Stone walls are iconic. Not only are they beautiful and long-lasting, but imagine the countryside without them. They’ve been around for thousands of years as a way to contain livestock and mark boundaries, but they’re still an incredibly useful tool in the garden. If you’re wondering how to build a stone wall for your space, you’ve come to the right place.

Today stone walls still have a place in containing livestock, but they are so much more versatile. They can be used to showcase, and the entryway, act as a retaining wall to prevent erosion, or make a terraced garden on a hillside. Stone also makes beautiful and resilient raised garden beds.

Walls made out of stone can stand the test of time and add value to your property. This article will give you some guidance to decide what type of wall you want and walk you through how to build a basic stone wall.

 Types of Stone Walls
1. Tossed walls are those rambling paddock walls that often make us think of Ireland. Farmers just tossed rocks into fence rows as they worked the fields, building a wall up.
2. Laid walls are more orderly than tossed walls. The stone is placed and secured (without mortar) to make a well-fitted wall. These are the walls throughout the south that are often referred to as “slave walls.” These are also referred to as dried stacked walls.
3. Curved flagstone walls are a popular way to define a patio or backyard kitchen. They also make dynamic-looking stone-raised beds.
4. Mortared stone walls are ideal as retaining walls because they’re strong enough to hold back the earth.
5. Stacked block walls are made of mortared concrete blocks. They are more formal and create a courtyard effect.

How to Build a Stone Wall

Stone walls take some planning. You need to decide what type of wall you want and what type of rock you will use. You may have a big rock pile that you’ve made while plowing your fields.

If you don’t have a lot of rock on your property a trip to the nearest quarry or landscaping store is in order. This will help you get some firm ideas about what you want.

Lay Out Your Footprint

The first step is to lay out where you will put the wall. Make sure the wall doesn’t cross over any water or septic lines. Use a length of rope to mark out the footprint, paying special attention to angles or curves. These areas will take a little more building finesse.

Dig the Trench

Your next step is to dig a trench. The trench is an important element that gives your wall a solid foundation so it doesn’t shift or tumble as easily. Water under the soil in the form of a frost heave is extremely powerful, and a good foundation will help your wall avoid the problems that come with frost heave.

Tamp Down the Gravel

Now it’s time to tamp down the gravel. You can use a hand or power tamper. Compress the material until it’s firm and compacted. Make sure your gravel is level because this is the base of your wall.

Add the Stone

You’re now ready to start adding the stones. Place them so that they’re touching. Make sure stones are level, adding gravel if needed. Build one full course (row) of stones at a time.

Use a torpedo level or string to check the sides and front to back. If you are using field stones, pick out the largest stones for the course. Then go back in and fill it with smaller stones.

Add Drainage

Figuring out drainage is an important step if you want to learn how to build a stone wall. after you have placed the first course of the stones, add a drainage pipe that is wider than the wall. The excess should stick out so the pipe can drain out into the yard.

Lay down the drainage pipe along the back of the wall with the drainage holes facing down towards the soil. Cover the pipe with gravel. To help keep the pipe clean, lay down a length of textile fabric to keep out the soil.

The stone game

A wall made of stone and built properly in a dry manner will stand for many years. Even if some of the stones fall out, they can be easily restored. The quality of laying stone walls in a dry manner depends on the ability to find really proper stones. Any wall must be based on a solid and sustainable base. Its base should be a layer of very large and heavy stones.

A stone wall is indeed built of two separate walls – the largest stones are laid in the foundation to a height of about 2 feet above the ground. The space between the walls is necessary to fill backfilling consisting of small stones – it is a core part of any stone wall, its ‘heart, and soul’. Then you should put a row of long stones. Each of them must pass from one wall surface to another, binding the walls together. Then you have to put the second row of facade stones (with filling between them) and the second row of through stones.

Over the last row of facade stones, it is necessary to lay the covering row, its stones should uphold the surface of the wall for about 2 inches – this will provide a link between vertex rows. The covering layer will not let rain get inside the walls and will serve as a solid basis for the vertical stones of your wall ridge. Laying means that the construction of the wall is completed.

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