Learning how to build a stone retaining wall is simple. Before building a stone retaining wall, check your city’s zoning laws.
How to build a stone retaining wall begins by choosing the location and dimensions. Purchase and organize Oklahoma stones by size. Mark a straight wall face with a string tied to rebar or stakes. Mark a curved wall face with rope. This also marks the front of the trench.
Preparing the Base
Making the base is the next step of how to build a dry stack stone wall. Dig a one-foot deep trench leading from the wall face to the slope; the trench width should be at least half of the wall height. If grass will be planted over the wall, place landscaping fabric across the trench and onto the ground. Pour five inches of gravel, level and tamp the area, and add one inch of sand.
Lay cornerstones and set the largest flat stones in the trench. Remove or add sand until the stones are level and secure. Stagger the next course so one Oklahoma stone bridges over the two beneath it. The front of this course should lay half an inch behind the front of the first. Backfilling is essential when building a stone retaining wall. Pour, level, and tamp gravel into the space behind the courses. Dry stacked retaining walls need backfilling for stability.
Continue staggering stones, similar to the process of how to build a dry stack stone wall. Each new course begins a half-inch further back. In the third course, install long deadman stones every four feet; these will reach into the slope for stability. Backfill between courses. Continue until you are one course away from the goal height.
Completing the Wall
The final step of how to build a natural stone retaining wall is to lay large capstones and backfill them with small stones or gravel. If you will grow grass, fold the landscaping fabric over the gravel before laying capstones. Trim the fabric and backfill with soil.
The process of how to build a stone retaining wall can be long; however, the process is worth it because dry stacked retaining walls create a useful and interesting feature for your home.