My study was shifted in to my workshop to make room for the newest addition to our family. This meant that some stuff from the workshop needed to be shifted to under the house – and it is sooooo annoying getting things from under the house!

We have a solution! But before we go there, let me tell you a tale of a foolish man. Many years ago when we were building the workshop I had the option to replace the failing retaining wall – which was holding up our back fence and half my neighbours yard – with a new one. Half of the job which involved removing the wall would’ve taken a few minutes with a bobcat. But at the time I didn’t have the foresight to see this so the failing retaining wall remained.


Missed opportunity. The retaining wall is below the right side fence. Pic taken few years ago.

Fast-forward a few years to today, the retaining wall is in a desperate state and something must be done!


Retaining wall and fence is falling over. The brick wall is floating (ie. not retaining)

I figured I could kill two bird with one stone (who am I kidding? I throw like a girl!) and replace the retaining wall plus build a shed behind the workshop for storing all my stuff. Brilliant!

So I got to work removing the old retaining wall and all the dirt. I ordered a skip bin for all the rubbish. At first I thought it may be a waste of money, but it came in very handy. There was a lot of rubbish.

I had the cheaper option of putting in something similar to the previous retaining wall, or I could use H section steel posts and slide in sleepers between them. Doing it with the H section steel posts means I would end up with a flat retaining wall. Having a wall that had posts sticking out every metre or so would not have been easy to work around when putting things inside the shed. So I opted to spend some extra money to make it look nice and get more space.


These sleepers are too thin for the post. The ones I ended up using still didn’t fit perfectly, there was a ~1cm gap which I filled from behind so it looked flush when completed.


5 ‘H’ sections were used and 2 ‘C’ sections for the ends.

Concreting in the posts and getting them all aligned properly was a pain. If I had to do it again I would build a better jig to keep the posts in place when I poured the concrete around it.

Once the concrete set I was ready to start sliding in the sleepers. This part was easy to do and made the most impact on the look. I really enjoyed doing this part.


Finally! Some help arrives.

I had some paving stones left over from when we did the paving a few years back. I decided to use these to complete the paving gaps left behind when removing the old retaining wall.

Now the frame for the roof was made up and put in place. The roof helps to support the fence and prevent it from falling any further. The foam roll was used to close the gaps between the lapped fence and the roof frame. This will then be used to hold the silicon that will be used to seal the roofing sheets when put in place.

The door to the shed was probably the biggest decision here. I could have bought a galvanised one from Bunnings and cut it to size, but that would mean I would have to hinge it on the fence side. Even though opening it would be better (it opens towards the fence and out of the way) the amount of room I would have to move equipment in and out would be limited.
Instead, I opted to build the door myself in a weird shape so that I could get maximum access to the shed when the door is fully opened.

Opening on the workshop wall means I need to open it all the way to get cumbersome equipment in and out, but it is worth it considering how much more access space I get.

In hindsight, I should have built and welded the frame from steel. When it rains it expands and is a little harder to close the door.

A friend helped me install the roofing. This was drilled in to place and then (I am ashamed to admit) I used about 7 tubes of silicon to seal the roof. It was mostly used for the huge gaps between the lapped fence and the roofing sheets.
A gutter was also installed at the back of the shed for drainage out the side of the workshop.

A cap was placed on top of the retaining wall so it can be used as a shelf.

In hindsight I would use dried/hard wood. The soft wood here has warped and some parts are crooked. But it serves its purpose so I won’t bother changing it.

With the roof in place, the shed is now ready for lighting. I tapped in to the existing power point and installed a switch along with 3 double-baton fluorescent lights.

Done! Once completed I installed a bunch of hooks and shelves (bolted to the workshop wall) and organised all my gardening equipment and some other toys and larger/cumbersome things. This shed has really helped me organise my stuff and store things properly.


Finished door with the new handle and lock.


Shelves already being used and almost full!


Couldn’t ask for a better shed! It is exactly what I needed. Bonus: My fence won’t fall down!

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