Gabions are modular wire mesh boxes filled with stones or other materials, originally used to retain land or act as erosion control in engineering projects. More recently, they have become popular as decorative elements in architecture and gardening. Designed to fit together, they create a retaining or decorative wall. The boxes can be filled with rocks, glass bottles, soil or even logs. For a retaining structure, heavy materials are advised.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Gabion basket(s)
- Filling material
- Steel wire
Clear and level the area where the gabion cages are to be installed. Ensure the ground is compacted, with no loose areas of soil.
Place the gabions in position for the length of the first row and wire them together with steel wire, using pliers to secure the wire. Continue wiring all gabions together at their vertical edges in the same manner.
Half fill the gabions with your choice of material, being careful that no sharp edges protrude through the mesh. Ensure that the material is well compacted.
Secure a piece of wire from the front face of the gabion to the rear just above the compacted material. Pull the wire tight; this prevents the boxes bulging.
Fill the remainder of the gabion with material and wire the top closed. Again ensure that the materials lie flat and no sharp edges protrude.
Repeat steps 1 through 5 as necessary to complete project. If the gabions form a retaining wall, back fill behind them with loose dirt.
Offset the second row of gabions slightly, if more than one row is required for the project, so that a whole gabion sits across an existing joint, as in construction of a brick wall. When using multiple stacked rows as a retaining structure, the gabions should step backwards slightly against the bank for stability.
Tips and warnings
- Gabions' appearance can be enhanced by hand placing the material at the front of the box.
- Soil can be placed between the rock infill and planted with attractive plants.
- Welded mesh boxes are the most aesthetically appealing for decorative applications.
- For projects near water, use PVC coated mesh.
- For large projects consult your gabion manufacturer or an engineer to establish tolerances.
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