Construction has existed in some capacity for almost as long as people have existed. After all, people have always needed somewhere to live. The concept of construction has always been around, but the methods and materials used have evolved significantly through the decades. Each construction method serves a specific purpose and the type of construction used varies depending on what the build will be used for and the geographic location. One of the many construction methods that have been used since ancient times, and still has a place in the construction world today, is dry stone construction.
What is Dry Stone?
Dry stone construction is construction done using stone without a bonding agent like mortar. Mortar is typically made of cement, sand, and water to create a binding agent to hold stones together. Most brick houses and other stone buildings you see have mortar between the stones. Dry stone construction uses similar stones, but no mortar or equivalent material is needed. Dry stone construction can be seen in some very historic locations, like the Egyptian pyramids, but it still serves an important purpose today too.
What Materials Does Dry Stone Use?
The materials used in dry stone construction are very minimal. Of course, stones are the most important material required. Stones need to be primarily flat and a variety of sizes is helpful for a stable build. Each layer of stone has to have a lot of surface contact with the stone directly above and below to create a strong structure. Stones don’t always line up that way on their own, so a hammer and chisel are often needed to carve the stones for a secure fit.
Dry Stone Construction Techniques
Before any stones can be laid, the construction team has to clear the ground to create a level foundation to build on. Then, the largest stones are laid flat onto the ground. The other layers will be built on top of this layer, so it’s important that it’s strong and lays flat against the ground. Then, each consecutive layer of stones is built. The goal is for there to be little to no gaps between stones to ensure the structure is stable. If there are small gaps between larger stones, small stones called hearting are placed into those gaps. The tighter the stones, the stronger the wall will be. The sides of the build that are visible from the outside are meant smoothest, to avoid an unsightly ragged edge from all of the different stones that were used for the build.
Contact Deluca Masonry in Norwood, MA
Dry stone construction is a process that requires patience, skill, and knowledge to finish with a strong build. When dry stone construction is done correctly, it can last for extended periods of time. After all, the pyramids are still standing and no mortar was used during the build! Contact Deluca Masonry Construction today! We’ve completed many dry stone projects that our clients have loved. Give us a call today at 781-269-9709 or fill out a contact form for a free quote!