2m x 12m freestanding boundary wall

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Hi, I need to replace a wobbly old wall and was wondering if anyone could help me out. The wall needs to be 2m high and about 12m long.

I'll be having it rendered so I thought about using blocks laid flat. Would I need high or medium density blocks? Also what sort of depth / width would the footings need to be?

The wall is to be around our garden. To the other side is a road (no pavement).

Hope I've given enough info. Let me know if you need to know anything else.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Thanks,
Millie
 
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Medium density blocks are fine. Foundation depends on soil type. If it's very plastic clay on flat ground I would go at least 600mm deep. If it's dry stony clay you could get away with 450mm. The concrete should be at least 150mm thick. Don't forget expansion joints. At least one in a wall 12m long. If you can, track down some telescopic wall ties to fit between the expansion joint. How are you going to finish the top? Should be as water proof as possible. Render will not last long if any water gets into a freestanding wall.

Are you sure you want to render a garden wall? Would look much nicer - and more durable - in brick. Maybe some old reclaimed bricks. But I appreciate a tad more expensive.
 
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I agree with jeds apart from the 150 mm
I would go for about 250mm to 300 mm depth
 
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That's fantastic. Thanks so much for your advice. Regarding the materials, it's just a design thing; some of the building will be rendered too, and there will be other sections of garden wall built in reclaimed brick.

Haven't decided on toppers yet. Do they just have to overhang the render or is there more to it than that?

Oh and is an expansion joint tricky to fit, or should I be ok as a relative novice?

Thanks again
 
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Width of foundation would need to be around 450mm but it is important that the ground level on either side of the wall is the same. If ground levels are going to be different please post back with the information.

The expansion joint is simple It is a vertical break in the wall (midway in yours) so you have in effect two walls but they are jointed by sliding ties and the joint between the walls filled with an expansion filler and mastic.
If the wall has turns in it (i.e. not straight) a joint might not be required. Filler and ties are in place as the wall is built followed by the mastic when built.

http://www.ibstock.com/highlights-brick-calculator-mjoints.htm

http://www.ancon.co.uk/products/wal...fixings/other-restraint-fixings/movement-ties

Edit: Go with brick and save yourself the hassle of rendered walls See also:
http://www.pavingexpert.com/featur03.htm for lower walls but a lot of useful information all the same
 
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Cheers Blagard, brilliant info. Feeling much better about tackling this myself now. Although I have got someone else lined up to do the footings. I really didn't fancy doing all that digging!

Tony, how come freestanding walls should never be rendered?
 
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Haven't decided on toppers yet. Do they just have to overhang the render or is there more to it than that?
The only thing that would look right on a rendered wall are coping stones. They should over hang by at least 50mm and have drip grooves on the underside of the overhang. Make sure when you decide on width of the coping you allow for the render. The overhang is 50mm from the face of the render - not the block. You should also seal the joints in the coping with a flexible two part polysulphide filler - not mortar, which will just crack. But I'd still look at brick if I were you.
 
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I am sure Tony has his reasons regards not rendering freestanding walls, but it can be done.

The problem is unless done really well there is a high risk of problems. Because of the exposure both sides, frequently poor coping stone details and poor stop end and drip details it is not uncommon to see render blown from the wall due to ingress and water behind and subsequent frost action. In addition although you may have expansion joints, the risk is the render will crack here and there and again let water in to cause damage. The free standing wall is going to be prone to a little movement where as it is less so on a house wall.

So if you do go with render you need to get it done by some-one who can do a good job with all the correct details. Remember the bottom 150mm of the wall will have a DPC on top of it and the block or brick is exposed below that with a Drip detail to the render
 
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Tony, how come freestanding walls should never be rendered?

Because of damp-problems.

Free-standing walls should not have a damp-proof course built in at the base as that compromises stability. Because there is no dpc, water from the ground will rise up into the wall. This will be trapped in by the render, and will cause problems in the winter with frost or - if sulphates are present - can sometimes cause sulphate attack of the mortar.
 

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