In 2008 Welch Construction did a dry stack stone installation at the residence of John and Susan Whiting near the Brazos River outside College Station, Texas. We used 1000 tons of weathered Texas Hill Country limestone to construct a 300 foot long retaining wall along the driveway and a 400 foot long dry creek bed along the front of the house.
We took delivery of 48 semi-trailer loads of beautiful rock in four separate deliveries over four months. Stones varied from four to fourteen inches thick and weighed from 200 to 3500 pounds each. As the trucks arrived we measured the rocks and divided them into separate stacks by thickness.
We prepared stable footings by tilling Portland cement into the native sandy soil, then wetting and compacting it. We used square cut stone as base course rocks and have at least 1-1/2 courses buried below finished grade.
We fit the stones using a chipping hammer to take off high spots so each course sat firmly on the stones below, and used rock shards as shims to insure long term stability. For each course we would decide the rock thickness and use rocks from that stack.
During creek construction we took care to correctly establish the specified creek bed elevations in relation to the bottom course of our creek walls. The creek drains rain water from the house roof and several other areas, and during heavy rains a lot of water goes through there. We had to build the wall deep enough to prevent undermining by the storm water.
After we built the creek we installed fabric and 3-4” size river cobbles in the bottom and placed about 40 round boulders as accents in and near the creek. We also built planting beds in the creek and irrigated them along with the rest of the landscaped and turf areas.
Determining grades was a challenge for the retaining wall also because we had to similarly integrate the wall stone with the specified driveway levels all the way up the slope to the county road. During wall construction we were also awarded the driveway contract.