Do it Yourself: Stone Walls

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    Preparation

    • 1). Sort through all the stones and arrange them in piles according to their size. Place the piles near the building site.

    • 2). Use spray paint to identify the area for the stone wall. Keep the line as straight as possible. Make straight corners instead of rounding. This makes the building process simpler. Use a framing square to check that the corners are square and make any necessary adjustments.

    • 3). Dig a trench on top of the line measuring 24 inches wide and 4 inches deep. This will hold the bottom row in line.

    Building the Wall

    • 1). Lay the first row of stones in the trench. Use stones of similar height. Place the stones as close together as possible. If a stone has a rough side, place that side face down. Try to fit smaller stones in all cracks and crevices.

    • 2). Stack a second row of stones on top of the first. Use stones with the same height but different lengths and widths. This will offset the row and make it sturdier. Stagger the stones over the cracks of the first row; this also makes the wall sturdier. Fill any open spaces with other stones. Carefully cut stones with a masonry saw, if needed, for a proper fit.

    • 3). Place a large stone every 36 inches apart for the third row. Next, fill the spaces between the large stones with smaller stones. This creates a solid center row. Again, stagger the stones and use stones of various sizes but the same height.

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      A low stone wall can be used for a flowerbed border.Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

      Repeat Step 2, until the wall measures about 36 inches tall. If the wall exceeds 6 rows, repeat Step 3 every other row. Keep each row level, and fill all open spaces with stones.

    Laying the Capstones

    • 1). The capstones will cover the top of the wall and complete the look. Spread mortar over the top of the stone wall. Do not spread the mortar any closer than 6 inches from the edges.

    • 2). Place the capstones on top of the mortar, as close as possible. Carefully fill the spaces between the capstones with mortar. Let the excess mortar dry until crumbly.

    • 3). Brush off the crumbly mortar. Scrub off any remaining mortar after two or three days. Use water and a rough-textured rag. This completes the wall.

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