Building a Stone

Building a stone wall can add a beautiful and natural look to any outdoor space. To start building, it’s important to gather the best-looking stones you can find. Begin by laying a strong foundation and then stack the stones, making sure to interlock them for stability. Using the same techniques as you would with bricklaying, take the time to fit each stone into place, making sure they are level.

It’s important to have a good eye for balance and structure when stone work building. Once completed, you’ll have a stunning and timeless addition to your property that will surely impress any visitors.

Read on for a break down of the whole procedure in easy to follow steps.

Planning Out Building a Stone Wall

When planning out your wall, it’s important to visualise how it will fit into the overall landscape of your property. Consider the size, shape, and style of the stonework that will complement the surrounding features.

By carefully planning and considering these details, you can ensure that your wall not only adds beauty to your landscape but also serves its intended function for years to come.

Different Types: Stone Wall v Dry Stone Wall Building

Regular Stone Walls

Dry Stone

While both types of walls have their advantages, dry stone walls are particularly noted for their aesthetic appeal and traditional craftsmanship.

Order The Right Amount of Stone and Sand

When it comes to purchasing stone and sand for your construction project, it’s important to order the right amount to avoid wastage and extra expenses.

Consulting with a professional or supplier can provide valuable insights and recommendations on the appropriate quantity. By ordering the right amount of stone and sand, you can ensure a smoother construction process and save time and money in the long run.

Equipment and Tools Checklist

When preparing for a new project, it’s essential to have an equipment and tools checklist to ensure that all necessary items are accounted for. This checklist should include items such as:

Before starting any project, it’s crucial to:

By having a comprehensive checklist, it helps to prevent any delays or obstacles during the project and ensures that the necessary tools are on hand and ready to use.

Beginning Your Stone Wall Building Project 

1. Building the Stone Wall: Layout The Footing

Begin by marking out the area where your wall will stand. Excavate a trench about 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide, ensuring it’s level. This will serve as the footing for your wall, providing a stable base to build upon.

2. Choosing the Corner Stones

Select large, flat stones for the corners of your wall. These corner stones, or ‘quoins,’ should be especially sturdy as they will bear the most weight and provide structural integrity. Arrange them at each end of the trench.

3. Set up a Level Line

Establish a level line using string and stakes at the height you want your first layer of stones. This line will guide you to maintain an even height and ensure your wall remains level throughout the building process.

4. First Scoop of Mortar

Mix your mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the first scoop of mortar onto the footing where you will lay your corner stones. Spread it evenly, creating a bed for the stones to rest on.

5. Corners and Ends First

Start building from the corners, setting the corner stones in place first. Ensure they are level and securely bedded in the mortar. The corners will guide the rest of your construction.

6. Laying from Corner to Corner

After setting the corner stones, begin laying the stones between them. Keep the stones level and stagger the joints, like brickwork. Check for level frequently and adjust as necessary.

7. Build to a Height of 500mm

Continue laying stones until your wall reaches a height of 500mm. Ensure each stone is securely placed and level with its neighbors. This height is manageable and allows the mortar to set without risk of collapsing.

8. Rinse and Repeat with the Other Side

Once one side of your wall reaches the desired height, repeat the process on the other side. Ensure both sides are symmetrical and level with each other.

9. Use Metal Wall Ties in the Middle

For added stability, especially in taller walls, use metal wall ties. Place these in the middle of the wall at regular intervals to tie the two faces of the wall together.

10. Keep Going Until Desired Wall Height Reached

After integrating the metal wall ties, continue the process of laying stones. Maintain the staggering of the joints and ensure each layer is level. Proceed with the construction until your wall reaches your desired height. This might require several layers of stones, depending on your initial plan.

Remember to periodically step back and visually inspect the wall from a distance to ensure it’s straight and uniform. As you build higher, pay extra attention to stability and alignment.

11. Capping your Newly Built Wall

Finally, cap your finished wall with flat, wide stones or special capstones. These should overhang the sides of your wall slightly. Secure them with mortar to protect the wall from weather and to give a finished appearance.

Helpful Questions

1. What materials are needed when building a Stone wall?

To build a stone wall, you will need stones (which can be cut stone, fieldstone, or limestone), mortar or techniques for dry stone walling, rake, mallet, chisel, and mason tools.

2. What is the difference between a mortar and dry?

A mortared wall uses mortar to bind the stones together, providing stability. On the other hand, a dry stone wall is constructed without mortar, relying on the precision of stone placement for support.

3. Can stone walls be used for retaining walls?

Yes, these walls can be used as retaining walls to prevent soil erosion and create terraces. The process of building a stone retaining wall involves careful planning and proper construction techniques to ensure stability.

4. Are there different types of stone used in building walls?

There are various types of stone that can be used for building with stone, including fieldstone, limestone, and traditional stone. Each type has its own characteristics and visual appeal.

5. What is the process for building a freestanding wall?

When building a freestanding wall, start by creating a stable trench and laying the first course of stones. Ensure proper level line and width of the wall while filling the wall with rubble for stability.