Dry stacked stone wall

by Russell Harford
(San Diego, CA)

Can a 4 foot tall dry stacked stone wall be used as the base for a 2 foot dry stacked stone extension? In other words can I extend the stone wall another 2 feet and use it as just a wall and not as a retaining wall?

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May 17, 2013
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Dry stacked retaining wall
by: Dream yard team

Hi Russell. Thanks for the question.


I hope I am on the same page with this? Do you think you could send a picture or drawing of what you have in mind?


For the benefit of others that may read this, I may also cover a few things regarding retaining walls that you are already aware.


Usually with retaining walls over 3 ft. in height I ask people to contact their local by-law or permit office. They often have specific regulations you have to follow.


These regulations vary in different towns, cities, and sometimes even subdivisions.In your case, RB may have a different set of rules than Poway, SD proper, or SD country may even have consistant regulations throughout. This is something you should check on locally.


Generally when you reach or exceed 4 ft. in height with a retaining wall, a permit is usually required. ( Some cities and towns can require a permit for walls as low as 3 ft.)


Approved stamped plans (engineered walls) may also be required using geogrid. One of the ways to avoid this is by terracing with 2 smaller walls so long as you have the right spacing between the two walls.


If you are building a 4 ft. retaining wall as a base for another wall on top of it, this would be considered the same wall unless there is adequate spacing between them.


In this case it will be considered 6 ft. of retaining wall. (Unless there is no soil behind the top 2 ft. section you are considering.)


Once again, your local government office should be contacted to be sure.


Thanks again, and good luck with your project. You live in a beautiful place. I really loved it there.


Dream yard team




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