Suppose you’ve been on a road trip recently or even just driven along highways in the wilderness. In that case, you may have noticed certain basket-like structures containing rocks, concrete, or other hard materials.
These are gabion baskets, and they work well for erosion control. They’re getting popular for home use, especially for those who have land with erosion problems. However, what are gabion baskets, and how, exactly, do you use them at home? Here is our guide to gabion baskets.
What Are Gabion Baskets?
Quite simply, gabion baskets are mesh or wire cages filled with bricks, rocks, sand or soil, or concrete, although rocks are the most common filler.
These baskets are an economical way to control erosion, and you generally see them anywhere erosion poses a problem, although you can use them purely for decorative purposes, too. They’re relatively low-maintenance compared to lawns, retaining walls, and other erosion-control measures in large part because of their structure and construction and how you install them.
You can also put root-bearing, living branches in them to augment their erosion control. You get the added benefit of making them look more like planters than construction measures in your landscaping.
Sizes of Gabion Baskets
Gabion baskets come in many different sizes and come as rectangular or cubical boxes. Traditional baskets made of twisted wire mesh come in sizes ranging from three to 12 feet long, three to 4 1/2 feet wide, and one to three feet high.
The size you want depends on how large the area is for which you need them. You can, of course, get custom sizes if you want, but they’ll cost you a bit more.
How Much Do Gabion Baskets Generally Cost?
You should talk to a landscaper or gabion-basket manufacturer about getting an estimate. Generally, the price depends on the number of cubic feet you want, and you should factor in the cost of the stone or other material you want inside your baskets.
However, some companies offer prices for standard sizes, and from there, you might be able to get a ballpark figure for how much you can expect to pay before getting estimates. Generally, you will be looking at around $35 per cubic yard for standard gauge galvanized mesh.
Gabion baskets are essentially wire mesh constructions that are box-shaped and of varying sizes. Often used in highway and railway works, they are economical ways to both retain land and prevent corrosion. Although adequate access to local stone can be an issue for some, for most people this is rarely a problem. Due to the multitude of stones available, gabion baskets tend to be excellent choices for landscapers looking to create attractive yet practical retaining structures.
How much do gabion baskets cost?
Gabion baskets that are for sale tend to vary in size, and much of the cost associated with them has to do with this factor. The unit rate per metre cubed of gabion basket is approximately £98 at current market rates. Though you may find more competitively priced materials and can cut costs by constructing them without professional assistance, costs for gabions tend to be more competitive than concrete blocks of an equivalent size. Therefore, they’re certainly a wise investment for most landscapers.
|Gabion Supplier||Prices from||Gabion Baskets||Gabion Walls||Gabion Stones|
How long do gabion baskets last?
As gabion baskets have a high resistance to atmospheric corrosion due to their highly galvanized steel mesh caging, they are hardy and long-wearing structures. Satisfactorily strong and capable of resisting large amounts of flood force, torrential rain and earth pressure, they can last anywhere from 10-100 years depending on the strength of material used and the skill of the constructor.
Especially moldable to natural surroundings, gabion baskets can work with vegetation and silt, securing their position and providing greater longevity. Though salt and pollution in the air can degrade gabion baskets, providing your structures have been sufficiently galvanized, the effect of this should be minimized.
Do I need a foundation for a gabion?
Unlike other structures, gabion baskets are not vulnerable to drainage issues as they are designed to be porous. On account of this, water cannot build up and cause structural failure. Though some soil assessment is useful for gabion basket installations, it is not as imperative as it is with other landscaping structures.
Should you be building upon red clay, there is the potential for material to wash through gabion baskets. If this is the case, ensure that you use a geotextile cloth behind the basket structure to prevent any structural failure. You will not, however, need to use a concrete foundation for successful gabion baskets.
Do gabion baskets rust?
As with any structure that meets water over its lifespan, the potential for rust to appear should always be considered.
Though steel can rust over time, if gabion baskets are sufficiently galvanized prior to installation, they should not rust. Zinc or PVC coating treatments provide equal protection against oxidation and rusting, and this protection is always preferable to encountering rusting once the structures have been built! Gauge galvanised steel gabion baskets are particularly hardy and provide more than adequate shielding from nature’s elements.
Be aware that the thicker the steel mesh of your gabion basket, the more coating will be required to meet coating regulations. Therefore, be sure to accurately calculate how much you’ll need prior to investing in a gabion basket.
What Are Gabion Baskets Made From?
These baskets use wire in their construction. The type of wire depends on the specific boxes you want. Some gabion baskets use a heavy version of chicken wire with hexagonal openings. Others use a much heavier wire gauge to handle heavier loads, and they have square or rectangular openings.
Most gabion baskets use galvanized steel wire that’s twisted together in their construction. They’re either woven or welded, and you can use both types in conjunction with one another.
The galvanized steel wire helps increase the durability of the baskets. Such steel uses a zinc-iron compound that acts as a barrier against the elements, protecting underlying metal.
You can also buy gabion baskets made of PVC-coated wire. These baskets are all mesh baskets with an extended lifespan because the PVC coating resists the elements better than galvanized steel alone.
PVC-coated wire may also look better, especially if it blends in with the stone filling and surrounding area.
Do Gabion Baskets Rust?
Galvanized gabion baskets will eventually rust, yes. The zinc-iron coating that prevents rusting doesn’t last forever. In essence, it is a sacrificial coating rather than a permanent coating that lengthens the life of the steel.
PVC-coated baskets are more expensive, but last longer than galvanized steel baskets because of the extra coating. Generally, PVC-covered wire uses galvanized steel, so you get the benefit of the zinc-iron coating and the PVC coating.
How Do You Install Gabion Baskets at Home?
Gabion baskets come flat, so you’ll have to assemble them before you install them. Ideally, they should come with assembly instructions. If not, there are several YouTube videos, like this one, explaining how to put them together.
Make sure you’ve got a solid foundation on which to build them. That generally means digging down into the ground and sinking the baskets a bit so they’re secure and provide the erosion control you want.
Once you have them assembled and filled, you need to close the lid and wire it shut. If you’ve done it correctly, your gabion baskets should look good, last you a long time, and give you the erosion control for which you’re looking.
Where Can You Buy Gabion Baskets Online?
Many home and garden stores carry the components for gabion baskets, and several websites are dedicated to selling gabion baskets to homeowners and landscapers.
Besides those places, you can shop the websites of anyone from Walmart to Wayfair and even Houzz and eBay to find gabion baskets. If you run a search under Google Shopping for “gabion basket,” you’ll find many places that sell them. The same is true if you run a general Google search.