Regulations regarding retaining walls vary from council to council. The first step we recommend you take if you’re considering installing a retaining wall on your property is contacting your local council to find out more.
General rules regarding retaining walls
Typically, if the height of your proposed retaining wall is close to 1 metre, you need a structural engineer to design your project. Walls approaching this high can become a safety issue due to the weight of the material pressing on the wall.
Where you want your wall can also be crucial. If the proposed wall sits on or adjacent to a building or on your property boundary, you may need to get council permission. This is regardless of the wall’s proposed height. As we said before, it is best to check with your local council before you start to build your retaining wall.
How do you get council approval to build a retaining wall?
If your wall requires council approval, the first step is to complete an application for development (planning). Generally, you need council approval for homes where the proposed wall:
- Is within the street setback area
- Has a height of more than 1.0m
- Is within 1.0m – 1.5m of an adjoining property boundary with a height of more than 0.5m from the natural ground level
- Has a height more than 0.5m from natural ground level within 7.5m of a property boundary without screening to prevent overlooking an adjoining property.
What about a building permit for a retaining wall in Perth?
If your retaining wall complies with the following, you are unlikely to need a building permit:
- The wall retains ground no more than 0.5m in height
- The wall isn’t associated with other building work
- The wall isn’t associated with the protection of land adjoining the land on which the retaining wall sits
- The wall doesn’t affect other land requiring consent
Choosing a retaining wall builder
You may need to go through the same procedure for a home renovation in some areas. If you think your retaining wall may require certification, engage a professional. To ensure your retaining wall meets all requirements, the best thing to do is approach an experienced builder. They will guide and advise you throughout the building process and will ensure the wall is structurally sound. You can construct retaining walls from stone, brick, and concrete. While you can also use timber, this comes with the risk of termites or rotting
Here at Indian Ocean Landscapes, we have extensive experience building retaining walls and steps. From site preparation to landscaping the finished wall, our team will deliver a stress-free experience. With years of experience designing and installing retaining walls in Perth, WA, we offer our clients various options to help them create their dream outdoor living area.
Contact us today for an obligation-free quote.