Timber sleeper retaining wall and steps

12 May 2013
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hello everyone!

This is my first time using this website and hopefully not my last :)

I am a moderate DIYer and enjoy projects! My current project is replacing a retaining wall (that I have taken down now) with a timber sleeper retaining wall and then making some steps using sleepers in the dirt i have dug out.

I have oak sleepers for the steps and medium density sleepers for the walls and for the posts. Both sleepers are 200mm X 100mm X 2.4m.

It is too dark for me to take pictures today but will try to take some tomorrow and upload them which might make the following description easier.

The dirt im retaining is 900mm high all round so I intend on going 5 sleepers high which will make 1000mm. I have some dirt against my garage which I have partially dug out and left some. I am going to keep the dirt against the garage half way but then as im having a new window and door fitted on the other half of the garage wall i need to retain it back hence the need for the retaining wall.

the amount i have dug back is 3ft, the dirt then comes 6ft across so i need to build a retaining wall of 3ft and 6ft. Hope this makes sense so far!!

I have then dug into the dirt another 4 feet and across 4 and a half feet and then it comes back 6 feet which is where i want to build the steps! (fun times :p)

I have worked out i need 7 steps which will have a tread of 300mm (100mm from the top of the sleeper and then 200mm from a sleeper laying down).

Now come the questions! (sorry! :p)

The retaining wall made out of sleepers, my understanding is that i dont need to make a foundation as im going to be using 300mm sleeper screws that will go through a sleeper and half way into the next and then using 150mm sleeper screws into each sleeper through the sleeper posts i will be putting in. Is that correct??

Also, do the screws I use have to be timberlock screws as they are proving very expensive! i need 50 of each 150mm and 300mm?

Many thanks in advance!!
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