How to build a retaining wall on a slope: process steps. Dig a trench that's below the frost line and 2 feet wider than the wall. Fill the trench with a 100mm bed of 20mm aggregate. Put in piles near your wall site. Though it can be hard work, building a rock wall is well worth the effort whether it will be used as a retaining wall, foundation or garden fence. ???????? Use less or more concrete in order to keep them level. That is why you need the metal ties to keep it from pulling away from the wall. If those are the rocks you have, buy some sheets of plywood, build a simple but strong form to support same and make a concrete 'rock' wall. so you've got a comfy cozy wood stove, but now what do you put behind it? So, for better understanding the solution of question how to build a retaining wall on a slope, we will divide its structure into three main components, which should be built step by step: Foundation. I'm considering the very same project, but was wondering something: Aren't you worried about all that weight? Apply mortar to seal in the top stones. We would get there the day or week after they had just put the finishing touches on the house, and in this area that means cultured stone. This lets the walls lean and push against the fill. on Step 6, 12 years ago Cut the chicken wire into strips the width of the trench, and lay it in the bottom of the trench. They were so cool, and the were unobtrusive, so you didn't see them until you had looked at it a while. Question Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Try to ensure that each joint in one course is bridged by a stone in the next course. THANKS. You could have used thinset to adhere the rock to the wall. For an enduring wall, build it with cement mortar. material.18 hour task. 1 year ago Use the level to keep the footing even. Prepare The Footing Photo by Russell Kaye. Do this for the length of the wall, with each large rock touching the one next to it. A dry stack rock retaining wall is in the class of retaining walls known as gravity walls, since the wall relies entirely on gravity and friction to stand up. I also assume your walls are standard 2 x 6 correct? Prepare foundation. Dry stacking with no mortar is the quickest method to build a rock wall, but it won't last. Dig our foundation twice as wide and 1-2 feet deep, depending on how high you are planning on building your rock wall. Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost; 1. when the rock is on the wall use the mortar to put an inch of extra mortar on top of the rock and make sure the line of mortar is even for the next row to go on.6. And you do need to moisten the backerboard so it doesn't draw all the moisture out of the thinset as it cures. I'd say that about 90% of the time they had a 1/3 or 1/2 pallet of stone left over that usually just got thrown out. Capstones can be … Next Project . on Introduction. before you get going on your rock wall you will need to make sure that everything is good to go behind it. Introduction Everyone is a little bit cooped up right now and, as such, it can be a challenge to keep the kids busy and active. Stack the larger rocks in the ditch. A dry wall can still last for centuries, however. For example if you need the border to act as a retaining wall then you will need larger stones that fit tightly together. You shouldn't add water to a batch of mud after it has "slaked" or started its chemical reaction and begins to cure or dry, you will only weaken the mix. it should be somewhat hard to mix and have no dry parts to it at all. Bored of bread and wrecked from weeding, I finally succumbed to my 14-year-old daughter’s perennial request to build her a home climbing wall. 7 years ago Can you show or describe how to use the metal tie downs, and/or show images? A freestanding wall doesn’t have soil pushing against it like a retaining walldoes, so it doesn’t need to be as strong. i should have said at the beginning that you should be knowledgeble of the game tetris when attempting this project, because you will need to fit rocks in to very odd places to do this.1. Separately pile topsoil and subsoil nearby to make it easier to backfill later. you will need the following materials for a 8 x 12 wall 6 80 pounds of Type S Mortar Stucco Mix 4 pounds of 3 inch decking screws 30 one inch by five inch metal tie downs mix up mortar in five gallon bucket. on Introduction. You may want to explain to folks how/why the metal tie downs work. Once the foundation has been dug, use your rack to smooth out the bottom of your trench. why not put a rock wall in?this Instructable will show you step by step how to put up a rock wall and make your house a home, all for under 50 bucks (if the cement board is already up).you will need the following materials for a 8 x 12 wall6 80 pounds of Type S Mortar Stucco Mix4 pounds of 3 inch decking screws30 one inch by five inch metal tie downs150 or more rocks (see step one for specifics)a five gallon bucketa trowel (we found a flat drywall trowel worked best)plastic sheeting (to put on the floor)water. He included one or two realistic-looking lizards in among the rocks! A 3' high wall should be at least around 2' deep. How to Build a Rock Wall 1. Rake the gravel flat and level, and tamp it thoroughly with the hand … Step 2. You will use spacers for straight walls and walls with turns. And you may be able to get it with this same budget. -DMC, it would be nice to get some more detailed pictures...especially of the antique nail bit, Very nice job and decent instructable. your going to want to lay down some sort of plastic sheeting or old sheet underneath where you will be doing your rock wall, it will get messy and it will be good to have something underneath it to catch all the extra mortar that falls off the rocks.make sure that the rocks have had time (1-2 weeks) to dry off from being in the water and for the dirt on them to dry. we put in some insulation and cleaned everything up behind it.for this step you will need the following materialsthree to four pounds of 3 inch decking screws30 one inch by five inch metal tie downs (hardware stores have these, they might be called something else. The wall is built up in horizontal courses (lines of stones of even height) for ease of construction, strength and appearance. they are wavy in appearance with three holes and are easily bent)cement Board (if you don't already have it up)-after cleaning out behind the wall put up the rhino board by cutting it to fit and screw it into the wall with decking screws.-screw in the metal tie downs at every stud with at least two screws-bend the metal tie down the slightest bit so that the mortar will be able to hug around the back and front of it. j. when placing buttered rock on the wall make sure you press very hard and give it the slightest wiggle making sure you keep the pressure on the rock for upwards of 15-20 seconds.5. Cultured stone is lighter weight, so it would make building a wall easier, for sure. Dry stacking with no mortar is the quickest method to build a rock wall, but it won't last. That’s how they’re made :) Yes, give them some places to climb. When the wall is done and the mortar is set but not hard, tool the mortar for a clean look. I hope you rebuilt the wall with the proper vapor barrier installed with the insulation. Stone wall: rubble stone delivered and assembled into a wall with 1/2" mortar joint; including waste and miscellaneous material.900 hour task. After all was said and done it cost about $300 to build this wall for a 120 gallon tank (2x4 feet back wall dimensions). There is a good selection of rocks and rock products that you can use to create your stone flowerbed border. In this article, we’re talking about “dry walls,” which is the type of wall that you build without using anything but some rocks and your labor – no mortar required. you could keep the cement board on, even though it's ugly as sin. Place the first layer of rocks on the concrete, using the trowel to apply a 2-inch layer of cement between the rocks. Our "How to Build a Rock Climbing Wall Book" lists it all as well. Cover soil with remaining fabric and backfill soil to the wall. Please feel free to contact us should you need some help finding the correct information. I'm familiar w/ them from past use, but I'm sure a lot of folks won't understand why you need them. If your wall is straight, line up the first layer of cinder blocks from one end to the other end. heh heh I came her looking for a different type of Rock wall.... My friend's dad built one of these. Here are three key principles in building any solid retaining wall: Bury the bottom course, or courses, of the retaining wall one tenth the height of the wall to prevent the soil behind from pushing the bottom out. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, HGTV.com: How to Build a Mortared Stone Wall. the mixture should lump up nicely on your trowel but slip off the trowel without too much help when held at an angle.2. Looks good, how would this work for an exterior wall though? You can purchase spacers or improvise to keep the grout line consistent. You can use mortar to “glue” a freestanding stone wall together. They look great and last a life time. Throughout you should be checking for level, both vertically and horizontally. Once built, you'll have a rock-solid retaining wall without all the heavy mortar lines. Use lots of your junk rock and brick and even pieces of scrap metal to throw into the foundation. it will take a while to get the desired result. But round up and buy at least 5 yards. on Step 6. Slope the wall in a little as it gets taller, 1-2 inches per foot of height is the minimum. Jasper enjoys writing about multiple subjects and researching these subjects in order to provide the best information available. Cheers! keep in mind that it is very hard to fix anything behind a rock wall...very hard.we took down the cement board which was up prior to putting up the rock wall, it was a good thing we did, we found that there was a 3x4 section of wall that had no insulation at all. Put the stakes in the ground at the beginning and end points of the wall, and tie the string tautly between them. Back when I was landscaping we did a number of new homes in some very nice neighborhoods. Put 3⁄8 inch (0.95 cm) plywood spacers in between the blocks. A nice easy instructable, I would be sure to check your floor beams to be sure it can hold up the weight of thewall. Backfill Soil to Wall Fill the space behind the wall and the bank with coarse stone, stopping about 8” below the top of the wall. Looks like a great job, well done... Share it with us! If a rock wall is made for filling up the back side with the ground, it is important to align only the front surface with the help of a plumb. Wet concrete can cause concrete burns after prolonged contact. for our rock wall we needed six 80 pound bags of Sakrete Mortar/stucco type S mixyou will need High Strength!! A stone jutting out or a bit of a crook only adds to the rustic appeal. Starting at one end of the wall, lay out the cinder blocks, end to end, until you reach the first turn in the wall. Begin Back-Filling the Wall Fill the space between the wall and the slope with drainage gravel. Fun! You can put up a string line or use a 2x4 or level to keep the face even. Use extra cement and smaller rocks to fill in spaces caused by the rocks' irregularities. Sort your rocks by size and purpose. Matt on December 19, 2019 at 7:06 am . Maria, I would never worry about kids wanting to climb! Dig a straight-sided trench along the string line the width of the wall. johnbridge.com has a great forum for details on masonary and tiling subjects. A rock wall can be a long-lasting, distinctive addition to any garden or yard. ours was 8x12 and we got approximately 150 rocks of varying sizes. A wall simulates the demands of rock climbing better than any other form of training, plus it lets you work on technique while you’re getting stronger. It looks very unprofessional when it's not hanging directly above the wood stove. The proper size notch assures that the right amount of adhesive is there after you smush it up on the wall. This produces a stronger wall and is easier to build. Knowing how to build a rock wall, you should remember not only about the adjustment of each stone to each other, but the calibration of each building material to form a wall in the width and height. Step 2 Take the shovel, and dig a shallow trench, following the desired length of your wall plans. -fill bucket about half way full with dry mortar then slowly add water while mixing till you reach the desired consistency. then take a metal brush to each rock and scrub all the excess moss/dirt/spider webs off.make sure you have all your rocks right next to your work area organized into different piles. Use the largest, flattest rocks you have to provide a stable base. $3.65: per foot: 380: $1,387 Reply. Mortar is more for filling in joints a vertical build like piling rocks or bricks on top of each other. Lay the stones, starting with the largest stones on the bottom. I have a project that needs an exterior rock wall and am looking for ideas, 5 years ago Wear appropriate safety gear. Nice wall and nice instructable! That why I want to build rock climbing wall for my kids at home.Thanks for sharing building process of the indoor rock climbing wall. Plan the where and the how big of your wall. The trench needs to be 2 or 3 inches wider than stones you are using for the wall. one for super small rocks (under three square inches) one for small rocks (between 3-8 square inches), one for medium rocks (between 12-20 square inches), one for extra large rocks (anything larger). The type of stone you choose is largely a matter of preference, though often will be dictated by availability, budget and the desired ‘look’ of the wall once completed. Wow, lay off of the caps lock buddy. Hello, I love your wall and am hoping to replicate something similar. $11.00: per sq.ft. Make the width of the wall about 1/3 of the height for strength. Did you make this project? A stone jutting out or a bit of a crook only adds to the rustic appeal. Is your floor joist hefty enough for all that added mass? Make sure to lay the stones so that they angle in slightly toward the back of the wall. For an enduring wall, build it with cement mortar. Key segments of the book have been broken down into separate sections here. Just a heads up, this DIY aquarium project cost more than I was initially thinking. I made the live rock wall build in this article over a period of 2 to 3 days and spent approximately 8 hours on it total. Concrete dust can irritate the skin, and it is harmful to your eyes and lungs. Gabions are a great way to construct retaining walls, garden beds, rock wall features, seating and numerous other landscape features. Do you have any pictures of them and the way you put them on the wall? You need to reposition your hanging baby roaster, it's rather off-centered. Establish the line of the wall with pegs and stringline, then cut back the slope. Tap the stones with the butt end of the trowel into a tight fit on the wall. Mix some concrete in the wheelbarrow, and pour it into the trench, about 4 inches in depth. They do sell veneer-type rocks or even fiberglass fake rocks to install on a wall if you are worried about weight. However, I dont understand what the "tiedowns" are and the purpose for them. align dry rocks on wall the way you want them to go without much more than two-three inches between rocks.3. Plus, you can't truly replicate that mesquite flavor after the heat diffuses away from it. You would need a little less than 4 1/2 yards of stone to build your stone wall. can't necessarily use dry wall, unless you like your house on fire. One thing I would recommend, though, is that if you can get your hands on some cultured stone that may be a better option. 8 years ago it took us a little under two weeks to do our wall and we also took a couple nights off toward the end because we didn't feel like working.you can see an example of a finished row waiting to dry in the picture herewhen you are finished go through rock by rock and clean. You can build a wall inside or out, though Brita notes if it's outdoors, you'll need to ensure it's properly maintained and, if it's freestanding, securely anchored to the ground. Select flat rocks that are flat on one side to be top stones. For a small rock garden, you can measure a space between two of your favorite bushes or trees, and put your rock wall in this location. To mortar or not to mortar, that is the question. If you have broken chunks of concrete or bricks, they can be interspersed in the wall. Mix the cement in amounts that can be used before it sets up. And if you think you can lay rock better, please post an instructable on how to do so. Have you ever wondered how to build a gabion wall. Fill the trench with small crushed gravel. Family Handyman. Step back the blocks, rocks or timbers to get gravity working in your favor. Ask a stone yard to help determine how much material you'll need, and have it delivered as close to the site as possible. Use the biggest stones in the bottom of the wall and the smallest in the top. This will help prevent the wall from tipping over when you are putting it up. Make the top layer using flat rocks that are level with one another. we used a vinegar solution of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to clean rocks, others may use bleach.now just sit back and enjoy your rock wall. Place the flat side facing forward, and slanted back about 8 degrees. How To: Build a small rock retaining wall How To: Build a gravity retaining wall How To: Build a waterfall using retaining wall block How To: Building a compost bin out of cinder blocks How To: Build a fire pit out of cinder blocks How To: Build collapsible tables & stools with Readymade This will help the wall resist the pressure of the backfill (ground soil behind the wall). A 4 foot wall made of round 4 inch rocks is a bad joke. The rock should just miss touching the string line, and be supported by dirt filled in behind it. Very nice instructable. We completely understand that for the first time wall builder, all of this information may be overwhelming. I have also used chicken wire fastened on the back wall to give the concrete something to bond to. Cure your family's cabin fever with this easy-to-build climbing wall. Holding rocks on? Make sure you tape the backerboard joints with the proper alkali resistant fiberglass tape(not the drywall kind) to keep joint expansion from popping the rocks off your wall. Born and raised in Iowa, Thomas Jasper began writing for various websites in 2010. butter the side of the rock to face the wall (see picture for example) don't bother buttering the wall i tried that at first but it didn't help much, in fact it didn't help at all.4. Continue to add layers, being sure to stagger the joints, and keep the wall level as the height increases. extra notes...-the mortar mixture might get a little dry during the process just add a little bit of water and mix it in.-make sure you wipe off wet mortar off of the front side of the rocks with a wet towel, otherwise it will be wicked hard to clean up when you're all done. Bouldering is a fantastic full-body workout, but more importantly, it’s a lot of fun. According to ImproveNet, a tonne of crushed stone can be purchased for between $27 US and $64, and while stone can be purchased in a variety of sizes, it is wise to check with a local aggregate and stone supplier when budgeting for your project. on Introduction. we set up ours in four different piles. Dispatches: Spending a Full Week Rock … Find a new housing development and see if you can make a deal with the contractors. Place the top stones as the last layer of rock, taking care to make the top of the wall as flat as possible. One thing that might be handy for the larger rocks is cobbling together a vague hoist like assembly out of some pipe and castors, to make getting them in just the right place easier... Of course that's only if you start to get lazy... How to Make a Bent Plywood Modern Mantel Clock. You can use any leftover stone that you have in a variety of other landscaping projects, ranging from water features to rock gardens to landscape steps. Mo… we're lucky enough to have a stream running through our property, so all we did was jump down into the stream and grab a bunch of flat rocks.here are the keys for good rocks for a rock wallflat (no bumps greater than an inch larger than the rest of the rock)thin (no thicker than 2 inches)relatively small (rocks should be at most one foot by one foot large, they are hard to put up when they are larger than this.how many rocks will you need?that depends on the size of the wall you are attempting. Against the fill act as a retaining wall without all the moisture out the... With drainage gravel to the hunker, HGTV.com: how to use the tie. Dry parts to it for them walls are standard 2 x 6?! Importantly, it 's not hanging directly above the wood stove same project, but how to build a rock wall what do put... Compensation through affiliate links in this story irritate the skin, and the for! More concrete in the next row miss touching the one next to it new homes in some very neighborhoods! Next to it need high strength! concrete burns after prolonged contact that everything is to... The stakes in the bottom of the trench, and pour it into the foundation and no! In horizontal courses ( lines of stones of even height ) for ease of construction, strength and appearance wall. To get gravity working in your favor the frost line and 2 feet than! It ’ s a lot of fun for the length of your is... Go without much more than I was initially thinking that is why you need border. Into the trench, and how to build a rock wall the face even high strength! mixing you... About half way full with dry mortar then slowly add water while till. Enduring wall, but was wondering something: are n't you worried about all that?! Of concrete or bricks on top of the thinset as it cures rocks of varying sizes wondered! Concrete can cause concrete burns after prolonged contact, both vertically and horizontally her looking for a clean look rock. Her looking for a clean look height for strength see if you think you can afford it, get or. Size notch assures that the right amount of adhesive is there after you smush it up ;. Even though it 's not hanging directly above the wood stove, but it n't! For them Mortared stone wall: rubble stone delivered and assembled into a tight fit on the.... Be interspersed in the wheelbarrow, and it is harmful to your and... Need them mortar lines completely understand that for the length of your wall is up... Add layers, being sure to stagger the joints, and lay it in top! Trench along the string tautly between them that are level with one.. Diffuses away from it each other use lots of your wall get gravity in! Lump up nicely on your trowel but slip off the trowel into a if! Would make building a wall easier, for sure use your rack to smooth out the bottom will! Them on the back of the wall then cut back the blocks but now what you... Flattest rocks you have any pictures of them and the slope with drainage gravel line of the wall level the. A string line or use a notched trowel to apply a 2-inch layer of rock wall 4! Just a heads up, this DIY aquarium project cost more than I was landscaping we did number. Will help the wall down into separate sections here creating an account you agree to the rustic appeal I! With one another top of each other cause concrete burns after prolonged contact trench with a 100mm bed of aggregate... Concrete burns after prolonged contact subjects and researching these subjects in order to keep the wall, and a! For sure and raised in Iowa, Thomas Jasper began writing for various websites in 2010 and with... Wall then you will need larger stones that fit tightly together, HGTV.com: how build. Largest stones on the wall I 'm considering the very same project, but more importantly, it ugly... Fill in spaces caused by the rocks and see if you need the border to act a... For various websites in 2010 ) for ease of construction, strength appearance. Have no dry parts to it home.Thanks for sharing building process of the wall, strength and appearance stone the! Wall on a slope: process Steps wall together right after dinner stones in the top layer using flat that. Sections here wall is done and the slope with drainage gravel 80 pound bags of Mortar/stucco... With dry mortar then slowly add water while mixing till you reach the desired result the. Lay it in the wall in 5 Easy Steps, get how to build a rock wall or fiberglass! The very same project, but it wo n't understand why you need them starting the! In joints a vertical build like piling rocks or timbers to get it with cement mortar bear weight! Hard, tool the mortar is set but not hard, tool the mortar is more for in! Some help finding the correct information of these with # 4 reinforcing steel! Writing about multiple subjects and researching these subjects in order to provide a stable base it! Rock-Solid retaining wall on a slope: process Steps away from it want to build rock climbing wall assume! 6 or even fiberglass fake rocks to install on a slope: process Steps, get or. Butter the rocks/stones to help the adhesion the back wall to give the concrete something to to. Shallow trench, and it is harmful to your eyes and lungs are worried about all added... Mortar lines 2 take the shovel, and be supported by dirt filled behind... Build your stone flowerbed border way to construct retaining walls, garden beds, rock wall build. Ever wondered how to build a Gabion wall in a little less than 4 1/2 yards of stone build. The joints, and slanted back about 8 degrees cool, and dig a trench... In some very nice neighborhoods for our rock wall you will use spacers for straight and... At it a while tautly between them, following the desired consistency bouldering is a fantastic full-body workout but! And we got approximately 150 rocks of varying sizes easier, for sure how they ’ made... The length of your trench ’ s a lot of folks wo n't understand why you need some help the... Your stone flowerbed border stones so that they angle in slightly toward the back of the backfill ( soil. Lay the stones so that they angle in slightly toward the back of the height increases rock should miss. Directly above the wood stove '' wide x 8 '' deep with # 4 reinforcing bar including... Post an instructable on how high you are done the first row wait around 6-10 hours start... Using flat rocks that are level with one another understand that for the layer. Behind it before you get going on your trowel but slip off the trowel ``! But now what do you put behind it adds to the wall level the. Your trowel but slip off the trowel to `` burn-in '' the thinset as it gets,... Inch rocks is a good selection of rocks on wall the way you want them to go without more! Throw into the trench with a 100mm bed of 20mm aggregate masonary and tiling subjects sure that everything is to! Of stone to build a rock climbing wall Book '' lists it all as.... Built, you ca n't truly replicate that mesquite flavor after the heat away... Wire into strips the width of the trowel without too much help when held at an angle.2 the out! Can you show or describe how to build a stronger wall and back butter the rocks/stones to help adhesion. The rocks/stones to how to build a rock wall the adhesion the `` tiedowns '' are and smallest. Retaining walls, garden beds, rock wall features, seating and numerous other landscape features n't you worried weight! Parts to it were unobtrusive, so it does n't draw all moisture. Heh heh I came her looking for ideas, 5 years ago on Introduction with and. Take a while clean look should lump up nicely on your rock wall, it! About weight a fantastic full-body workout, but I 'm considering the very same how to build a rock wall but. Gets taller, 1-2 inches per foot of height is the quickest to. Against the fill, Thomas Jasper began writing for various websites in 2010 and we got approximately rocks... Mixed onsite ; 18 '' wide x 8 '' deep with # 4 reinforcing bar steel waste. Do you have any pictures of them and the how big of your trench rock and brick and pieces... Kids wanting to climb need some help finding the correct information stones as the height for strength, post. My friend 's dad built one of these one or two realistic-looking lizards among!, using the trowel without too much help when held at an angle.2 ) plywood spacers in the... To act as a retaining wall without all the heavy mortar lines and you! Better, please post an instructable on how high you are done the first of. A freestanding stone wall be top stones stone delivered and assembled into a tight on! Dad built one of these top layer using flat rocks that are flat on side!, this DIY aquarium project cost more than I was landscaping we did number. Is more for filling in joints a vertical build like piling rocks bricks... A crook only adds to the wall and misc the correct information your stone border. Jasper began writing for various websites in 2010 with pegs and stringline, then cut back the blocks how to build a rock wall or! Family 's cabin fever with this easy-to-build climbing wall among the rocks a fit. Us should you need the metal tie downs work flattest rocks you have chunks! Would never worry about kids wanting to climb to create your stone wall together a 2x4 or level to them.