clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

How to Build a Prefab Stone Wall

Roger Cook, landscape contractor, visits a stone yard that makes prefabricated stone walls at their facility before installing them on-site.

Watch as Roger Cook visits a stone yard that makes stone walls in sections at their facility using a variety of natural field stone from disassembled old walls.

Once the sections are built, Roger and Kevin O’Connor watch them get loaded onto the truck and taken to the project. In Newton, the crane lowers the sections right into place. One last stone is added over each seam and it looks like a traditional stone wall.

Building a Stone Wall

Building a stone wall by hand is typically a time-consuming and backbreaking 6-step process—from preparing the footing, laying the base course, building up the wall, cutting stones to fit, to tooling the joints—the entire job could take weeks.

Troy Guinther, stone wall builder and CEO of Natural Stone Wall Solutions, offers an alternative to a DIY stone wall that costs 25-50 percent less than most stone and veneer walls and can be installed 20 times faster, saving the project both time and money.

Local New England round fieldstone, a bulk fieldstone made up of rocks that have been salvaged from old farm sites, and old freestanding stone walls were chosen for this project.

Benefits of Adding a Stone Wall to Your Property

Whether a stone wall is used as a retaining wall or a decorative element, stone walls are a low-maintenance hardscaping feature that can help establish property lines and offer privacy. Natural stone walls can also enhance your property by increasing its curb appeal.

How a prefabricated stone wall is made

  • The walls are built with a patented process using molds and forms.
  • Masons set the stones face down, add a grid of #5 rebar, and pour 4,000 PSI concrete on the back of the wall.
  • A geogrid is attached which reinforces and stabilizes the soil—important when building retaining walls.
  • Each section weighs about 6,000 pounds and is lifted with a custom crane that lifts the walls from the back—eliminating the need to touch the stone face or top, maintaining the natural moss and patina of the stone.

Benefits of using a prefabricated stone wall

What would take at least 2 to 3 weeks to build on-site by hand, Natural Stone Wall Solutions can install in a single morning.

Installing a Prefab Stone Wall

Preparing the space for a prefab stone wall is the same process as building a stone wall by hand—it’s the installation that is a job site game-changer.

  • Mark the area with chalk lines.
  • Dig a 2-foot foundation and add 3/4 “ stone. Compact the stone for drainage and a solid foundation.
  • Rather than assemble each stone by hand to build the wall, each prefabricated stone section is lifted off the truck and placed within the chalk lines—fitting together like puzzle pieces. The level of the wall is constantly checked.
  • Workers use a tamping bar to backfill the 3/4 “ rocks around the stone wall.
  • Once the walls are set, exposed joints are filled in with rocks for a seamless application.

Prefab Stone Wall Results

What typically takes an army of workers, a large amount of workspace, and weeks worth of labor results in about a few hours worth of install time on the job site.