How to Build a Stone Wall

A stone wall makes a beautiful and durable addition to your garden. It can protect your flower bed and keep animals away. A beginner can build a stone wall in ten hours. Just be ready to do a lot of lifting!

Materials needed

  • stones for building
  • filter fabric
  • gluing material


Tools needed

  • pick
  • shovel
  • heavy hammer
  • string line
  • folding rule
  • carpentry level

Steps to Build a Stone Wall

  1. Find the right material. Select the kind of stone you want. Stones are purchased by tons, so you need to compute the required amount of stones for the length, height, and width of the wall you want to build.
  2. To do this, estimate the desired length & height of your wall. Multiply the Length x Height x Width (or Depth) to get the number of cubic feet. Get the volume of your stone in pounds per cubic foot and multiply by the total number of cubic feet to get the total weight of stones needed.

  3. Map out your wall design by digging a trench about six to eight inches deep and as wide as your largest stone. Pack down and level the earth.
  4. Cut filter fabric at least 3 feet wider than the trench. Lay it down inside trench with the excess on the back side.
  5. Place a thin layer of crushed stone (1″-2″) in the original ground level to help level stones and for drainage.
  6. Begin laying the stones, putting the biggest stones first. Set them evenly from one end of the trench to the other. Continue to stack stones, working back and forth, one level at a time.
  7. As you stack up, fill in the area behind the wall with crushed stone, then fill it with dirt, compacting as you go. Keep your filter fabric between the fill and stone wall.
  8. When you have reached your desired height, fold the filter fabric back over the fill dirt area. You can place topsoil or gravel on top of your wall. You can also top the wall with large stones so that the extra weight will stabilize it.