How to Build a Cobblestone Wall

Lead Image
  • 36-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 800-2,500
What You'll Need
Carpenters level wooden stakes
Wheel barrow
3 Pound hammer stone chisel
Work gloves
Lawn paint

A cobblestone wall can be a beautiful and useful addition to your home. Cobblestone walls can be used for a beautiful privacy fence, a retaining wall for a unique flower planter, or can also be used for a plant-climbing wall for needed shade in a garden. Many gardeners build a retaining wall around their entire garden to keep unwanted animals from eating their plants. No matter the reason for building a wall on your property, a cobblestone wall is sure to add a new beautiful focal point to your landscape.

Step One - Preparing the Soil

Once you have decided where to place the cobblestone wall, it is time to prepare the land for installation. Place the stakes in all corners of where the wall is going to be placed until the string completely outlines where the wall will stand. Spray the outlined area with the lawn paint, then proceed to remove the stakes and string.

Step Two - Dig a Foundation Trench

With the shovel, dig a hole about 8 inches deep. This will be the foundation trench for your wall. The trench should be about 3 inches wider than the wall is going to be. Compact the dirt in the trench by stepping on it. Make sure that the entire trench is level with the carpenter's leveler. If the trench is not level, the wall will not be level, and therefore, will not be stable, resulting in the wall eventually tipping over.

Step Three - Laying the Cobblestone

Now it is time to start building the wall. Keep in mind that this step requires heavy lifting, so keep limber by stretching often, and use a back brace if you have a history of back problems. Use the wheelbarrow to transport a good amount of stones to the site of the wall to begin stacking. Start with the smallest, even though when buying cobblestones, they are generally around the same size. The biggest mistake that people make is beginning the foundation of the wall with the largest stones. The wall tends to be more stable if the larger stones are on the top of the wall.

Place the first row of stones right against each other in the trench, making sure that it is level, then take the broom and sweep off the first row of stones to ensure that there isn't any debris on them. If any stones are difficult to place because of its odd shape, just chisel off a piece or two with the stone chisel and hammer. Place the next row on top of the first in a pattern that consists of placing a stone directly between the two below it. Continue this pattern until the wall is complete. Remember to place the largest stones on the top row for stability. It is also helpful but not necessary to glue the top row to the one below it.