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How To Build A Stone Wall Is More Complicated Than You Think

how to build a stone wallStone walls add a bit of rustic character to the landscape. Its timeless beauty may be just what you want for your backyard. Moreover, you’ll find plenty of advice on how to build a stone wall on the internet. However, there are many reasons why you should leave wall building to the professionals.

Landscape Solutions & Design has been helping landowners improve their properties since 2005. From hardscapes to softscapes and everything in between, we can beautify your yard.

Typical Instructions On How To Build A Stone Wall

Usually, DIY and home improvement blogs simplify the process into a few seemingly easy steps:

  1. Excavate the area
  2. Create the base
  3. Lay your stones
  4. Backfill

However, building a retaining wall is a very labor-intensive job. Moreover, depending on the size of your landscaping project, it can take you months to complete it. Additionally, most towns require approval from an engineer for retaining walls taller than 3 feet. Finally, beginners can make many mistakes in building a hardscape structure.

For example, the depth of your base and frost line directly impacts the longevity of your structure. Even North Carolina with its mild winters has temperatures that dip below freezing. When the temperature falls to freezing, water in the ground also freezes. As it does so, it expands and causes the ground to heave. If your wall’s base is above this frost line, the heaving ground can shift and weaken your structure. This can put family, pets and friends in imminent danger.

Consider Hiring A Professional Landscaper

In addition to worrying about the frost line, you also need to consider soil conditions. Not all soils can bear a heavy structure like a wall. Building on poor load-bearing soils can result in the shifting, sinking, or total collapse of your structure.

Plus, you can’t build your wall directly on soil. Thus, you’ll need a strong base to support your structure. Usually, a wall taller than 3 feet will require a sturdy concrete base. While a shorter stone wall will need compacted gravel.

Another consideration is water flow. Generally, walls are part of a water flow management solution. However, the placement of your wall can create more problems if you don’t divert water in the right direction. For example, water flowing toward your foundation can cause structural damage. Moreover, diverting water to your neighbor’s land may give you legal trouble.

However, hiring a professional will save you all these headaches. An experienced landscaper will install your hardscape correctly and according to your town’s laws.

Stone May Not Be Your Best Option

While natural stone is a good building material for your retaining wall, it may not be the best option. Certain materials may be more aesthetically pleasing, durable, or cheaper. Other popular retaining wall choices include:

  • Wood
  • Poured Concrete
  • Brick
  • Concrete Pave Blocks
  • Gabion

Additionally, particular designs may require stronger materials than natural stone. For example, you may want a tiered design with terraces or a wall taller than 4 feet. Or you may want to incorporate another landscaping feature like a water feature. A professional landscaper can help you choose the best material for your needs and yard.

How To Build A Stone Wall – FAQs

We’d love to answer your questions about our process of how to build a stone wall during your free consultation. You can call us at 336-442-0180 to book your appointment. For now, we have answered a few commonly asked questions:

Is Mortar Necessary When Building A Stone Wall?

No. In fact, many of the 19th-century dry stone walls built by New Englanders still stand. However, building such a wall is a skill demanding knowledge of engineering principles.

For example, you need to select stones with as much surface contact as possible to maximize friction. The force of friction resists the motion of stones sliding apart. Furthermore, you also need to offset the center of gravity by slightly leaning the wall back into the hillside.

Which Is The Best Kind Of Natural Stone?

Different types of natural stone offer various colors, textures, and compositions. Some popular choices include:

  • Granite
  • Limestone
  • Flagstone
  • Brownstone
  • Field Stone
  • Sandstone

Of course, the aesthetics of the stone is important for your landscaping design theme. However, weather conditions can affect the life and appearance of stones. The professionals at Landscape Solutions can help you pick the right material for your project.

What Will A Stone Wall Cost?

Several factors affect the price of any landscaping project including size, materials, and design. That’s why we offer a free no-obligation consultation. After meeting with you, we’ll give you a detailed estimate covering everything needed to install your new hardscape.

Is There Any Required Maintenance For A Stone Wall?

Although stone is naturally low-maintenance, you may need to clean your wall routinely depending on your weather conditions. For instance, excess humidity can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, moss, or algae.

When cleaning your wall, you’ll want to avoid harsh cleaning detergents. Some chemicals in these products can cause discoloration and damage natural stones.

Can You Design And Build Other Hardscapes?

Absolutely! Landscape Solutions & Design Inc. can design and install many types of hardscapes for both commercial and residential properties:

Plus, our professional team can tackle any other landscaping problem including lawn care, tree removal, irrigation, and landscape lighting. We have landscaping certifications, 45 years of combined experience, and great customer reviews.

Call us today at 336-442-0160 to schedule your free no-obligation consultation. Or, contact us online!