Natural Stone Walls – Cheaper, Faster, Easier and Greener, too!!

How can you have real natural stone walls (not the fake concrete stuff, and not veneers) that are Cheaper, faster, better (and greener!)? The trifecta usually requires a concession on one side to gain on another.  You want it fast — well, it will lose quality….or you want it cheap – well, it might take a while….. whatever the item, it’s rare to be able to capitalize on all three.  And adding a green consideration into the equation is, at this point, generally a wild card. But, a local Boston-based company has found a way to make stone walls – the foundation of any beautiful landscape – much better and much more attainable.

Natural Stone Wall Solutions has developed a patented process to build and install real stone walls that are as much as 50% cheaper than competitors, better built, faster and more environmentally friendly.

A backyard with a grill and a deck.
Stone walls in the landscape help to delineate and expand space. A retaining wall can help to create more usable square footage, mitigate steep slopes, and dramatically improve the value, usability, and beauty of a garden.
A sketch of a garden in a book.
A plan for a new backyard with a natural stone retaining wall that allows for basement access and a new nation and area for a hot tub. A Natural stone wall (freestanding or a retaining wall) adds value and beauty to a landscape.

How to Build a Better Stone Wall – The cheaper, faster, better built, more environmentally friendly kind

Natural Stone Wall Solutions has developed a system by which stone walls are constructed in a factory of sorts. (Their building yard is located in Concord, MA).  The wall is then delivered to the site and often installed in a single day. 

(consider that a traditionally build wall will tear up your landscape for weeks or months while construction happens on site).

How much does a stone wall cost? Nationwide – The cost to build a stone wall varies depending on the size, type of stone, and labor involved. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $25 to $75 per square foot (of wall face). Factors such as site preparation, labor costs, and materials all contribute to the overall expense of the project. Natural stone wall solutions unique offsite construction techniques for walls save on labor so that prices are significantly reduced.

A home with a large yard and a stone walkway.
After: With the addition of the two stone retaining walls, there is now space for patios, planting beds, and generally more organized and attractive garden rooms.

Because the walls are built off-site, homeowners experience much less disruption to their landscape and their existing gardens, the crews do not need to travel to or have unassembled materials delivered on-site (which requires disturbing other areas of the property), and the whole process saves on fuel. 

Traffic compaction of soils is minimized, excessive disruption and trampling of adjacent planting, and all the side effects of having crews and construction work happening in your backyard are largely removed.

The new walls can be built to a variety of local styles and with a variety of New England stone. They are of very high quality and come with complete engineering services, built-in weep holes,  filter fabric, and footings.  You can check out all the specs on their website.

How Off-site Natural Stone Walls are Built

Rather than build walls vertically, they start out horizontally. Each wall is built face down in a bed of sand that can be adjusted to create whatever finished wall curvature is required. Once the walls are built in a face-down position, they are flipped up to reveal the face. 

The mortar joints can vary from very thin to much thicker, as can the stone’s size, style, color, and shape.

A retaining wall is being built in front of a house.
Before – A street view of a stacked concrete block wall in front of a home in Connecticut. Concrete blocks are functional but do not have the same value or beauty as natural stone in a landscape. Replacing this retaining wall with stone will dramatically increase this home’s value and curb appeal.
A stone wall next to a house.
After – Connecticut Whiteline Granite walls bring color and style to a front yard and home.

The total wall is built in sections that are pieced together onsite.

When the product goes to the site, the wall pieces are locked into place with an injected concrete system. Seams are invisible because each section is left with a few anchors at the edge that blend adjoining pieces.  

This means that the only actual masonry work done on site is one or two blending stones placed per wall section as the large pre-built wall pieces are put into place.  

The efficiency savings are huge not just on an environmental level but also on a cost level. 

An average natural stone wall built on-site in this area (Boston and New England) costs roughly $65/sq ft of face. These are generally around $40/sq ft of face. Costs depend on the type of stone and the site’s location, access, and difficulty.  

Learn more at the Natural Stone Wall Solutions website.

Images from Natural Stone Wall Solutions.

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  1. private says:

    OMG so awesome! I so want to stop putting arsenic or arsenic substitute into my yard with wood, and we just can’t keep replacing wood. Stone is the answer, and this is a godsend. Hope they can manage my slope/stormwater issues.

  2. rochelle says:

    I should mention that the footings on the completed sections in the pictures are for display purposes…and are not what you should expect from a wall to be installed….also each of those sections is actually 2 sections put together…so you can see how you cannot see the seam.

  3. Louise says:

    We saw these being installed along roads and highways in Portugal in 2002, to replace or echo the very old existing (and deteriorating) walls. Look great and as you mention are more economical, and I think environmentally sound as there is less extraction process involved.

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