How to Build a Rock Wall With Cement

Written by thomas jasper
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How to Build a Rock Wall With Cement
(rock wall image by enens from

A rock wall can be a long-lasting, distinctive addition to any garden or yard. Though it can be hard work, building a rock wall is well worth the effort whether it will be used as a retaining wall, foundation or garden fence. Dry stacking with no mortar is the quickest method to build a rock wall, but it won't last. For an enduring wall, build it with cement mortar. A stone jutting out or a bit of a crook only adds to the rustic appeal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • String
  • Wooden stakes
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Premixed cement
  • Rocks
  • Cement trowel

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  1. 1

    Put the stakes in the ground at the beginning and end points of the wall, and tie the string tautly between them. Dig a straight-sided trench along the string line the width of the wall. Use the level to keep the footing even.

  2. 2

    Cut the chicken wire into strips the width of the trench, and lay it in the bottom of the trench.

  3. 3

    Mix some concrete in the wheelbarrow, and pour it into the trench, about 4 inches in depth

  4. 4

    Place the first layer of rocks on the concrete, using the trowel to apply a 2-inch layer of cement between the rocks. Use the largest, flattest rocks you have to provide a stable base.

  5. 5

    Continue to add layers, being sure to stagger the joints, and keep the wall level as the height increases.

  6. 6

    Make the top layer using flat rocks that are level with one another. Use less or more concrete in order to keep them level.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have broken chunks of concrete or bricks, they can be interspersed in the wall.
  • Use extra cement and smaller rocks to fill in spaces caused by the rocks' irregularities.
  • Make the width of the wall about 1/3 of the height for strength.
  • Mix the cement in amounts that can be used before it sets up.
  • Concrete dust can irritate the skin, and it is harmful to your eyes and lungs. Wet concrete can cause concrete burns after prolonged contact. Wear appropriate safety gear.

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