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How to build a stone retaining wall very easy

Good morning my dear friends, today I want to share with you the easy steps?! So, I decided to write about this topic, because it’s coming summer and if you love to work in your garden. This is what you need to try, it’s so relaxing your mind and your soul, believe me. My title is: How to build a stone retaining wall very easily. So, this would be a very interesting blog post, let’s start.

What do you need to know before building a stone retaining wall?

Retaining walls are used to create a transition from one level of the ground to another. By cutting into a slope and allowing for level ground both above and below the wall. The easiest way to build a stone retaining wall is to use the dry-stack method that requires no mortar between stones and does not need a concrete footing as mortared walls do. Building a dry layer, and stacking stone on stone protects the home from the passage of water. But also from other negative influences.
How to build a stone retaining

Before you decide to build a retaining wall, it is very important to check all the legal norms. Of course, you have to ask for a city permit, i.e. a land permit. Because it is very important before the construction itself. Of course, when you get a permit (valid for certain countries) you can prepare the material, more below.

How to build a stone retaining
Illustration from

What do you need for material to do this incredible retaining wall?

  • Wood stakes;
  • Hammer;
  • Line level-most needed in all this, if you don’t have it you can use twine/rope. Or on mobile phones, you have iOS devices pre-installed in the phone itself;
  • Shovel;
  • Utility knife;
  • Rake;
  • Gloves – thicker pieces (you will need);
  • Field stone or cut stone;
  • Protective mat-nylon;
  • Compactible gravel;
  • Coarse sand;
  • Drainage gravel;
  • Masonry adhesive (optional).

What do we need to do as the first step?

#1 Organize the wall stones roughly by size and shape, making different piles as needed. Prepare to place the longest and straightest stones on the base. And you start stacking stone on stone and put those uneven stones that can be shaped on top. Also, there are other ways to make a retaining wall. With the help of a thicker wire, you can also place small stones and get a wonderful look like in the picture below.

#2 Use wood stakes and a mason’s line to mark the location of the front face of the base of the wall. For example, if the wall is 30 inches tall, the trench should be at least 15 inches wide. Place a line level on the string, then pull the string taut from one end, and level the line before tying it off to the stake.

#3 Excavate the area, starting from the string and moving back toward the slope. It is important to measure exactly the part you want to dig and place the retaining wall. Because if you don’t plan at the beginning, know that it will be very difficult to finish. Dig into the slope as needed to create a space 6 to 12 inches wide between the back of the wall and the slope, for a drainage rock. Measure down from the plane to make sure the excavation is in the plane.

What do you need to do next…

#4 Build the Wall Base– Fill the trench with 5 inches of compactible gravel. Add a 1-inch layer of coarse sand over the gravel. Smooth the sand with a short 2×4 board so it is flat. After the embankment of stones, in the preparation of trenches, you can combine the transitions for a better look with wooden slats. It is up to you if you have determined that the retaining wall should be up to 3 meters. If you do opt for a lower meter, then it is best to stack stone on stone.

#5 Lay the first course- Add or remove sand beneath each stone, as needed, so the tops of the stones are flush with one another. Use a 4-foot carpenter’s level set across multiple stones to make sure the stones are level as you work. And for the second course, you need to add strength to the wall. Also, set the front faces of the stones about 1/2 inch back (toward the slope) from the front of the first course. This creates a slight stair-step pattern, called batter, that helps the wall resist forces imposed by the slope.

More things about building a stone retaining wall?

#6 Complete the Top of the WallYou can do this before the last one or two standard courses or before the capstones (the top-most course), depending on how much soil you’d like at the top of the wall (for growing grass). Lay the final course of stones and/or the capstones to complete the top of the wall.

After combining everything, step by step insert to suit you. Insert some flowers, arrange around to make it look beautiful and attractive. You know right away remember when you make this retaining wall to make a little paradise just for yourself.

How to build a stone retaining
How to build a stone retaining

You can build a stone wall with natural fieldstone that you have on your property, provided the stones are flat enough for stacking. If you have to buy stone, choose a flat stone, such as flagstone, or a cut stone-like ashlar. Flat or cut stones are much easier to work with than fieldstone and will make a sturdier wall.

If you love reading articles like this one, check out my other texts here. Don’t forget to e-mail me if you have some interesting ideas to You may also find me on Instagram @mr.leohodzic.

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