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Building Methods for Stone Walls

Updated:2013-08-06 15:42:24
Stone walls have been a part of building and landscaping for many thousands of years. Stone walls are used for buildings, barriers and border markings. There are three distinct methods for building stone walls; although two of these methods, slipform and mortar, are relatively new compared with the age of the stacked stone method.

The stacked stone method is the oldest form of stone wall building. It is also the simplest method of building stone walls. Stones are hand-stacked without using any frame, structure or mortar to hold them together. The weight and shapes of the selected stones hold the wall in place. Stones are selected for their flat sides for stability. Smaller stones are used to fill in cracks and holes for further stabilization and to fill in holes where air may flow through. Builders often look for sandstones from the local area or the site where the wall is being constructed. This method is commonly found in old English and Irish houses, stone hedges on farms, and landscaping.

Slipform walls are stone walls built within a removable form that is 2 feet tall or higher. The stones are set inside with the best sides facing the outside of the form, and eventually the exterior of the wall. These walls are hollow when started, then filled with rebar and concrete. After the concrete center dries, the forms are removed to reveal a free-standing stone wall. The form can then be raised to build another limestone wall segment on top of the first one; in this manner slipform walls can be built as high as needed. This modern method of stone-wall building is used by many people who lack the experience for masonry but want the advantages of stone walls.

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