Nigel & Rose Holder's patio wall with railway sleepers

Originally the project was just intended as simply replacing an old 2 foot breeze block wall with a higher retaining wall and levelling through to give a slight incline to a nice rockery.

However, once we had cleared the area we realised how large it actually was (25sq meters) & quickly decided to revise our plans and build a large, remote decking platform complete with railings, subtle lighting, enclosed within a low-level sleeper wall.

It meant spending much longer than planned on preparing the area with over 6 tons of soil (mainly clay and rock) being dug out by hand, due to the lack of access for a small mechanical digger, then removed bucket-by-bucket to the local tip!!! It was painstakingly slow, not to mention tough on the family Daihatsu Sirion being loaded up with a dozen buckets of heavy soil at a time; but eventually after a few weeks of hard graft the area was flat, solid and ready to build on.

The sleepers were bedded into a dry concrete mix, layed on their edge, and fastened together using 12" Timberlock screws. Initially I was apprehensive as to how strong the screws would be and how difficult it would be to drive the screws through 10" of sleeper. However, my fears were unfounded and the Timberlock screws were amazing!!! I was able to drive them through the sleepers effortlessly and was very impressed how strongly they locked the layers together. Absolutely brilliant...a very well engineered product.

Once the sleeper wall was in place the rest of the project went smoothly. The decking joists were fastened securely to the wall and also to the sleepers and all tied together with noggings; we even spread a dry mix of concrete over the entire area to prevent any "bounce", giving a complete ridged base to lay the decking boards onto. Finally, the decking was finished off with railings to provide a safe enclosure, with gentle lighting for effect.

Please feel free to use some or all of the attached photos and I really hope they can help to inspire others to undertake a similar project in the future. For anyone who is thinking of incorporating sleepers into a landscaping idea, I strongly recommend using Timberlock screws...they truely are a unique and extremely professional product.

Thanks to your site and the photos of all your other satisfied customers for our inspiration and enhancement of our ideas, not to mention the courage to take on such an ambitious project.
Nigel & Rose Holder. Says..

What a great project, and a tribute to your painstaking determination and graft ! (not to mention the suspension of your 4 x 4) The hundreds of individual buckets of soil, are almost the peacetime equivalent of the hundreds of discrete pocketfuls of tunnel diggingsl in the 'Great Escape'! You've created a dramatic and fabulous raised decking area