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A free-standing wall can easily be built from plant stones if you provide the necessary stability. The use of a suitable foundation is essential for the success of the project.

In a nutshell

  • the foundation for the free-standing wall can be either gravel or concrete
  • the depth of the foundation is selected according to the height of the wall
  • mortar is needed only for the first row
  • all following rows are fixed by the connecting grooves
  • Planting gives the plant stone wall additional structure

materials and tools

Before you can start building the free-standing plant stone wall, you need the right material and tools. They enable the project to run smoothly and ensure that the structure stands securely afterwards. The materials depend on the height of the planned plant stone wall. The number of rows determines what kind of foundation you need:

  • Gravel foundation: maximum 2 rows
  • Strip foundation: from 3 rows

Since the weight of the stones does not affect the structure of the free-standing wall, with a maximum of two rows, no concrete foundation is required. Higher walls made of plant stones, on the other hand, depend on a strip foundation, since the stones are not used to stabilize slopes and are therefore much more susceptible to wind and other weather influences. The foundation is realized with the following building materials and tools:

  • gravel or gravel
  • construction sand
  • precast concrete
  • guideline
  • rolling gauge
  • vibratory rammer
  • spade
  • shovel
  • float
  • Cement mixer or large bucket
  • wooden slat
  • Protective clothing: gloves, goggles, breathing mask
  • in bad weather: protective tarpaulin
  • optional: mini excavator

Of course, if you don't need to use concrete, you don't need to get it. This also applies to utensils such as the float or the cement mixer.

foundation types

The amount of materials for the foundation depends on the length and height of the wall. The following depths must be planned for:

  • Gravel foundation: 30 centimeters
  • Strip foundation: 60 to 80 centimeters

With the strip foundation, dig a deeper pit the higher the free-standing wall is. The width of the foundation is equal to the wall thickness plus 20 centimeters (10 centimeters on each side). Obtain the appropriate amount of building materials that are necessary for the implementation. Once you have everything ready for the foundation, it's the wall's turn. For this you will need the following materials and tools:

  • plant stones
  • mortar
  • trowel
  • level
  • rubber mallet
  • Earth
  • planting

The choice of shape and size of the plant stones is of course entirely up to you. But make sure that they can be wedged into each other.

Tip: You can rent vibratory plates and concrete mixers in hardware stores or from specialist dealers. The average daily tariff is between 20 and 50 euros for the devices, depending on the region.

Laying the foundation: instructions

The foundation is one of the most important points if you want to build a free-standing wall on plant stones. It is best to choose a day when it is not raining and not too dry so that you can move the soil more easily. A gravel foundation is created as follows:

  • Mark out the ditch with a plumb line
  • then dig a ditch
  • create straight walls with a spade
  • Fill the trench completely with gravel or crushed stone
  • Compact gravel every 15 cm
  • use vibrators for this

More is not needed for this one, as the free-standing wall is stable enough at such a low height. If you build a higher wall, you have to do the same thing, because there is a large layer of gravel or crushed stone under the concrete. With a depth of 80 centimeters, the layer accounts for 50 centimeters, since you need a 30 centimeter strip foundation of concrete:

  • put on protective clothing
  • Mix the concrete well
  • fill in the ditch
  • let the air escape with a wooden slat
  • to pierce the filled concrete
  • Smooth out the concrete layer
  • let dry
  • Duration: 6 - 8 days

If bad weather is to be expected, be sure to cover the foundation with a tarpaulin. Let it harden well before planting the stones. This is the only way to guarantee that the foundation will not be damaged by the weight of the stones.

Notice: If you want to set a higher plant stone wall, you can use reinforcement for further security. This additionally secures the wall without having a negative effect on the optics.

Building a wall: instructions

Once the foundation is in place, you can start building the wall. Since planting stones can be set much easier and without additional mortar, apart from the first layer, the effort is not really great. The weight of the plant stones could become a problem if you are not strong enough yourself. In this case, you should ask friends or family for help. If you have chosen a low wall with a gravel foundation, follow these steps:

  • Mark out the wall position with a guide line
  • Place stones directly on the gravel bed
  • no mortar needed
  • Check seat with spirit level
  • fix with a rubber mallet
  • Fill the bottom row with gravel
Set a wall of plant stones on a gravel foundation

Place the bricks using the composite fillets. This is the only way to provide the necessary support. If you have decided on a second row, the planting stones must be placed in an offset manner, as in a classic wall. Finally, you can plant the free-standing wall. If the plant stone wall is higher than two rows, proceed as follows:

  • Mark out the wall position with a guide line
  • mix mortar
  • apply to the foundation
  • Only use mortar for the frames of the plant stones
  • set plant stones
  • Let the mortar dry for 24 hours
  • Depending on the height of the wall, fill the first layer with concrete
  • Concrete should be earth-moist
  • leave to dry for at least 48 hours
  • stagger the remaining rows
  • fill with substrate
  • plant
Set a wall of plant stones on a gravel foundation

A big advantage of plant stones is the structure. Once the first row is in place and firmly attached to the foundation, you no longer need mortar. Thanks to the stone system, the wall stands by itself and even withstands the weather. Optionally, you can of course fix the stones for the free-standing wall with a little mortar if you want to be on the safe side.

frequently asked Questions

What is the maximum height allowed?

The maximum height of a wall depends heavily on the intended use and your place of residence. In most federal states, a free-standing wall on your own property from a height of 180 centimeters requires approval, regardless of whether it is used as a fence or as an alternative to planters. Before starting the project, check with your municipality or consult the state building code.

How can a slope be compensated for when building a wall?

If your property is not level, you will need to adjust the foundation accordingly. The gradual construction allows you to compensate for a gradient so that the individual bricks do not sink into the ground. In order to develop a foundation in steps, you need to stake out individual steps over formwork and pour in the appropriate amount of concrete. The barriers can only be removed after curing.

How can the plant stones be protected from cold temperatures?

In order to protect the plant stone wall from cool temperatures, not only frost protection is required in the ground. Fill the stones from the second row with a layer of gravel. The thickness of the layer should be one third of the height of the stones. Thanks to the gravel, possible frost does not have a negative effect on the structure of the stones.

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