A sleeper wall is a structure built from cross-pieces of wood, steel, plastic or concrete. These are used in the construction of retaining walls that retain earth behind them, to create more space for a building footprint or to prevent soil erosion and protect against landslides.
Measure the area where you will put your sleepers.
- Measure the area where you will put your sleepers.
- Measure the height of the wall, which should be level with the joists in your house.
- Measure the length of the wall, including any part that runs along a staircase or around an archway.
- Measure the width of each sleeper you want to use (you may not need every single one).
Dig a trench for your sleepers.
- To determine the depth of your trench, measure from the top of the sleeper to the bottom of your chosen height (for example, if you want to build a 2m high wall with sleepers 200mm deep, subtract 100mm from 2m).
- To determine how wide your trench should be, measure from one sleeper to another and add this number to your existing measurement (e.g., if you are using 100mm sleepers and want 1m-wide gaps between them, then multiply this figure by two).
- Measure out how long it will take for each sleeper’s length – this will be longer than an individual piece as there is extra material at each end that needs trimming off later; also note that there may be some cutting required on larger widths depending on what kind of timber you have purchased (see our tips below).
- Measure out where along line A-B you would like line C-D and mark it with masking tape or string so that both ends meet somewhere near point F on opposite sides – these points represent where each notch will go later down in step 6 below when we start making cuts down onto our timber sheeting which we’ll use as a template for all other cuts when laying out our first course of stones for construction purposes only–don’t forget about this bit
Lay the bed of gravel and make sure it is level.
- If you are building a wall from sleepers, it is important that the bed of gravel is level. It’s also vital that the base of your sleeper walls is level and straight. To achieve this, use one of the following methods:
- Spirit level
- Straight edge (ie a long plank used as a guide)
- Builder’s level or laser level
- Transit (a transit is an instrument for taking horizontal and vertical measurements).
Put in crushed stone for drainage.
If you are building a retaining wall, it is critical to provide proper drainage. Using crushed stone for drainage will allow the water to flow away from the structure, keeping it dry and intact. As a bonus, you can pick up your crushed stone at any local home improvement store or hardware store—it’s easy to find, inexpensive and easy to work with
Crushed stone is also an excellent choice for constructing retaining walls because it is also incredibly easy to install. Once all of your materials have been delivered, simply lay out the first course of sleepers on top of your base layer (as previously explained). Then add another course of sleepers below them so that each successive layer overlaps slightly with the one before—this way no water gets trapped between layers which could lead toward rot over time.
Place your sleepers into the trench.
There are a couple of ways to get your sleepers into the trench. One is to use a spirit level and tap them in with a mallet.
Another option is to use your head. Stand on top of the sleeper and jump down unto it so that it sinks into place.
Backfill with gravel.
Next, use a concrete chute or a gravel rake to pour the gravel backfill around the sleepers. Start at one end and work your way along each sleeper, working the gravel into the joints between them as you go.
Once you’ve poured in enough gravel (about half a metre deep) to fill the trench completely, tamp down with a tamper so that there are no air pockets or loose patches of bedding material left behind. Then leave it for 24 hours so that it can set well before moving on to step 5
Fill in with concrete between the sleepers.
After you’ve placed the sleepers, it’s time to fill in between them. There are several ways to do this, depending on your preferences and resources:
- You can mix concrete in a wheelbarrow, then use a shovel or trowel to apply it.
- You can mix concrete directly onto the sleepers with your hands. This method is highly recommended if you have access to sandpaper because it gives you more control over how thick the layer of concrete is on each sleeper.
- If you like working with tools (and we know how much you love them!), consider using something like a hoe or rake instead of using your hand or tool bucket full of water. The latter two methods will help keep everything neat and tidy—and hopefully not sticky
Level the concrete and leave to set overnight.
The next day, check the concrete and make sure it’s level. If not, use your spade to level it out as much as possible. Leave the concrete overnight to set and cure.
Once the concrete has cured, remove any excess with a rake or broom. Brush off any loose concrete that remains on top of each sleeper so it can be cleaned later on in Step 4: Casing and Trim Work.
A sleeper wall can be used many ways to create a unique entrance or garden feature.
If you’re looking for a way to create some interest and dimension in your garden, sleeper walls can be used to build either a unique entrance or garden feature.
A sleeper wall can also be used as an alternative to fences and ugly boundary walls. They are very useful when there is no room for fences or boundary walls and they look better than most fences. Sleeper walls look great when placed at different heights around the border of your property, which will add visual interest to any garden or yard that might need it.
A sleeper wall is a great way to add some character to your garden and create a unique focal point. It can also be used to make an entrance, or build steps out of the material. It’s easy on the eye and will last for years with regular maintenance; such as repointing every 5 years or so. If you are looking for something different in your outdoor space, then this could be just what you need