Basic Stone Building: How to Make a Dry Stone Wall

Stone building is an art that has been used for so many years. Stone structures have proven to be very sturdy, lasting the test of time, and many homes today still build them. Although building one requires the expertise and skills of a professional, any homeowner can educate themselves on the basic techniques needed to create a stone wall that is strong and good looking. Read on and learn the 5 basic techniques of building a dry stone wall.

  1. Cross the joints. Every stone has to cross a joint, meaning it is set with two stones under it. Never stack the stones in a way that there are vertical joints from one course to the next, or you will be left with a weak wall.
  2. Set the stone length to the wall. Make sure that the end of every stone is visible in the final wall so that each stone’s length is perpendicular to the wall’s direction. Think of the way firewood is stacked, with every piece perpendicular to the stack’s direction so all its ends are visible in one side. This is a very common mistake and is a top reason why stone walls collapse.
  3. Tighten the wall. To ensure that the wall is as solid as possible, fill the gaps inside the wall with smaller stones. Do not use soil or concrete, or anything that is easily shoveled. Pick smaller stones that are angular or flat, and not rounded as they can act like ball bearings. Place these stones one by one, and not dumped all together.
  4. Build with the wall plane. Align the stones in a way that there is an even place facing the wall. Use string lines to ensure that the wall is place to the wall, with the outer bump of every stone in line. This will give the wall a smooth and even look.
  5. Level the stones. Build a wall with level stones and courses. There are special cases where this rule can be disregarded, but typical walls should follow this technique, particularly when building on sloping ground.

Dry stone walling can pose a challenge to property owners with its seemingly complex methods; but by following the techniques above, you just might be able to create one. But if you are still not confident with your skills, perhaps you are better of hiring the services of a professional. Call a reputable one in your area now and give your property the ample protection that it needs.