How To Fix Sleepers to the Ground

By Sam Wood •  Updated: 10/11/21 

If you are planning on building anything with sleepers, be it a retaining wall or even just a raised bed, then you will be wondering how to fix the sleepers to the ground.

Let us talk you through a few of the different methods in a simple, easy to follow guide!

Your Choices

As I alluded to earlier, you have a few different options here. Let’s go through the more popular choices and give you a few pros and cons to each.

Do Nothing

So this is your first choice, do absolutely nothing. Sleepers are big heavy pieces of timber. Often you don’t need to do anything to stop them from moving.

Particularly if the posts are laid widthways then you really don’t need to fasten them to the ground unless they are being used for something like a retaining wall.

Laying a gravel/sand mix under the sleeper is always a good idea to help with drainage. The sleeper will not quicker if the base is in wet soil all of the time.

Wooden Post

You can use a post, either in front of or behind the sleepers to attach the sleepers to. You set these posts into the ground like you would with a fence post. So dig a hole and set the post in concrete or postcrete.

I talk about this method in my article about building a retaining wall with sleepers. This method is really secure but is quite a bit of work.

You can do this on a smaller scale for small raised beds or planters. Rather than a massive post and concrete, you can hammer a smaller stake into the ground. You can then screw the sleepers to this stake.

This is essentially the same idea as the posts just without the need to dig big holes and concrete posts in.

Metal Anchors

There are tons of specialist metal anchors available for fixing sleepers to the ground. These are mainly for smaller builds, think single raised beds or edging.

You hammer the anchor into the ground and then simply screw the sleepers to the bracket at the top. Nice and easy. A really simple method but doesn’t provide the same level of stability as using the large wooden posts.

Simple To Use
10 x Sleeper Bracket Heavy Duty - Black
£44.95
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12/03/2021 12:03 am GMT

You can also get the same product but extended for multiple tiers of sleepers. This allows you to build taller sleeper walls.

For 3 Sleepers High
3-Tier Sleeper Bracket with Ground Stake
£9.95
Buy Now On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps fund the Bloke Cave and allows us to create epic projects!
12/03/2021 12:03 am GMT

Pin With Rebar

With this method, you are essentially pinning the sleeper into the ground using a long length of rebar.

You drill a hole all the way through your bottom sleeper or bottom few sleepers. You can then hammer a long length of rebar all the way through the sleepers and into the soil below.

Only do this if you are sure there are no drains or pipework under where the sleepers will be. Obviously by driving a large metal rod into the ground you are in serious danger of damaging any pipework under the soil.

This is quite easy to do and provides a solid fixing. If you run the rod through a few of the sleepers it also helps to tie the sleepers together.

Foundations

If you want to go the whole hog you can create concrete foundations for your sleepers. This really isn’t required though unless they will be holding some serious weight.

And if the sleepers are going to be holding some serious weight then you might be better off with getting a professional to set them up!

Obviously, this is a really time-intensive and expensive way to attach sleepers to the ground, but it will give you a really solid base.

Related Reading

If you are thinking of building with sleepers then you might find these posts interesting.

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!