Building Stone Walls

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by dmk395, May 12, 2001.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    Recently I started brainstorming, trying to find something to help with the downtime in July and August. I bought some construction books and decided on trying to build stone walls. I know a guy who does them, he built one on one of my weekly mowing customers, he told me it took him two weeks to build!, but for the whopping price of $5,000! The wall is beautiful, has just a little cement to hold it together, is about 2.5 feet high, and runs for maybe 75 feet. Anyone have similar luck? Its definately a real skill, but I figure I will use my house as the guniea pig and try building one.
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    In Kentucky, I believe, they are trying to revive dry laid stone walls as a viable method of construction for small and large projects. The article I read was from a year or so ago, so the details are a little hazy, but the state offers some sort of classes, a certification, to be a wall builder or 'waller.' Sounds like it takes awhile and isn't cheap, but looks like fun. :blob3:

    We've only ever built single-faced walls made to hold soil back, but there's definitely a skill to the dry laid stone walls.

    As for price, $5K for that wall sounds a little on the low side.
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I would definitely suggest building one on your own property first as a trial run.

    Building stone walls, at least NICE stone walls truly is an art. Not only is it an art, it involves a lot of patience.

    After about 3 days of doing nothing but building stone walls, the "mind" can become tired. Its like putting a jig zaw puzzle together that has all one solid color. It can really drive you stir crazy. Not to add, you throw in there 90 degree weather, bugs, snakes(they love stone) and the fact the rocks become "hot coals" in the sun, you can really start to have fun.

    I would try it out first. Not to say you may not be any good at it, but I have tried to teach a few guys how to lay them and they never really get the hang of it. Some things aren't meant for everyone, and I believe stone walls are one of those things.

    Anyway, I would give it a try. You never know, you may be a 'natural' and build the best wall in town. You'll never know untill you try.

    As for the price you mentioned, sounds to be middle of the road.

  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Stone is my favorite wall material, nothing adds as much as stone to a landscape, but you better know the ins and outs of installing it. Some walls can be massive in both size and what's needed to keep them up. Plus as you material gets bigger you need equipment to handle it. What type of stone do you want to do?
  5. smalltime

    smalltime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    A subject close to my heart and hands. The last two days have found me toiling on a retaining wall of stone. It is on my property and will hold my patio out of the kids play area. It has been fun, but tiring. Today was awesome though. A high of 70 degrees and lots of sunshine. Two over one, one over two, cap it if you want to sit on it. I can't wait for mine to be done, so I can put in the patio and start enjoying the grill...

    The wall I am building is made of bedrock, which is the same as the foundation of my 120+ year old house. Try to use like materials when you do build. That is, if you happen to be using stone already somewhere, match it up.

  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    sorry but $5,000 for 2 weeks work ??? or was that a miss print????Is that gross??? Not even close to middle were I come from .
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Just to add a note here.
    The more interesting walls start at 500 tons:)
  8. smithsonmi

    smithsonmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Landscapers around here get $150 to $180/ton for boulder walls installed. (obviously varies based on many variables).

    $5k wall is about 2 days here.

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