Fieldstone Sitting Walls
Walls aren’t always for retaining soil. Usually when one thinks of a stone wall, they think of needing one for erosion control, to hold back a bank, to help create a level area, etc.
We love to construct fieldstone walls. Not only for retaining, but we also love to build walls that are finished on both sides, and typically look great where the finished top of the wall is at a “chair-height”. There are a couple of good reasons to build this kind of wall. First, walls are part of the “bones” of a design. They create spaces, define boundaries, and lead our eyes around the composition of landscape features. They also serve some practical purposes. In this example, the fieldstone wall that’s at the edge of this patio is at a good sitting height. When there is a larger crowd gathered here, it acts as great seating for people. This wall also defines the edge of this patio. It’s hard to see on this photo, but part of this wall retains soil, keeping the patio level. Rather than just have a drop-off over the edge of the retaining part of the wall, we extended the wall up further to act kind of like a railing or fence for safety. It’s not a safety fence height. The retaining part of the wall is low enough that code wouldn’t require a safety fence, so a sitting wall at the edge of this patio was a great idea.
Our masons start with a good base and build the wall to have mortar on the inside of the wall. Both sides are finished to have a “dry laid” look, meaning you don’t see the mortar on the sides of the wall. The top of this kind of wall has mortar showing between the rocks to keep water out and make it more comfortable to sit on. Using mortar like this increases the stability and safety of the wall. Now, when the grandkids walk along the top of the wall like you know they will, you can be assured that the wall rocks will stay put.
Sitting walls don’t have to be constructed only out of fieldstone. We also make sitting walls out of various concrete block products. These are great alternatives. Neat looking and functional, these walls serve various purposes. A block wall such as this will require a cap-block. The caps are comfortable to sit on and make the wall look great.
What a great way to define your outdoor living space and have some overflow seating too!