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Am I crazy to consider building a dry stone wall in our garden?

(12 Posts)
HalberHahn Sun 11-Jan-15 18:19:05

Both sides of the garden fences are our responsibility due to weird building action in the road in the 1930s.

Both sides are totally knackered, mostly wire fence patch up jobs. Garden is 130 feet long.

Right side to non attached neighbour has a 4 foot drop. We will have to rebuild a normal fence one day, a very low one, maybe 3-4 feet high, slatted wood maybe.

Left side is an even worse looking hotchpotch of posts and wire fence, rotten posts and one 2 meter bit is a wall where neighbour has a compost.

I am considering building a 4 foot high dry stone wall there. I like the idea of a habitat for all sorts of animals, and I dislike fences in general, and certainly those huge orange monstrosities.

Has anyone got any experience with building a dry stone wall? I'm reasonably diy able and would be able to take my time with it.

It would be about one length of 30 feet, then the brick wall bit, then another 50 feet of drystone wall. The bottom bit of the garden is a brick wall.
Where the patio is we'd keep some sort of high fence bit (already there on both sides), as attached neighbour has a conservatory there. I am tempted to paint that bit wildly colourful and do a mosaic on the wall below.

Crazy idea or not?

Chippychop Sun 11-Jan-15 21:42:42

A lovely idea If you have the cash as they are pricey

didireallysaythat Sun 11-Jan-15 22:02:19

Do you have stones on site you can use ? I've done it before, nothing flash, not as high as you're proposing and nowhere near as long. It was good to do but for me incredibly slow. It's easy to spend a lot of time looking for the perfect stone. We had ruined out buildings to reclaim the stone from. How long do you think it would take you ?

HalberHahn Sun 11-Jan-15 23:13:09

Thanks for your replies. No stones on site, no. I would have to have them delivered, access is not a problem. The prices for stone varies a lot, I would have to do quite a bit of research into different types etc.
It may be too ambitious a project, I'll google some more.

HalberHahn Sun 11-Jan-15 23:15:32

I don't know how long it would take me, I read the experts manage one meter a day (1.5x1m) so i guess that's 3 days for one meter for me, for a lower wall. Hardest bit would be sorting all the stone before the building starts.

ClartyYakker Sun 11-Jan-15 23:20:12

Depending on your area there may be classes you can attend. The drystone walling association may be able to help. www.dswa.org.uk/

If you are getting stone delivered make sure there are both cam/coping stones and larger through stones and footing stones in the mix. Otherwise you will just end up with a pile of rubble.

Costs for a contractor to do it for around here ranges from about £35 - £45 a sq metre.

ClartyYakker Sun 11-Jan-15 23:22:40

I think the 'experts' farmers are capable of managing far more than 1m a day grin

didireallysaythat Sun 11-Jan-15 23:26:59

My experience, and perhaps having non ideal, but lots of, stone on site is a metre a day is doable maybe two some days. It's a slow, thoughtful process and as such quite relaxing. but possibly not on the scale you have to do.

HalberHahn Sun 11-Jan-15 23:34:51

I watched some youtube videos and thought this looks relaxing! but maybe not anymore after 10 meters and 3 weeks spent mulling over the right stone for the right spot grin

didireallysaythat Sun 11-Jan-15 23:41:47

It can become Zen like. You find what must be the perfect stone and then it isn't. And later you find yourself trying to make a wall just so you can use the perfect stone.

nightswift Mon 12-Jan-15 00:00:24

You will need tonnes (literally) of stones. I did a 3 day course years ago where we repaired walls- it would be harder to find a build from scratch course. Construction centres around finding a stone to fit the space and general principles regarding the placement of larger, stability forming stones. I did consider building a small curved wall behind a seating area but you are way more ambitious than me! Good luck

HalberHahn Mon 12-Jan-15 07:11:58

I know, it's not cheap. A ton per meter or so, maybe less if my wall is lower. Certainly not a cheap alternative to a fence.

I tend to be crazy over ambitious. I may just plan to do the first 30 feet as a dry stone wall, up to the brick wall. After that the garden becomes a lot more overgrown (brambles we want to keep) and not really visible from the house because of shrubs/trees.

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