Natural stone retaining walls

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Natural stone retaining walls must be powerful enough to hold back the force of a big weight of soil, yet it must be porous enough to permit for drainage. The most famous types of walls are built of stone. In using stone to build a retaining wall, there are 2 types of construction: the mortar type, which uses cement as a bonding agent, and the dry-wall, which uses earth as a filter between the stones.

How to build natural stone retaining wall

First, the base of any natural stone retaining wall must be sunk below the frost line. This is approximately 6-12 inches in the northern half of the USA but may be more in some places. For a flat wall, the width of the base should equal ¼ of the height of the stone wall. The wall can taper to a width of approximately ¼ of the width of the base.

For buttressed walls, the base should be about ¼ as wide as the wall is to be top. This favors to the widest point, when buttressing is to be used. In the narrower places, the base may have slimmer ratios.

Drainage pipes should be imbedded in the wall at intervals of approximately twenty four inches, and approximately six inches from lower ground level of the natural stone retaining wall. In some walls, it is easy to get rid of these drains, if the wall itself is porous enough, but any construction using mortar as a linking agent, makes drainage pipes very important.

In dry-wall construction it is easy to begin the wall at ground level, and no sink it below the frost line. The most affordable way to construct dry wall is to select domestic stone, picking smaller stones for the chinks and big stones for the main ones. The biggest stones should be used form the base wall with the smaller ones leading to the peak.

Stones location

Stones should be located in a best bond, which easily means that the edges of stones on one course should overlap areas in the lower courses. Where a stone on a higher course is crooked or does not fit amazingly, earth and little stones should be packed in to better the bond and no vertical crevices should be left.

The stone wall itself should slop back against the soil that it is retaining. This provides it powerful strength. As a rule of thumb, the base width should be 1/3 of the height. Although this degree of slope is not very important, it is the practice in many places to slope the wall as much as 5 or 6 inches for each vertical foot. Soil should be tightly packed into all pockets in the wall and should be continued back into the world being retained.


Both the attractiveness and strength of dry stones wall may be improved by using it as a wall garden. It may need an aged and mossy appearance simply be green-planting in the crevices. Most shade can be obtained, anyway, by planting any of the several flowering plants, where powerful roots will serve the included function of holding wall together. If you have no idea how to build natural stone retaining wall, you can contact landscaping contractor long island for assistance.

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