Sunday, August 15, 2010

Building Retaining Wall Without Mortar

Do you want to add beauty and value to your home or business with a stone retaining wall? Yes it is so that a experienced stone wall builder can surely build the perfect stone wall - and it will last forever. But the installation of a stone wall can be performed by the adventurous do-it-yourselfer with relative ease and great success.

First you have to determine the length of the wall (in feet) and the height of the wall (in feet). If the wall is no higher than 4 feet high, you will be able to use stones about 1 foot wide. That will make the the retaining wall about 1 foot thick . If wall goes over 4 feet high you should contact engineer.

Let's start building our retaining wall

Dig a trench about 6-inches deep and about a 12" wide along the base of the proposed location of retaining wall. Fill it with crushed stone as a base. With the dry stack retaining wall you get away without building a elaborate footing system.

Sort your stone by sizes so you can easily find the size stone you are looking for. (This make installation much faster and less frustrating searching for that perfect stone). Exp. 6" pieces, 5" pieces, 4" pieces etc. Keep the attractive stones for the top row of retaining wall.

Place the largest stone in the trench, end to end. Lay all your stones flat as they would lie naturally on the ground. Make sure stone is below trench line so it wont slide.

Now, as you begin to stack the wall, working from one end to the other, you must remember to slope it back toward the high ground or batter the wall. This is accomplished by simply standing your level on end and measuring to the face of the wall.

As you build you retaining wall try to avoid continuous horizontal and vertical joints by breaking them up with larger and smaller stones. Place stones so they fit tightly together for strength and a nice appearance. Fill in the area behind your wall with dirt and compact it as you go. (Not clay) Every now and then , turn a long stone into the hillside to act as an anchor stone. This will help the stability of the retaining wall. Finally almost finished. Remember those nice pieces we saved for the top of the retaining wall we can add them now.

Take your time. The final results will be very much worth the effort in the apperance of your property.


1). Sledge Hammer

2). Tape Measure

3). 4' Level

4). Shovel & Rake

5). String Line

6). Crushed Stone

7). Select your stone

How to calculate amount of stone

Let's say we are going to build a wall 100 foot long X 3 foot high X 1 foot thick

Here is our formula:

100' X 3' X 1' = 300 Cubit Foot (CF)

The stone weight will weigh an average of 100 pounds per cubic foot.

300cf X 100 pounds/cf = 15 tons

Make sure you buy good quality stone material, all stone is not good quality.
Good luck with your retaining wall project.

Thanks To : ECO Kettle

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