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Do I need an Engineer for my Retaining Wall?

Don’t know if you need an engineer? Thinking about it actually means you probably do need an engineer. What would happen if someone was injured or hurt because a wall collapsed? See why there is more to it than you think.

See why there is more to it than you think.

In Australia council regulations may vary. For example in SA a retaining wall over 1000mm high needs council approval. Other states stipulate 600mm as the limit but in all states in order to get council permission the retaining wall needs to be designed by an engineer. The higher the wall the higher the risk of danger. Simple when you know how. That brings us to the next logical scenario the DIY. Before going ahead with anything check with your local council.

Here are some points to remember.
• If the wall collapsed would it endanger property or more importantly persons?
• If my wall collapsed would it cause surrounding soil erosion?
• What impact would it have on properties around me?
• If my wall didn’t hold would it affect my own property?
The position of a retaining wall can be an important factor, too. If you want to build one on or near your boundary, you may need to get council permission regardless of its height. In rural areas, other factors such as nearby water catchments or the potential for soil erosion may be issues with council.

Take a look at some situations that you may not be allowed to construct a wall or you need an engineers report and council consent.
• In SA most councils require approval for a wall and fence combined height over 2.1m
• Retaining walls to be built over easements need council approval from the easement owner eg. SA Water
• In most cases Walls must be away from easements by at least a metre away this includes sewerage pipes and water mains
• No wall can cause water to flow into a neighbours property
So here is where common sense prevails. If you are not sure its best to seek the services of an engineer. So what if you have a wall to build that is less than a metre in height and doesnt need an engineer? In some areas the regulations may be different where 600mm or 800mm is the limit and some restrictions may apply there. This is where an engineer may help. We can arrange this service. 

If in doubt call us we have engineers we have worked with and trust every day and can help you with any building, design approvals you may need. 8395 0300