While the idea of a wall made of stone might bring to mind images of ancient castles or other medieval structures, there’s no reason why you can’t build something similar in your own backyard. Stone walls are beautiful, easy to build, and quite versatile: they can be used as garden barriers or walkway structures, but also as decorative elements that add character to your lawn or yard. In addition, stone walls are ideal for separating different areas in your yard (say, a play area from the rest of your lawn), which means that even if you don’t have a large property to begin with, stone walls still have plenty of practical uses. But before we go any further: what exactly is a stone wall? A simple definition would be “a structure built from stones,” but like many things in life it’s more complicated than that. For example: do you need mortar between each layer of stones? Is there more than one way to build a stone wall? Well we’re here to answer all these questions and more! So let’s get started.
Prepare the site for the wall.
As you prepare the site for the wall, mark an outline with a string line and dig a trench for your footing. Measure across from one end of your site to the other, then divide that distance by 4 feet (or however high you want your stone wall to be). This will give you an idea of how much concrete mix you’ll need for each bag of cement.
- Fill the first three-quarters of each 3-foot section with concrete mix, then smooth and level it using a 2-by-4 inch board. Put down another layer of gravel or crushed rock over this bottom layer before filling in the remaining portion with more concrete mix.
Mark the outline with a string line and dig a trench for your footing.
- Mark the outline with a string line
- Dig a trench for your footing
- Trench should be about 6 inches deep, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches long
Fill the trench with concrete mix, then smooth and level it using a 2-by-4 inch board.
Spread the mortar on the wall in a layer that’s about half an inch thick, using either a trowel or hand tamper. Then use a 2-by-4 inch board to level it out, making sure to be as precise as possible and keep your wall straight.
After applying two layers of mortar, let them dry completely before laying down more stones in order to avoid having them slide around when you’re working with them later on.
Pour 4 inches of crushed stone into the trench and pack it down with a hand tamper.
Pour 4 inches of crushed stone into the trench and pack it down with a hand tamper. Crushed stone is a type of gravel that can be used as a base for a stone wall. It’s also used to level the footing before the wall is built, so you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any bumps or dips in your footing when you’re done filling it with crushed stone. If you don’t have access to crushed stone from home improvement stores, try using mortar instead! Mortar has many uses around the house and garden – not just in building walls
Cut your first layer of stones to size using an angle grinder.
Cut your first layer of stones to size using an angle grinder. You’ll need to cut the top and bottom pieces to size, as well as any pieces that will be placed on the corners. This can be done by placing a masonry blade on your angle grinder and cutting at an angle along a line marking the stone’s length and width.
The edge of each stone should sit flush with its neighbor so no gaps are visible from any angle. If you’re making a square or rectangular wall, consider using only one type of stone for simplicity’s sake (and for less work).
Spread mortar over the bottom layer of stones using a trowel, then lay the next layer on top of that, again spreading mortar between the joints.
- Use a trowel to spread mortar over the bottom layer of stones, then lay the next layer on top of that, again spreading mortar between the joints.
- Mortar is the glue that holds your stone walls together and will hold up better than concrete or cement.
Continue through all 3 layers of stones, continuing to spread mortar in between each layer as you go up.
- Continue through all 3 layers of stones, continuing to spread mortar in between each layer as you go up.
- It’s important not to skip this step! Don’t forget that the mortar needs to be put between each stone and its neighbor, as well as between each joint where two stones meet.
Mortar is what holds a stone wall together, so be sure to use it generously when building your own.
Although mortar isn’t the most colorful part of building a stone wall, it’s one of the most integral. Mortar is what holds the stones together, so be sure to use it generously when building your own.
Mortar is a mixture of sand, cement and water that’s used as an adhesive. You could mix it in a wheelbarrow or bucket (the latter would be preferable if you have room for both), but don’t wait too long before applying it to your wall—it’ll dry out too quickly if you do
While this might seem like a daunting project, it is manageable for the DIY-er with some time to spare. The most important thing to remember is that you have to build from the bottom up using mortar as your glue. If done correctly, it can help hold together any sized project and make an otherwise simple wall look incredible.