Retaining wall is an important construction structure as it is used as a safety measure against pressure of soil and other earthly materials. There are different kinds of retaining wall available for different purposes.
While building a retaining wall, some confusions and questions may arise that need answering. Today, we are going to discuss and find out whether you should add a fence to a retaining wall.
Should you add a fence to a retaining wall?
One should add a fence to a retaining wall. The fence around the retaining wall can give people adequate amount of privacy and safety. The fence should be put at a distance of thirty six inches from the retaining wall. Putting the fence any closer than that requires special attention and measures.
Retaining walls require fences around them as safety and privacy measures. There are some international building codes available that state that you must add a fence to your retaining wall.
There are different kinds of fence system available that you can use. You can go for surface mounted, face mounted, post in system or embedded system for your fence.
Whatever method you choose for your fence, deciding the distance between your retaining wall and fence is quite crucial. The appropriate distance between a retaining wall and a fence is about three feet.
If you try to put your fence inside the three feet mark, then you will need to get it designed by an engineer.
Because putting a fence too close to the retaining wall or on top of the retaining wall is not an easy thing to do and should be reviewed by experts for approval and application.
How close can you build a fence to a retaining wall?
Most construction experts suggest that you should build a fence about thirty-six inches behind a retaining wall.
The purpose of a retaining wall is to sustain high pressure created by soil. If you build your fence too close to the retaining wall, your wall will not be able to handle the pressure created by both the soil and the fence.
There is an engineering application called the geogrid reinforcement layer that is crucial when it comes to deciding the distance between a retaining wall and a fence. If you have not installed geogrid reinforcement layers in your retaining wall, then the wall will struggle to deal with the pressure of soil and the fence.
The highest pressure your retaining wall can cope with will require you to build the fence at least thirty-six inches away from it.
Measuring the distance between the retaining wall and the fence also requires the help of a professional. So, you will have to consult an engineer before you decide the exact distance between your wall and fence.
Do you need a fence around a retaining wall? How high can a fence be above a retaining wall?
A fence around a retaining wall is not an absolute necessity. But having a fence around a retaining can come in handy in some cases.
For example, if you are concerned about the safety of animals and children around your retaining wall, you can choose to build a fence around it. This will prevent any fall related accident.
Another reason behind having a fence around a retaining wall could be the privacy issue. If you are genuinely concerned about the privacy of your house or property, you can take steps to install a fence around your retaining wall.
The minimum height of a fence above a retaining wall is set at thirty inches. You can have a fence as tall as sixty-six inches. But the thirty inches requirement is approved by most of the international building codes.
The minimum of height of fence works as a safety measure against any fall related accident and also gives you the desired privacy you want.
6 reasons why you can add a fence to a retaining wall
There are several reasons that enable you to add a fence to a retaining wall. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them.
The first and foremost reason behind adding a fence to a retaining wall is to provide yourself some privacy.
A retaining wall without a fence attached to it will fail to give you the privacy you need. That is why you should add a fence to your retaining wall without any hesitation to ensure the privacy of your home and property.
Safety is another key factor when it comes to adding a fence to a retaining wall. High retaining walls with no fence possess risks of fall related accidents.
If you want to ensure the safety of animals, children, and others, then you will need to build a fence around your retaining wall.
International building code:
Some international building codes state that you need to add a fence to a retaining wall for various reasons. You might face penalty if you do not abide by the international building codes and fail to add a fence around your retaining wall.
The laws of science enable you to put a fence around your retaining wall. You can consult an engineer to find out the distance between your retaining wall and fence.
The retaining wall must have geogrid reinforcement installed in it to face the pressure of fence. If your retaining wall does not have the support of geogrid reinforcement, then it will crumble under the pressure of soil and fence.
The fence around a retaining wall enhances the landscape beauty of the wall. That is why some people prefer putting fence around their retaining wall as a measure to increase the landscape beauty of their property.
Adding a fence around your retaining wall will not cost you much. This gives you the economic freedom to put a fence to your retaining wall. The average cost putting a fence around a retaining wall is said to be five thousand USD.
When is a fence required on top of a retaining wall?
Various international building codes state that you need to have a fence on top of a retaining wall if your wall has a height of more than three and a half feet.
This height requirement is stated as a safety measure against any accident that may occur due to falling.
If you are concerned about your privacy being invaded, then a fence on top of your retaining wall becomes an instant requirement.
A high fence installed on top of your retaining wall will make sure that there is no uncalled invasion of property. This will work as an extra layer of security for you.
If the retaining wall is closed to sidewalk or any busy place, a fence on top of it is considered as a requirement for obvious reasons. A retaining should not be built without a fence on top of it in order to avoid any accidents.
How do you put a fence around a retaining wall?
Putting a fence around a retaining wall might seem like a daunting task if you have no prior experience. But there are steps you can follow that will make the task easier. Let’s discuss in detail about them.
International building codes require you to get approval from the local building authority concerning any project on your property.
Building a fence around a retaining wall is a critical project which needs approval from local building authority. Without getting the required approval, you will not be able to start building a fence around a retaining wall.
Decide the distance:
The next crucial step would be to design how you want to put the fence around your retaining wall. The approved distance between the retaining wall and the fence is said to be thirty-six inches.
If you want to build your fence any closer to the retaining wall than that, then you will need to consult an engineer to make a proper design.
Sometimes people also like to build their fence right on top of the retaining wall which is very difficult to do and requires certain amount of expertise.
Considering all this, the best method is to go for the thirty-six inches distance between the fence and the retaining wall.
Start building the fence:
You will need to have geogrid reinforcement installed inside your retaining wall to give it the chance to withstand the overturning force created by the fence. It is better to get your fence build by a professional instead of trying to do it yourself.
The fence must be added to a retaining wall to ensure safety and privacy. But the retaining wall needs to have geogrid reinforcement installed inside it. Because the overturning force of both the soil and the fence can damage the retaining wall if there is no geogrid reinforcement inside the wall.