Natural stone wall without foundation - is that possible?


Again and again the question arises whether one could not spare the elaborate construction of a foundation in a natural stone wall. If and in which cases this is possible, and what function foundations fulfill, you will read in this article. In addition, how you can make the construction of a foundation easier.

Need for foundations

Every wall needs a foundation. This is the only way to prevent the bricks in the soil from settling over several places over time and breaking the wall. This basically applies to all walls.

However, depending on the design of the wall, the foundation must be differently stable. In all walls, where the bricks are connected by mortar and held together, the foundation must be particularly stable and also frost-free found. Here is a classic concrete foundation mandatory.

Foundations in dry stone walls

If the stones are not combined with mortar, but only stacked on top of each other, it is called a "drywall". Despite the lack of connections of the stones by mortar, which derives the forces down (to the foot of the wall) dry stone walls are surprisingly stable.

They are the oldest form of wall construction and many dry stone wall are still almost undamaged after millennia. The reason for the stability is that the individual stones (mostly natural stones in irregular shapes)

  • correctly selected
  • carefully and deliberately layered on each other, so that they are well wedged
  • by planting (or naturally grown vegetation) were additionally stabilized

Especially the planting of dry stone can be a good way to make the wall in the garden look even more natural, and at the same time much better to stabilize.

Foundation for a drywall

For the foundation for the drywall frost-free foundation is not mandatory. All you have to do is create a sufficiently stable surface so that the individual stones can not settle too much (even one square meter of wall surface of a drywall can weigh well over one ton!). Low subsidence, which may occur over time, is harmless in dry stone walls

Requirements for the foundation

In a drywall usually a compacted gravel bed is sufficient (gravel without zero shares use!). For compacting it is best to use a vibrating plate, which can also be borrowed from the hardware store. A foundation thickness of 25 - 30 cm (depending on the load capacity of the subsoil) is usually sufficient for a drywall.

Tips & Tricks

The "manual" compression with the sledgehammer, as it is often used in foundations for pillars or smaller areas, is not appropriate and usually insufficient. It always has to be condensed layer by layer.


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