If you want to create an authentic stonewall in Point Pleasant, NJ, there is nothing quite like the traditional, tried-and-true, natural beauty of a fieldstone wall. For the best available variety, shape, color, and texture of fieldstone material, you’ll want to seek out your local masonry supply company.
Fieldstone, aptly named, is a stone that has been collected from the surface of fields or from the ground. Typically, fieldstone has been tumbled for centuries and has an unparalleled natural roundness, unlike any quarried stone. Originally, early American settlers found fieldstone while they cleared fields for cattle or crops. Fieldstone was then used to create boundary walls or to enclose animals or protect gardens. The fieldstone wall harkens back to the earliest colonial settlers. Today, fieldstone walls infuse a little of that old-warm charm into landscapes. Even today, fieldstone is still harvested authentically. This means that every single stone is unique, and therefore, every fieldstone wall is completely one of a kind.
The traditional fieldstone wall cares little for consistency in shape, texture, and size. If you are planning to create a historically accurate wall or really love that cozy rustic look, you are likely to get a great deal on locally sourced, unsorted fieldstone. If you would like a little more consistency, have a design in mind, or your space has specific dimensions and constraints, it is best to purchase stone that has already been sorted by shape, size, and color. Although more costly, your masonry supply will typically have sorted piles of flat or round fieldstone, weathered stone, piles of particular sizes, and the bargain miscellaneous pile. Also, typically, your masonry supply will have fieldstone that has been sorted and chosen for other unique characteristics.
Fieldstone works well for virtually any kind of stonewall. It’s good for large retaining walls, low freestanding walls, and because of the low cost of unsorted fieldstone, it can be a great fit for larger-scale walls. Fieldstone can be dry laid or used with mortar. A mortared wall is often used when the wall will be withstanding external forces like frost heaving or ground settling. However, mortared walls can be prone to cracking, and repairs are difficult and often result in an unattractive wall. A dry fieldstone wall is far more flexible, allowing for natural drainage to ensure that any shifting in the soil will not compromise the integrity or longevity of the wall. If for some reason the wall is damaged, repairs are typically simple and blend well with the existing wall.
Gravel and Crushed Stone
For the most reliable fieldstone wall, it is typically not wise to merely set the fieldstone directly into the ground. When the initial trench is formed to place the fieldstone, providing a layer of gravel or crushed stone will preserve the integrity of the wall. Due to the freezing and thawing cycles in New Jersey and other more northern climates, exterior stone is prone to tearing down. Gravel and crushed stone help to drain water from the fieldstone and prevents the growth of potentially damaging plants. For a long-lasting fieldstone wall, consider gravel and crushed stone as an integral wall-building material when visiting your local masonry supplier.