gain this approval you need a Form 15 & 16, which is where an engineer comes into play. These forms basically reassure the council that the retaining wall is designed correctly for the conditions and more importantly installed correctly.

The second most common reason is unforeseen latent conditions such as striking rock when drilling your post holes. When this occurs the design of the footings must change to suit conditions to ensure the strength of the retaining wall. Our installation crew recently had this very issue and our engineer was able to redesign the retaining wall with counter lever footings to avoid rock drilling which ultimately saved our customer a lot of money. Moral of the story here, sometimes spending money can save you money long term!

And finally don’t you want peace of mind when selling your property? We all must go through building and pest inspections when selling or buying a home and this now extends to retaining walls. An inspector may want to see an engineer’s certificate as proof it was built to standard and complies with local law.  Without this certificate, you could be at risk of either having to discount the sale of your home or replace the retaining wall last minute.

In the last week we have in fact had 2 phone calls from customers going through this very scenario. One lost the sale of their home because they couldn’t produce an engineer’s certificate. Unfortunately, it’s a very costly mistake and one you don’t want to make!

There are many other reasons engineers are required to be involved in your retaining wall project, but these are the 3 we see the most.

If you’d like to find out more or would like a free quote for the supply and installation of our engineer designed concrete retaining wall, please give us a call on 07 3348 1200.


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