Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

Building a stone retaining wall on a slope is not as hard as it sounds.

The first thing you’ll want to do is calculate how much soil you need to fill in the gap between the ground and your wall. To do this, measure the length of the wall you want to build and multiply that by the height of your wall.

Next, take that measurement and multiply it by two, then add another foot for good measure. That should give you an idea of how much soil you will need to fill in behind your wall.

If you don’t have enough soil on hand, consider renting or borrowing some from a friend who has enough of their own or from a local landscaper who might be willing to help out with some free materials if needed.

Once you’ve got everything ready, start digging away at one end of your future retaining wall until there’s about an inch or two left before reaching level ground again (this will be where your footings go). Then dig down another six inches below that so that there’s space for drainage pipes underneath them as well (these are optional but recommended). Next comes laying down your footings—which can be made from either wood or concrete blocks depending on what kind of material is best

A stone retaining wall is a sturdy type of wall that requires little maintenance and lasts for years. They are made of stones or bricks and are installed on slopes to help prevent soil erosion and provide support for plants. A stone retaining wall can be built directly against the ground or against another existing structure such as a house foundation or building.

What is a stone retaining wall?

A stone retaining wall is a type of masonry structure that’s used to hold back earth and other materials. Stone is one of the most common materials used for retaining walls because it’s durable, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing.

Stone walls can be used to hold back earth, water, or any other substance you want to contain with your stone wall project. There are several reasons why someone would want to build a retaining wall including:

  • Preventing soil erosion or landslides at the base of a slope
  • Controlling drainage and water runoff from sloped areas
  • Creating an attractive landscape feature in your yard (i.e., flower bed)

Why do I need a stone retaining wall

A stone retaining wall can be built in many different styles, heights, and materials. The retaining walls can also be built in different sizes.

So why do you need a stone retaining wall? One of the main reasons is that it adds value to your property by increasing its appeal to potential buyers and tenants. In addition to adding value, a stone retaining wall also creates an attractive landscape design that adds beauty to any area of your home or property.

How to install a stone retaining wall

  • Start by building a wooden frame that’s about 6 feet deep and 4 feet tall. This will help you keep your stones in place while you’re building the wall.
  • Lay the first row of stones on top of the wood frame, making sure they are level with each other and at even heights on both sides. If you have any gaps between rows or uneven heights, fill them in with mortar, being careful not to make it too thick (about 1/4 inch is best).
  • Build up your stone wall by layering each new row across from the last one until you reach your desired height, but leave room for drainage tiles at least every 8-10 inches along all sides of your retaining structure so runoff water can flow freely away from your foundation without causing damage.

Steps in Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

Building a stone retaining wall on a sloping property can be intimidating for many homeowners. However, if you follow these steps and take your time, it is possible to construct an attractive and functional retaining wall that will last for years to come.

Step 1: Lay out the wall

The first step in building a stone retaining wall is to make sure you have all of your materials together and that they are ready to go. You should also decide where you want the wall placed and mark off those areas with stakes or string lines so that you know where each course needs to be positioned before laying any stone. You may also want someone else there with experience in construction so that they can help guide you along or offer advice concerning the placement of stones as well as mortar thicknesses between courses of stone or rows at different heights on sloping surfaces (this will depend on how steeply pitched your slope).

Materials for Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

  • Stone
  • Mortar
  • Timbers
  • Sand. The sand mixture you use is up to you. Make sure it’s dry so that it doesn’t clog your hammer drill bit. This is also the time to buy more mortar if you’re low (make sure it’s labeled as “retaining wall” or “stone retaining wall”). Remember, mortar takes a while to cure. You’ll be able to use it in a few hours but not overnight like concrete would need.
  • Gravel (that can be used for drainage).

Tools for Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

The tools you’ll need for building a stone retaining wall are:

  • Hammer, trowel, and wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Chisel
  • Level, mason’s line, and paintbrush (for marking the wall)

In addition to these basic tools, you may also need a spirit level if your slope is steep.


Slabs are used to hold the wall together. They can be made of concrete or stone and should be at least 6 inches thick for concrete slabs and 8 inches for stone slabs. The weight of the wall itself will hold a slab in place, but it’s best to lay your slabs on a bed of gravel (for drainage) when building a retaining wall on a slope.


Before we start building retaining walls, we need to know how much material we will need. This can be done by calculating the number of cubic yards (y 3 ) of stone needed for the wall. The volume of a cube is equal to length multiplied by width multiplied by the height.

  • Length: Your yard will be 5 feet wide from end to end and you want your wall to be 6 feet tall, so that’s 30 feet long (5′ x 6′).
  • Width: Your wall will measure 8″ thick at its base and 10″ thick at its top, so it will have a total height (V) of 18 inches (2 x 8″).

`(V = W + H)`

So now that you know how many cubic yards are needed for your project, let’s talk about some common types of stone used in landscaping projects like this one.


Sand is used in mortar to help bind the stones together and make them stronger. When you build a stone wall, you’ll need to have sand on hand.

The sand will also be used to fill the gaps between your stones as well as fill in any gaps left from where mortar hasn’t set yet.


Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Mortar is used to hold the stones together and make them look good at the same time. It’s also very important that you mix your mortar with water so that it has a consistency that will allow it to stick to the stones when you put them in place.


Timbers are the main structural elements of a stone retaining wall. They hold the wall together and prevent it from collapsing. Timbers are placed at the base of each course, perpendicular to the slope, extending down into the ground. Timbers should be as long as or longer than your project’s height and should be at least as wide as your project’s thickness. The length of timber depends on how far up you want it to reach into the earth; for example, if you have an 8-foot tall wall, you’ll need timbers that extend all that way into the dirt so they can securely hold onto each stone above them.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your total timber length equal to twice its width multiplied by three times its thickness (for example 16x3x5=120).

Benefits of Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

Stone Retaining Walls are Durable

The most important benefit of building a stone retaining wall on a slope is its durability. A stone retaining wall can be built to prevent soil erosion and hold back water, as well as provide an aesthetically pleasing exterior for your home. Stone retaining walls are very strong, and because they are made from natural materials, they will last for decades without rusting or deteriorating like some other types of materials would over time.

Stone Retaining Walls Are Strong

Another reason why you should consider building a stone retaining wall on your property is that it’s strong enough to hold back any type of landscape material such as topsoil or grass clippings that may have otherwise washed away during heavy rainstorms or snow meltdowns. These natural stones will also help keep water out of your yard by acting as dams against runoff from heavy rains so that they don’t cause erosion damage in areas where there isn’t already soil erosion happening naturally due to wind patterns blowing dirt away from certain areas over time (for example near river beds).

Costs of Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

You’re ready to get started. Here’s what you should know:

  • Materials: The cost of the stone used for your wall depends on the type of rock and how much you need. The average price for sandstone is roughly $2-$4 per square foot, while limestone costs about $4-$6 per square foot. You can make a simple calculation that will help you determine how much material you need by multiplying your total length by width and then dividing by 36 (the number of inches in one foot). If you want to build a retaining wall that extends around entire property, we recommend using at least three different types of stone so it looks more natural and less manufactured.* Labor: Depending on where you live and whether or not there are experienced stonemasons available in your area, building materials may be significantly cheaper than if they had been brought in from another state or region.* Insurance: As with any construction project, it’s important to make sure all parties involved are covered by insurance once construction begins.* Permits: Depending on where your property is located, permits may be required before commencing any work on your retaining wall.* Benefits

Maintenance tips for Building A Stone Retaining Wall On A Slope

In addition to the proper tools and materials, there are several things you’ll need to do in order to maintain your retaining wall.

  • Check the mortar regularly. Every few months, or when you see any cracks or gaps, inspect them for debris and remove any blockages by washing them out with water from a garden hose or bucket.
  • Clean the stone regularly. Once every couple of years (or whenever you notice moss growth), use a power washer or pressure washer on high-pressure settings to clean off all of your stones down to bare rock so that they’re completely free of dirt and grime.
  • Remove weeds and grasses from the wall regularly as well as keep an area around it clear of debris so that water runoff doesn’t cause erosion around its base which could cause damage over time if left unattended.

Stone is great for retaining walls, and if you do it right, it looks good.

Stone is a great material for retaining walls, and if you do it right, it looks good. Stone retaining walls are a great way to add value to your property and create a natural look that’s perfect for any landscape.

Final words

Stone retaining walls are very popular and for good reason. They look great, they last a long time, and they can add value to your home. If you’re thinking about building one on your property, it will be worth every penny.

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