Stone Retaining Wall Construction: Mistakes to Avoid

Retaining wall construction is important when wanting to level of an area of your garden, which is naturally at the bottom of a soil embankment. Reasons for doing this would be to have a flat patio area or in order to install a pool. A retaining wall provides a vertical barrier against soil settling into a natural mound.

Dry Stack Stone Retaining Wall

If you are going to build a stone retaining wall using the dry stack method, which is basically when you build a wall using no mortar, it is important—for safety reasons—for this wall to be no higher than nine feet/three meters.


Before starting work, it is important to check with your local authorities to ensure that the project you are going to undertake is okay and does not breach any regulations. Many people do not request permits until after the work is done because they believe the authorities will not ask them to remove it once it has been built. This is not true.

The Foundations

Unlike a brick retaining wall, a stone one does not need concrete footing but it does still need support underground. Building a stone wall on top of the surface makes it not too difficult to push over. However, if you bury the first row of stones eight inches/20 centimeters underground, this will create a stable base.

Choosing Stones

The heavier the stones, the more sturdy the wall will be. While this will make the work more difficult, it will be worth it in the end. Also, if you find stones with flat edges, put these to one side as they will be perfect for the bottom and top rows.