Gabions — installation instructions and examples of modern design (100 photo ideas)
The name "gabion" came to us from the Italian language. Literally translated, the word "gabbia" means "cage". Gabions are three-dimensional structures made of metal mesh filled with stone. Their history begins with the XVII century. Initially, they were boxes made of vines, inside which earth and cobblestones were filled in.
Such a makeshift redoubt protected the soldiers from enemy bullets and shells. In the twentieth century, the product was noticed by builders and adapted to strengthen the banks of rivers.
Currently, gabions are known as a decorative element in the arrangement of a suburban area.
Gabions in landscape design serve as an example of an inexpensive, but stylish means of expression. With their help, you can realize the most daring ideas. Designers have developed a lot of options for the improvement of territories with gabion structures.
Pay attention to a few ideas:
Zoning of the plot. Thanks to mobility and flexibility, the mesh frame can be given a different shape. A high gabion in the form of a curb is a proven method of dividing the common household space into separate functional zones.
Strengthening the slopes of the reservoir from erosion. It is relevant for owners of farms near rivers, lakes, as well as for those who have their own decorative pond. Under the influence of wind and water, the soil is gradually destroyed.
Gabions installed around the perimeter of the reservoir will help prevent erosion of the coastal soil. To prevent the structure from disintegrating, each block is connected to the previous one with a wire. A staircase adjacent to a water source can also be made using gabions.
A fence made of gabions. If a lot of waste has accumulated during construction work (broken bricks, crumbs of stone or concrete), you should not get rid of them. Use them as a fence filler.
The advantage of such a fence is a long service life, environmental friendliness, ease of installation. For greater aesthetics, climbing plants are planted in the space between the stones.
Design of green spaces. Gabion can be used to build a stand for planters or a flower bed. Stones perfectly emphasize the fragility and tenderness of plants.
Figures and architectural elements. Gabion cages are a good base for garden benches, countertops, barbecues and hearths, walls of gazebos.
The photo assembly of gabions below shows ready-made solutions in the field of design.
Gabions: types and materials
In appearance , gabion structures are classified into 3 types:
Box-shaped gabions (another name is "Jumbo") they are made in the form of a container with a width of 1-2 m, a height of 0.5-1 m. The length of the product is from 2 to 6 m. To increase rigidity, special mesh partitions are located inside the box, separated from each other by a distance of up to 1 m. The scope of use is retaining, delimiting elements, fences.
The "Renault" mattress-type gabions are structurally similar to box-shaped ones. The same rectangular shape, but flatter and more modest in size. The height of the element does not exceed 30 cm. Several hundred years ago, these structures saved the inhabitants.
Bologna from flooding, for which he received a second name in honor of the eponymous river. To this day they are used to facing slopes and dams.
The cylindrical gabion looks like a hollow mesh frame with a cross section up to 0.95 m and a length of 2-4 m. It is made by stitching from a roll. For stuffing, a hole is left at the 1 end (a bag-like variety) or a window along the side of the cylinder.
The main details of any type of products are metal mesh and filler. The mesh for gabions should be strong, because its main task is to preserve the integrity of the entire structure.
The fulfillment of this requirement is ensured by the use of steel wire with a diameter of 2-8 mm. An anticorrosive zinc or PVC coating is necessarily applied to the surface.
According to the applied mesh manufacturing technology, all frames are divided into welded or braided using the double torsion method. Welded gabions have rectangular or square cells formed by rods attached to the welding at the intersection points.
Their main advantage is reliability, less deformation. Devices with intertwined wires withstand less loads. Visually, they can be recognized by hexagonal cells resembling honeycombs.
When choosing stones for gabions, consider the functional purpose of the structure. Solid rocks are needed for reinforcing frames — granite, concrete.
If the site is supposed to be decorated, then glass fragments, wooden cuts, tiles, cones will become a suitable material. In any case, the filler should be larger than the cell size by 30-40%. And when using the gabion under water, the difference should be at least 50%.
A small trick that will save the budget from significant expenses: lay out the visible front parts of the gabion with a stone, and fill the core with sand. This will reduce the cost of installation several times.
Gabions with their own hands
To reduce the time of work, you can buy ready-made gabion structures. But in some cases they are not suitable in size. The way out will be the hand-made construction of metal frames.
First you need to stock up on tools and materials, including:
- Staples or spirals of wire for fixing the adjacent walls of the box;
- Steel pins for fixing gabion in the soil;
- Braces for screed sides of the structure;
- Pliers, tire iron, protective gloves for hands.
All consumables are purchased with a margin of 10-15%. Before installation, the availability of everything necessary is checked according to the list. The absence of even one thing can cause a decrease in the speed of installation. For welded gabions, you will additionally need a welding machine and accessories for it.
Step-by-step instructions for creating gabions
The measurement of the territory on which the object will be installed is carried out. A diagram or drawing is drawn up with the main dimensions of the structure.
A platform for gabion is being prepared. If necessary, the soil is cleared of vegetation, leveled and rammed. To prevent the structure from overgrown with grass, you can put geotextile or black film under it.
The metal mesh is painted according to the drawing. For a boxed product, the following details should be obtained: the bottom, 4 side panels and the lid.
Each part of the frame is assembled together with a spiral wire or brackets. At this stage, one of the sides must necessarily be open to fill the box with stones. For rigidity, the structure can be reinforced with mesh partitions.
Installation of the gabion in the ground is carried out using pins, anchors, stakes, which are attached to the box with clamps or hardware.
The box is filled with stones up to half. The largest of them are laid out on the bottom and front facades, smaller fillers are placed in the middle. So that the trifle does not wake up through the gaps of large stones, geotextile is used. The opposite sides are pulled together with special cables — braces. They are passed through every 4-5 grid cells and serve to prevent deformation of the box. After that, the gabion is filled completely.
The last stage is the installation of the lid and fixing it to the walls with a wire or staples.
The use of gabion structures is justified from the point of view of creating a unique relief on the site. Thanks to these simple devices, you can get hills or depressions, arrange flower beds. Gabion is not demanding in care. Every year it becomes only stronger, because the soil fills all the cracks and voids.
Photo of gabions