Dry Stack Stone Walls
Typical freestanding stone “farmer’s walls”, used for property outlines, or to enhance the entrance to a property, will often be a drystrack stone wall. The stones are stacked on top of each other, and held together by their inherent weight and shape of each stone. These walls would be limited to four feet or less in height and can be used for light retaining purposes. This type of wall is also often used for garden accents and embedded stairs.
Mortared Stone Wall
A stone wall that is held together by concrete or mortar, also called a wet wall, is ideal for retaining walls, walls taller than four feet, or for increased durability. Although the wall uses concrete to maintain it’s structure, a “dry-look wet wall” will not show the mortar because the joints are recessed so they do not show. One way to tell a Dry Stack wall versus a Dry-Look wet wall is a Dry Stack wall has a batter, i.e. is thicker on the bottom and narrows towards the top, or leans into the retaining wall. A mortared wall almost always will have a flat straight up and down wall.
One of the most common requests is for a retaining wall. A stone retaining wall may be used to help level an area for a patio or walkway, or to allow a pool to be installed. Often retaining walls are used to create multi-tier gardens. Retaining walls can be designed using mortared stone or manufactured block wall systems.
Low retaining walls can use a drystack stone wall, as long as it is below 3 feet in height. The most cost effective way to build a tall retaining wall is to use a poured concrete with stone veneer.
If you have a retaining wall requirement, the first step is to contact us for a site evaluation, where we can recommend the best wall to meet your needs and budget.
Paver or Manufacturer Block Wall Systems
These walls use manufactured concrete blocks that are designed to fit together, while retaining a natural look. Similar to pavers used in walkways, these materials can be a wide variety of sizes, colors and shapes. Manufactured Block Wall Systems can be held together with an adhesive, pins, or a mortar. The wall is designed so the blocks fit together in a precise manner, so the installation is much quicker and more consistent than with other wall materials.
Helpful Tip: When a concrete wall has been built to accommodate a veneer, a shelf at the base of the wall provides support on the bottom; stones will not rely on their attachment to the concrete wall alone.
Often, when adding a veneer after construction, a metal bracket is attached to use in place of the shelf. Without this support, a veneer wall is susceptible to sliding over time and detaching from the concrete surface.
An attractive way to hide a poured concrete wall or foundation is with stone veneers. Veneers are created by stacking raw stone, or by attaching stone pavers on edge.
Mortar is used to hold the stones together, and to attach stones to the concrete face. (Veneers can also be used to face concrete stairs, so the sides do not show the concrete.)
The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
– Henry David Thoreau