HOW TO BUILD A DRY STONE WALL – Dry stone walls are perfect for the rustic garden look. Please remember to take extra care in this project as these stones are not held in place by any adhesives and there is a chance, if not done properly that the wall could collapse. The following guide gives practical advice for anyone looking to build a dry stone wall.
I would strongly urge you to watch the video above. It provides some incredible information and history on Dry Stone Walling and the skill it takes to create such a structure. This is a highly informative and interesting video.
Check with your local planning office for building regulations. You may need planning permission to build a wall. It’s a good idea to chat with your neighbors as well to ensure they do not object to what you want to build. Many people have reservations about dry stone walls due to the fact they are not held together with mortar and therefore there is a fear of them collapsing.
Work out how much stone you will need to complete the project. Do this by multiplying the Height by the Width, by the Length, then divide this by 15 to get the number of tonnes needed. Have a chat with your local Quarry as they will really be able to help you buy the stones you need to complete the job.
Work out the amount of aggregate you will need. If you ask the stone supplier they will tell you according the number of tonnes you have asked for.
Mark out the trench you will need to dig out to create the base of your wall.
Dig out your trench 4 inches deep for every 1.5 meters of height in your wall. So if you are building a wall 3 meters high the trench needs to be 8 inches deep.
Fill the bottom of the trench with 1/2 the depth of the trench you have dug out.
Compact, but only with a handheld tamper, the aggregate. You need a stable base as well as drainage, so don’t compact the aggregate where it can’t drain.
Select some large flat stones that you can use for each end of the wall. Place these with the flat sides onto the aggregate.
Now select more stones to form the base of the wall. You need to build TWO parallel lines of stones from one end of the wall to the other, ensuring that the flattest part of the stone lay on the aggregate.
Make sure that each base stone you lay is tight against the other.
Now select TIE stones. These stones should be the same width of the trench and be laid every few feet apart.
Now fill the base stone gaps with aggregate.
It’s time now to start laying the stones to build up your wall. You should work from both ends of the wall so that you meet in the middle. The principle of building a strong and stable dry stone wall is to take your time to find stones that match and fit with the others as well as possible.
You are much better off sorting your stones into piles, such as tie rocks.