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Build a Stone Wall with Real Stones

Updated:2013-10-21 16:08:56
Stone walls make elegant, long-lasting property borders, garden fences and privacy screens. If you build a stone wall properly and with care, the wall is low maintenance and can last for decades. You don't need extensive landscape experience to construct a stone wall, but you do need to be willing to do manual labor and pay close attention to detail when placing each stone. Real stones are heavy, so use a wheelbarrow to transport them.
Instructions as follows:
Firstly, draw the planned shape and length of the wall on the site using landscape paint. Mark the corners of the wall with wooden posts that are the same height the wall will be. Connect the posts by tying a string around the top of each. The width of the foundation should be half the height of the wall to ensure its stability.
Secondly, shovel out the soil for a trench that is as deep as the base stones, plus 6 inches. Use a flat shovel or square-tipped spade to make the surface even.
Thirdly, dump a 5-inch layer of crushed rock over the trench, and smooth it with the back of the shovel. Tamp the surface of the rocks with a hand tamper to prevent them from shifting. Spread 1 inch of crushed limestone over the rocks to shore up the surface and prevent weeds.
Fourthly, place the largest, flattest stones into the trench to lay the first course. For stability, the first course is almost completely submerged in the ground. Set a level on top of the stones, and adjust them until they are level.
Fifthly, set the second course of stones over the first, staggering the joints so the top stone overlaps two stones beneath. Use large and mid-size stones for the course, and wedge smaller stones in any large gaps.
Sixthly, fill in the gaps in the trench with crushed rock for extra support and to prevent weeds from encroaching. Tamp the gravel around the base of the stone wall.
Seventhly, continue laying courses until the wall is complete, using the level and adjusting stones until they are even with each other.
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