A stone fence is a beautiful way to decorate your property. From a practical standpoint, it can also provide needed privacy to your home. If you are considering building such a structure, you can do so in a do-it-yourself project during some free time.
Stone fences are most commonly seen in England, Wales and Scotland, although it is not unusual to see them in the New England area in the United States as well. Usually known as "rock fences," these it requires a great deal of planning and skill to build one of these structures, and it may take you an entire day.
You should take precautions to protect your back while doing the construction, as you will be repeatedly lifting objects, some of which may be large and heavy. Use a good mix of large and small stones evenly throughout the fence, rather than using all the large ones for the bottom and only small for the top portion. The even dispersion of the stones is necessary for the support of the structure.
Use a hammer and chisel to shape the stones to your liking, but take care not to hit them too hard, because this can lead to breakage. Be gentle and precise.
Decide where you are interested in building the fence. Create a marker for the location if possible. Determine how much stone you will need, and make a draft of the overall layout of your future stone fence before the actual building process. Measure the length as well as the width. Since stone is sold at the ton, you will have to inquire at the store about what type you should buy.
To start the construction, you will first have to dig a trench of about eight inches deep and that is at least three inches wider than the width you want the wall to be. The trench should take on a "stair step" angle. Fill it in with crushed screenings, which will be the foundation for the stone fence. Make sure to level it around evenly so that it hardens in the proper position.
Now is the time to begin forming the fence with stones of varying sizes. It is a good idea to enlist the help of friends or family members to lighten the load on yourself, so if someone is available, ask them to help. Fit the stones together like pieces in a puzzle. Add cement or crushed screenings between uneven stones to keep them secured in place.
Remember to make sure to apply both large and small stones around evenly so that you get the maximum support in the fence. Having the large rocks at the bottom is not a bad idea, but building the upper portion of the fence solely with small stones is unwise due to the lack of sturdiness. Make sure the stones are even along the entire width.
Be especially careful when working on the corners of the fence. These spots will require larger stones for the added support. Use larger stones at the very top of the fence so that you have added stability.