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Does anyone have any information to share about building a natural stone wall? the stone are from my property? Answered

Natural stone wall - anyone willing to share any information on building one?  I have the stone on my property - I want to build it behind my kitchen which is a renovated summer house that is half under the ground. I'm making a walk way behind it and need to put a wall to help keep the ground back.




Best Answer 7 years ago

Build it as a triangle-the pressure on the top (think avalanche or land-slide) has to be countered by the width of the base (about as wide as tall). Frost heave can be a problem, so can disturbed earth as a foundation-it will settle to much under the weight and collapse part of the wall.

Drainage along the inside back of the wall (drain tile or COVERED gravel) will help keep water from softening the foundation when flows threw.

This sounds like a good solution to my question. Will you tell me what you mean about COVERED gravel, are you talking about sediment fabric or something else?

Yes, something to keep sand and clay from clogging the drain action of the gravel.

I built 90 feet of wall about 4-5 feet high, no mortar.There are a lot of factors involved. Available tools, Natural skills, stone type and shape, height, slopeback, aesthetics (style), ability to pass water, time, etc, etc. More details please. Mine is in general fitted stone...not by any means Incan quality, (me taught me self) but each stone chiselled to fit it's space.

Brilliant work. This is known as a drystone wall and have been used for centuries in many countries. I come from Lancashire England and there are many of these walls that are still strong after 100's of years. I'm sure if you google you will find it. Good luck.

Except drystone specifically doesn't modify the rocks AFAIK. I have a friend in Richmond N. Yorks, who does it for a living.


BTW the stones are, in general, about 1 to 1-2 feet deep., base stones are about 2 feet deep. The facade height and width might deceive....Agricultural fabric is a very good thing to install before you start laying stone, as it prevents intrusion of slippery clay (the rocks WILL move with time) and other foreign debri that allows things to grow in your wall. Not cutesy, as some short sighted people might want, but functionally superior, since it means the wall will last longer.

I like your idea concerning the fabric -- agree with the debri theory too. thank you

Beautiful, just beautiful~~~unfortunately not the type of stone I have. Thank you for your input

It depends on the shape of your rocks, if they are fairly rounded, take a look at "slip-forming", if they are flattish, take a look for "dry stone walling " techniques

I looked at slip-forming and dry walling techniques, I like the dry stone walling --thank you for your suggestion

The rocks are sort of rounded, not smooth though and different sizes, please tell me what is "slip-forming"? nancy

For a retaining wall, you also need to think about the fact that there's likely to be some ground water, as well as earth, held behind the wall. I'd recommend looking for expert advice on this one. One possible source: http://search.thisoldhouse.com/search.html?Ntt=retaining+wall&bu=&x=0&y=0

I'll suggest you make the retaining-wall from reinforced-concrete, and face it with dry-stone. (unless there's not much earth to retain)


If you want it to be a retaining wall then you need to make it with the stones cemented together HOWEVER to keep the look of a dry stone wall you can put the cement towards the back of the stone slabs thus giving the strength of a cemented wall with the appearance of a traditional dry stone wall.

It may well be better to back the stones with some modern building blocks then build over them with stone to hid them.