From the Italian word gabionne, which translates to "big cage," a gabion is, indeed, a cage-like metal enclosure. But unlike the cages used to contain living things, gabions are filled with large stones.
While they've historically been used to prevent landslides and keep boulders from tumbling onto roadways, these rock-filled containers are becoming increasingly popular for landscaping projects.
From retaining walls and garden benches to fire pits and decorative tables, the versatility of gabions really can't be understated. Not only that, but they're relatively simple to make with galvanized wire mesh. Keep reading for tips, insights, and step-by-step instructions for your DIY gabion.
How Do You Make a Rock Wall in Your Garden?
Embracing repurposed materials and an unfinished aesthetic, gabions boast an industrial-inspired style with a modern appeal. If you're feeling inspired to make your own, you've come to the right place.
Galvanized wire mesh panels
Instead of stones or rocks, you can fill your gabion with concrete blocks, bricks, rubble, cut timber logs, empty wine bottles, or old roof tiles. You could even use a medley of old tools and construction materials, but in that case, be sure to use an anti-rust solution to protect the wire mesh exterior. Whatever you choose to place inside, just make sure the mesh weave is small enough that the pieces won't fall through the holes.
Galvanized mesh is incredibly durable, so it’s the perfect material to use for this type of construction. How Is Galvanized Wire Mesh Made? Read our blog post to find out.
How to Build a Gabion Wall
Whether you're working on level ground or a slope, the dirt below the gabion wall should be as smooth as possible to ensure stability. If the terrain is particularly rough, it might be worth laying weed matting or compacted gravel before getting started.
Follow these steps to create your own gabion:
Determine the length, width, and height of your enclosure.
While wearing gloves, use the pliers to cut the galvanized hardware cloth into the proper size for the sides and top. (You don't need to place any wire mesh flat on the ground.)
Fasten the sides together with tension wire, leaving the top open. (Retaining walls and other larger projects may call for rebar to reinforce the sides and prevent the enclosure from warping from the weight of the stones.)
Fill the cage with stones, taking your time to position flat, smooth edges outward.
Once full, place the top on the cage and secure it with tension wire.
Trim down the ends of the tension wire to ensure the edges of the gabion aren't sharp.
Of course, the exact materials and steps will vary depending on the design, size, and contents of the enclosure.
Check out these 9 Wire Mesh Gabion Design Ideas for inspiration.
Shop In-Stock Galvanized Wire Mesh from TWP Inc.
TWP Inc. is your resource for wire mesh for home improvement and DIY projects. Founded in 1969 in Berkeley, California, our woman-owned company has been supplying industrial-grade materials to homeowners and businesses for over five decades.
Our team is on hand to work with you on your unique project. TWP Inc. provides free custom estimates as well as in-house laser cutting, slitting, and other services. You can browse and shop materials online, request a quote, or contact our team and we can help get you started off with the right materials and sizes.
To have your creation featured in our online gallery, upload your photos to Instagram with the hashtag #TWPWireMesh—and don't forget to follow us!
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