By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A stone wall surrounding a country home is an enduring feature of the landscape in many rural areas of the country. A rugged wall creates a boundary with an appealing natural material, and it’s a great way to edge a lawn, divide a landscape or create a focal point.
Because of its popular appeal, landscape and garden centers are offering more stone materials than ever before. Some stone walls are built wet with mortar, but a dry-stacked wall without mortar is a more attainable goal for a do-it-yourselfer.
A landscaper will charge $3,477 to build a 35-foot-long, 3-foot-high dry-stacked stone wall, which includes the labor and material. You can build it yourself for $1,750, the cost of the stones, and save 49 percent.
DIY Hassle Alert
The weight of the stones is the issue with this project so be cautious where you have them delivered; moving them is a strenuous job.
Since building a stone wall involves strength and stamina, you might want to stagger the project over a period of time. The job involves several phases: laying out the location for the wall, digging a trench, setting the foundation stones, and the ''puzzle'' phase, which takes the longest. That's because it involves creating the wall with different sizes and shapes of stones that fit together in a stable arrangement. Each stone is unique in size and shape so it’s time consuming, but worthwhile to trial-test how they fit together. If you want to make it fanciful, leave some empty spaces between the stones, and tuck in colorful flowering plants or a low-growing ground cover.
Don't want to do this job yourself? To find a landscape contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click
Home Advisor, a free referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local contractors.
To build a stacked stone wall, you’ll need a carpenter’s level, tape measure, shovel and a wheelbarrow to move the stones.
The average price to build a stone wall noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.