The Good

The first image is of a well constructed gabion wall with rock stacked neatly, free draining, engineered plans and with reinforcing throughout. One of the most common questions we get asked is who do we recommend to construct a gabion wall. This is not an easy question to answer and depends upon several factors including location, type of project, and whether is is a commercial or residential area. However, there are many good ones out there.

The Bad (which is also the ugly)

The general workmanship that can be seen from the second and third photographs should be considered poor. Clearly the embankment gave way due to lack of reinforcement and was reliant upon incomplete and fairly narrow gabion walls to stabilize it. This could have been prevented by using geogrids or earth anchors. The contractor claims the client refused to pay for more work, and they claim it failed because the client wouldn’t allow them to complete it. This project was appalling in its complete disregard to safety and engineering. Situations like this need to be avoided.

Some tips

Look at the contractor’s history of gabion work and check their reviews before engaging. Also ensure you have a contract which protects your investment not just theirs. Be careful before paying a deposit as it should never be more than 10% of the value of the work quoted. Ideally payments should be made based upon progress, not in advance. If it is a large project consider having your own site manager oversee the works are carried out as per the contract.

One of the most important things is if it is a retaining wall over 1m high you should always engage a contractor who is a certified builder with retaining walls as part of their certification, alternatively have an engineer oversee the installation.

For that reason we are generally inclined to recommend the larger construction companies with a history of gabion construction experience, or specialist landscaping contractors that have great reviews and never have any issues with their customers, or what issues they do have they rectified them quickly.

Feel free to contact us for any advice with regards to construction and we will hopefully steer you in the right direction, obviously without guaranteeing that their work will be to the standards you expect.