How to Build a Sitting Wall


If you plan to build a retaining wall around a flower bed, or to hold back soil, why not build it tall enough to sit on? This dual purpose wall costs a bit more, but is a great way to add extra seating, or provide a place for easy to reach pots of herbs or flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Stone blocks
  • Capstones
  • Small stones
  • Tamping tool
  • Determine where you will place your wall, how long it will be and how high. The usual height for a sitting wall is 20 inches. Add a couple inches to account for seating the stones. Take these measurements to the landscape supply store so they can help you determine the amount of stone you'll need.

  • Check with utilities to make sure you won't be disturbing any cables or pipes.

  • Mark where the wall will go with pegs and rope, a garden hose laid in place, or spray paint. Then dig out this area 4 to 6 inches deep and as wide as your stones. Fill with small pebbles and tamp with hand-held or power tamper, which can usually be rented by the hour or the day.

  • Use a level to make sure the base is as even as possible, then set down the first row of stones. This is your most important row so take your time getting them set straight and even. Cinder brick make an inexpensive wall, and once capped, can look surprisingly good.

  • Stagger the joints of the stones, using half stones you've purchased, or by cutting stones in half with a masonry chisel and hammer. For extra stability use mortar to join stones.

  • Finish by adding a row of cap stones to the top of the wall. Use matching stones as part of a foot path, to outline smaller beds, or in other places in the yard to achieve a more consistent look.

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