River Rock Wall Construction

River rock walls are a popular choice for homeowners looking to add some natural beauty to their landscaping. They’re easy to install and they don’t take up much space, so they’re perfect for those who want to create a garden but don’t have a lot of room.

If you’ve decided that river rock walls are right for your home, here’s how to get started:

1) Start by measuring out the area where you want your wall. Make sure that it’s at least two feet deep and at least three feet wide; this will ensure that your wall will be strong enough to withstand the weight of the rocks you’ll be placing on top of it.

2) Next, rent or buy a power tiller this will allow you to get down into the ground so that you can create holes for inserting your rocks into the ground.

3) When selecting rocks for this project, make sure that they’re flat and have no sharp edges; these can cause injury if someone steps on them or falls against them while walking through your yard. You’ll also want them to be relatively lightweight so as not to put too much stress on your foundation when placed atop it (the heavier ones could crack your foundation).

River rock walls are an excellent way to add character and style to your outdoor space. The process of building a river rock wall is fairly simple and straightforward, but there are some important things to consider before you begin.

What You’ll Need:

1. A shovel

2. A rake

3. A pickaxe or pry bar (depending on your wall’s composition)

4. Sandbags (if you need to level out the ground)

You can build a beautiful stone wall using river rocks. River rock walls are a great addition to any property, especially if you have a garden. If you have ever seen pictures of river rock walls, then you know how beautiful they can be. The steps below will give you an idea on how to build your very own rock wall.

What is River Rock Wall Construction

River rock wall construction is the process of building a wall from river rocks. River rock walls are popular for their sturdy appearance, easy construction, and durability. They’re also called dry stack or dry stone walls.

River rock wall construction is similar to dry stone wall construction because both use loose materials like rocks and boulders without mortar to build a solid structure. The main difference between river rock and dry stone walls are that river rocks are usually larger than the stones used in dry stonework projects. In addition, rivers provide natural borders for many areas where rivers meet lakes, seas or oceans so it’s easier for people living near these bodies of water to find free river rocks than it would be if they lived inland away from an access point like this one located at Lake Samish near Bellingham WA USA as shown above where I took this photo while visiting friends up there during summer vacation earlier this year 2016 while traveling around Europe by train back then

Why do i need River Rock Wall Construction

River rock walls are often used for retaining walls and garden borders. River rock is very easy to work with, and it can be purchased in bulk at a fraction of the cost. River Rock has a natural look that will add beauty to any project.

We have over 20 years of experience building these types of walls, which are great for homeowners who want something that doesn’t cost much or professionals looking to build an impressive border or retaining wall

Steps in River Rock Wall Construction

  • Install the drainage pipes
  • Build the retaining wall base
  • Pour a hardscape footing for the rock wall
  • Design your wall, and have it drawn by a pro


Whether you have a small patio or a large backyard, there are many different rock wall structures that will fit your needs. To begin planning your rock wall construction project, take note of the following design considerations:

  • Size and shape of the area to be covered by your rock wall.
  • Your budget, which may dictate the materials used in construction and maintenance.
  • The level of difficulty involved in building the structure. Do you want something that requires little maintenance or do you want it to be more complicated with interesting features?

Pour a Hardscape Footing for the Rock Wall

After you have the rock wall in place, it’s time to pour a concrete footing that will serve as the base for the wall. The size and depth of this footing will depend on many factors:

  • The size/shape of your landscaping area.
  • The amount of weight your rock wall will need to bear (i.e., how much weight it needs to support).
  • How large or small you want your landscaping area looking overall.

Install the Drainage Pipes

  • The next step is to install the drainage pipes. You will want to use PVC pipe for this job, as it’s easy to work with, and you can use a pipe cutter to cut it into pieces.
  • Use a level to make sure that your pipes are level with one another.
  • Once you have them level, place them in their proper positions where they will be covered by rock later on.
  • Begin digging a trench for the piping about two feet away from the wall; this will allow water from aboveground areas like rain gutters or downspouts to flow freely through your drain pipes without getting stuck behind rocks in your wall.

Build the Retaining Wall Base

In order to build the base of your retaining wall, you will need to level the ground and add a drainage layer.

Drainage Layer

You’ll want to use a material with high-permeability. This means the water will flow through it more easily. The best option is crushed gravel because it is easy to install and inexpensive. You can also use sand if you don’t have access to crushed gravel, but make sure it’s dry. If it’s not dry then you’ll need to let it sit for at least a week before using it as part of your drainage layer.

Reinforcement Layer

It’s important that this layer has high tensile strength so that there won’t be any movement when people walk on top of your retaining wall in case they lose balance while walking along side their house or driveway etc… You can use steel mesh which is extremely strong but expensive or wire mesh which isn’t quite as strong but much cheaper than steel mesh (about $10 USD per roll). Another option would be rebar if available locally where you live since this material has good tensile strength too.

Benefits of River Rock Wall Construction

River rock walls are a great way to add a natural look to your garden. River rock walls are not only beautiful and elegant, but they also provide many benefits for you and your family. The following are some of the pros of river rock wall construction:

  • In addition to adding beauty, river rock walls can keep out unwanted pests such as mice, rabbits and snakes. When building a rock wall around your garden or flower beds, it will create an effective barrier that keeps these critters away from the plants and flowers you grow in your yard.
  • River rocks are durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic from children playing on them, which allows you to take advantage of all the recreational activities available in your backyard without worrying about damaging any part of your home’s exterior surface (such as brickwork). This feature makes them ideal for use near decks or patios where there is likely going be some kind activity happening outside throughout most days during springtime through fall months each year; but since they’re easy-care surfaces which require little maintenance aside from occasional cleaning with mild soap solution then rinsing off afterwards (again using just water), even if something gets spilled onto one’s surface such as soda drink splashes found after outdoor barbecues.

Materials needed for River Rock Wall Construction

Materials needed for River Rock Wall Construction:

  • River rocks. For the most part, you should be able to just collect your own river rocks from a river or stream near you. However, if you’re building your wall on private property, it may be harder to get permission to take them from an area where they are considered “private property” or “land.” In that case, contact the owner of the land and ask them nicely if they would be willing to let you use some of their river rock. Most owners have no problem with this request as long as it is made in a respectful manner and they know what will happen with those stones once they are removed from their land. If all else fails, there are many places online where one can purchase pre-picked river rock at reasonable prices (just search “river rock” on Google).

Tools for River Rock Wall Construction

  • Hammer
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Trowel (or large spoon)
  • Level, or a tool that can be used as one (e.g., a string level)
  • Screwdriver (to install metal edging or decorative caps on top of the wall)
  • Steel tape measure, or something that can be used as one (e.g., an app on your phone)
  • Safety goggles and gloves are always a good idea when working with rocks and concrete

Cost of River Rock Wall Construction

Before you start any rock wall construction project, it’s important to understand how much you should expect to spend. Of course, this depends on many factors including the size of your wall and the type of rocks used. But we can give you a general idea by using our own experience as an example.

We built three different walls with 3 different sizes and colors of rocks. The first one was small (6 feet high) with black lava rocks that cost $350 per ton delivered. The second one was medium (8 feet high) with pink granite boulders that cost $500 per ton delivered ($1,000 total). And the last one was large (10 feet high) with grey granite cobbles that cost $750 per ton delivered ($2,000 total). So far we’ve spent about $4,250 for all three walls combined but we don’t include labor costs in these expenses because it varies from person to person depending on their skill level and experience working with tools like hammers or shovels.

Maintenance tips of River Rock Wall Construction

  • Keep the wall clean and clear of debris.
  • Water the wall regularly.
  • Mulch around the wall to reduce weeds

Building a river rock wall has many advantages. It is strong, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing. River rock walls can be used to construct retaining walls and to create borders around gardens or property lines.

River rock walls have many advantages. They are strong, inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing. River rock walls can be used to construct retaining walls and to create borders around gardens or property lines.


River rock walls are an inexpensive, yet aesthetically pleasing way to enhance your home or property. They are strong and durable, and can be built with minimal labor. Best of all? They can be built in any climate.

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