Description of work
A steep terrace garden can present a number of challenges in the design and construction phases. This particular client wanted us to design a garden which would suit the needs of a family with two young children.
The garden, although wide enough, rose very steeply very quickly, the only option we felt was to terrace the area. We designed a three-terrace garden: the first level would be a paved terrace area; the second would be a level boarder for planting; the third and final level would be an artificial grass play area for the children.
The first part of the project was to excavate all the existing stone and soil to get some kind of shape for our build. This was a challenge because of the location: the house was terraced but luckily the neighbour’s house being end of terrace allowed us access to street level. We were able to agree with the neighbours to allow us temporary access through the garden and through a tricky procedure of barrows and buckets were able to eventually excavate 40 tonnes of soil and rubble.
Once this time-consuming procedure was complete, the construction work could commence. Firstly, we had to construct the main retaining wall on the terrace, we built a 9 inch concrete block wall this was going to be the main structural retainer because of the steep slope of the garden we included the drainage holes which are very important for letting excess water drain. We always intended to finish the wall with a face brick, but this was not necessary at this time as there was plenty to do and we did not want the face stonework getting damaged.
We then worked on the second retainer which would act as the retainer for the play area; we decided to go with a 200mm wide railway sleeper for this as it was of less structural importance but also gave a nice contrast with the stonework. A round top planed timber balustrade using newel posts with matching gate was installed for safety reasons. The top level had some raised beds installed; a new section of feather edge fencing was installed on the boundary line with the neighbours where the steps were situated.
The face wall on the lower retaining wall was then installed and tied to the main wall; the artificial lawn was installed on the upper level, the Indian sandstone was laid on the terrace and pointed in to complete the project.
Probably one of our more challenging projects because of getting materials on and off the site, but when the outcome is so much welcomed it makes it worth it.
- Client: Bear Flat, Bath
- Date: November 2017
- Categories: Design & build, Paving, Walls & Steps