When constructing a house, you face many challenges; it’s no mean feat. From hiring the right contractor, setting the budget, designing the layout to buying the best construction materials – it is a long, painstaking process. Most homeowners look for ways to cut down the increasing construction costs and unfortunately compromise on many things – including the materials used in building the residential unit. Those parts of the house are neglected the most that are not directly linked to the property – such as a boundary wall. However, even if you save a few bucks now, a rickety outer wall can fall any time and cause more expenditure in its repair – or possibly in its reconstruction – than the amount of money you save in the first place. That is why it is so important to build stable boundary walls. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of factors you should consider when constructing a boundary wall around a house.
So, let’s get started.
Factors to Consider when Building Stable Boundary Walls
There could be a number of reasons behind unstable boundary walls: weak foundation, inadequate support pillars and less usage of expansion joints. Check out these simple factors when building stable boundary walls and protect your property from any possible damage.
- Height of the wall
- Soil conditions
- Expansion joints
- Retaining walls
We will now discuss the above-mentioned factors in more detail.
Height of the wall
The height, space between the supporting pillars and thickness of the outer wall determine the stability of the boundary wall. The height can vary between 1.5 m to 2.5 m. An important factor to consider here is that the boundary wall should not be so high that it cuts the incoming natural sunlight.
It is very important to build a proper foundation for the freestanding boundary wall. As the outer wall does not have any other support, then make sure to add good quality steel reinforcement bars. Moreover, as a general rule, create a wider and deeper foundation for a strong and stable boundary wall.
If your house is built in a rainy area, then you must build adequate weep holes to drain water that gets stored during a storm or heavy rainfall.
If there is a retaining wall, then some sort of drainage should be installed. Weep holes are perfect for this and can be formed using a 50 mm plastic pipe. These should be formed in all retaining walls at a height that doesn’t exceed 300 mm above the lower ground level.
If there are not enough supporting pillars or piers in the boundary wall, it can result in cracked walls. This is perhaps some of the most common mistakes when building a boundary wall. The lack of expansion joints or piers makes a shaky foundation for the outer wall. It is equally important to fill the cavity in the pillars of freestanding walls with concrete.
The outer wall of a house is freestanding, which means they are not supported by a structure of other walls. Because they are freestanding, most builders do not use a damp proof course (DPC), which does not allow moisture or dampness to weaken the foundation.
During the monsoon season, when the water table rises, the moisture from the soil seeps into the walls, causing dampness in the wall, pillars and woodwork. A damp proof course or DPC is a layer of impervious material that prevents this moisture from seeping in through the soil.
The DPC consists of a cement, sand and crush ratio of 1:2:4, which means 1 part should be cement, 2 parts sand and 4 parts gravel or crush (bajri). Horizontally, the DPC should be laid at the ground level, about 25 mm thick. And vertically, the DPC should cover the internal area from the ground level to the plinth. It is important to lay the DPC across the entire length of the building, without leaving any gap in order to build stable boundary walls.
A retaining wall helps to lower the pressure coming from soil and water. It manages to restrain the soil on a slope. So, if your house is built on a mountain, your boundary wall probably also acts as the retaining wall to keep the soil away from harming your property. If that is the case then in order to make your boundary wall more stable, remember to extend the foundation footing.
So, these were some of the elements to consider when building stable boundary walls. You should also take a look at the boundary wall materials and designs. Take inspiration from these stylish main gate designs before installing the front gate. If you are worried about calculating the cost required to build a residential unit, then check out our earlier posts where we have covered the cost to build a 5 marla, 10 marla and 1 kanal house in Pakistan, comprehensively. Stay tuned to Zameen Blog, the best property blog in Pakistan. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will surely get back to you.