Our Rock Walls

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimLewis, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I just added a new photo section to our website with photos of our rock walls. Most all of these were done this year. The walls in the first set of pictures we just completed a week ago. Check them out and let me know what you think.

    Any favorites? Any I should move up higher on the list? Any that you think don't belong?

  2. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    nice work!! Hard to choose if any should be moved up, I like the basalt steps in basalt wall on page two. The stone is contrasted quite well with the mulch. If I were to move one up it would be that one IMO.
  3. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    The style of the stonework all looks the same to me (obviously as it's all the same product) but I would say some of the better pictures are the ones that have a softscape to go with it. The first set of pics doesn't do much for me visually (please don't think I am saying it's bad work) as it's just a couple rock walls with a rather bland area surrounding them. I personally would be more apt to use the pics with more brilliance and color up top although they may be smaller projects. They just look much cleaner and brighter to me. Just my .02
  4. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    How are you able to anchor the wall to the soil? Do you put mortar along the back?
  5. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    You don't anchor the wall to the soil, and a dry laid wall is exactly that...dry laid. You use no mortar. It's very important to interlock ,if you will, your stones. Use through stones that go from the front of the wall through all the way to the back. In the face of your wall I try to avoid vertical and long horizantal seams. That is what I mean by interlock. People have different practices with natural dry laid stone walls and your practices also differ somewhat with the type of stone you're using. Some just build a face and backfill with drainage stone but I prefer to build the wall as an independent structure itself by making the base in most cases as wide as the wall is tall. By this I mean the wall rock does not rely on the drainage stone for support. Rather gravity and the rock being interlocked together provide the structural integrity. Some people fill the small crevices in their wall with peastone or 3/8" stone as they build thinking it adds more weight and less movement side to side, this is how I was taught. Through my experiences of building dry laid walls thorughout the northeast for over 10 years I have found this to be more harm than good. With the frost we get and the natural movement of the ground year in and year out that small stone actually gets between the stones and does not allow them to sit back properly and overtime you can see that in the wall itself. Nowadays if I feel the desire to fill all the small gaps with stone I either use larger broken chunks from hammering and working the wall stone itself or will fill with a 3/4" stone that is much bigger and won't move as much. Let's see if I can give you a couple pics with this info. The first set shows 2 of the backside of the wall and one finished pic and the last two kind of show a side view and an almost done pic.
    I know I'm rambling and writing too much but the fam is gone away to see the extended fam for thanksgiving and I'm stuck home waiting for the snow to stop falling so I can go plow it. Snow always comes at the worst times! That's what I get for living in New England though!
    Happy thanksgiving all.:D

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  6. Qualey

    Qualey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144


    Is that electrical conduit in the 4th pic?
  7. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    Yes, Qualey. I think they had a light at the end of their driveway or something and we found the wire if I remember correctly. That job was a while back when I worked in Bangor. I can't remember what town that was in but I believe the guy was a dentist and also raised Beefalo (cow buffalo cross). Hampden maybe??? I can't recall.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Yah, like Marcus said, these are not anchored to the soil. They are dry-stacked and gravity just hold them in place.

    We do install the first course halfway underground on a bed of compacted gravel. That helps set the foundation for the wall. But otherwise, it's dry-stacked and we install drainage behind the larger walls too.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I like #14 the best. The winding wall gives definition to the landscaping.
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Would yall use a gravel compacted base for a 2 foot tall dry stacked wall? Would it still be necessary to fill behind w/ drainage aggregate?

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