By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services
Do It Yourself or Not?
9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
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 stone's 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 $3,572 to build a 30-foot-long, 3-foot-high dry-stacked stone wall, which includes the labor and material. You can build it yourself for $1,800, the cost of the stones, and save 50 percent.
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. It takes time to pick and choose (and move) the stones to the location you choose. 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.
To build a stacked stone wall, you'll need a carpenter's level, tape measure, shovel and a wheelbarrow to move the stones.
To find more DIY project costs, and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.
Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved
$3,572 -- $1,800 -- 37.9 -- 50.0 -- $1,772 -- 50 Percent
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