Drystack with concrete

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by aced76, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. aced76

    aced76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Looking to get some input here. I am going to be installing a drystack wall and a couple of planters. The material is going to be 1- 1 1/2" New Mexico Buff flagstone. We had built a small wall for a customer using this material and they loved the thinness of that stone. The wall obviously had many layers which made it look less bulky almost waferlike and had rough front edges.
    I had watched some very large drystack commercial projects out here a few years ago where the walls up to about four feet high were drystacked with a slope behind them. The void behind the built walls were about 1 - 1 1/2 foot wide and loose concrete was poured in behind, tamped and filled almost to the top then backfilled after drying. You could not see the concrete.
    The walls looked amazing as there was no mortar work needed between the stones in front. This produced a very clean look. The capstone was dimension cut and mortared. I am assuming this loose concrete in back glued/cemented the whole thing together.
    That said those walls still look great today. Has anyone had experience with that sort of build and have any insight?
    Our project will have an average height of 2 feet and in some places almost 3 feet. The longest run is 80 ft.
     
  2. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Yes... What is your question?
    http://www.dswa.org.uk/
    Find pdf for dry stone retaining wall and build to specifications.
     
  3. aced76

    aced76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    My basic questions were:
    Has anyone here had the experience of using slack concrete behind a drystack wall to bond the rear surface together?
    If you have experience with sort of application can you pass it on?
     
  4. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    No. If you build with the stone properly you don't need concrete. It is an incorrect technique.
     
  5. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,555

    not always... what if there is a load on the wall, like aced said there was a slope behind it. With a wall of 2 - 3 feet and no load you wont have to reinforce the wall with concrete, just make sure you back fill correct and set a good base.
     
  6. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Yes always... If these are your concerns you should hire a geo engineer to give you proper building techniques to be successful.
     
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    We mortar behind flagstone with type S--usually using thin stack. Its not really a dry stack if you are using concrete... Is this material being 'veneered' to cinder block or built to maintain its own weight? I wouldn't go over a foot tall without a cinder wall behind it on a stable base with drainage. We wet set the stones' joints with mortar, and pack wet mortar behind them as we progress in height. If you lean it back, you will still need to secure the cap stones well.
     
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    Doesn't a straight faced/plumb flagstone wall look better than a stepped back one anyways?
     

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