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2.13 Contractor’s Introduction to Dry Stone Walling

2.13 Contractors Introductory Workshop Overview:

This workshop is intended for the landscaper, mason, or builder looking to build dry stone walls.  Similar to 1.10, this workshop will be taught by highly experienced professional wallers with Advanced or Master Craftsman certification.  The hands on building portion of the workshop is a little faster paced, making room for discussions about pricing and business strategies, equipment, and other contractor related topics. This workshop is suited to beginners and those with previous stone working experience.

Over the course of the day each participant will build about 25 sq. ft. of wall (one side).  These workshops are taught using round field stone stone.  If you learn to build with round stone you can build with anything.  Participants will learn all the basic rules of structural dry stone walling that can be applied to any type of stone and project.

This workshop will feature hands on experience with a free standing wall, like those traditionally used as livestock fences and property boundaries.   The information learned is directly applicable to all types of dry stone walls, including retaining walls, seat walls, and more.

Certified DSWA-GB Instructors will guide participants through the process of building a dry stone wall.  There will be no more than 8 students per instructor, so there is plenty of direct interaction with the instructors.  Most workshops have 2 instructors with up to 16 participants.

This course is taught at:


The day will begin with a brief introductory discussion.  Participants will select their area to work, and start by dismantling the existing wall.  During this process, stone sorting techniques will be taught, and correct and incorrect aspects of the existing wall will be discussed.  Once the walls are dismantled, the foundation will be discussed and prepared, and the all important string-line guides will be introduced.  Participants will then be guided through placing foundation stones, and beginning to build the wall.  Principles of walling are discussed, demonstrated, and practiced as the 1st few courses are built by the participants.

During lunch, participants will have the opportunity to ask the instructors questions about their own projects, and purchase a wide variety of tools, books and other supplies.

After lunch, building will continue.  Throughstones will be introduced, discussed, and placed.  The 2nd lift of the wall will be built, and participants will learn some techniques for handling smaller stones.  Cope stones will be introduced and placed on the wall.  The day will finish with brief clean up and review of the wall(s) built that day.

Throughout the day discussions relevant to contractors will be interspersed in the active walling.  Contract and pricing strategies will be included, as will the use of equipment, drainage and foundations.

A brief guided tour of the other walls and stone features at the location where the workshop is taught is also a common part of the workshop.

At the end of the workshop participants will receive a certificate of workshop completion,  t-shirt, and a packet full of walling information.  There is also time to purchase tools, books and supplies, as well as ask additional questions.

Critical Information:

  • The workshop will run 9:00am-5:00pm with 1/2 hour lunch break.
  • Participants should wear boots and work clothes (have plenty of layers for cool weather)
  • What to bring:  gloves, safety glasses, water, and lunch.  (There is no where close enough to buy lunch with in the lunch break)
  • All tools needed are provided.

Detailed info will be emailed to you once you register including what to bring and directions.

Licensed Landscape Architects can receive 7.5 LA CES credits for participating in this workshop.

Workshop quick guide:

  • Great 1st workshop for contractors
  • 1-day: 9am-5pm
  • Learn the basics and more in 1 day.
  • Taught in the indoor Training Center
  • Offered once per year in early spring
  • Typical Cost $295

Experienced hardscape contractors share their 2.13 workshop experience:

Landscape Architects receive 7.5 credit hours for taking this workshop through the LA CES system.

Photos from 2.13 workshops

Upcoming 2.13 Contractor’s Introductory Workshops:

  • 2.13 Contractors Workshop
    March 29, 2019
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

This workshop is perfect for the landscape contractor interested in starting to build dry stone walls, or expand that line of work. In addition to the hands on building of a wall, there will be discussions of good work practices, pricing walls, proper foundations, etc.

All Upcoming Fundamentals (2.00) Level Courses

This workshop is perfect for the landscape contractor interested in starting to build dry stone walls, or expand that line of work. In addition to the hands on building of a wall, there will be discussions of good work practices, pricing walls, proper foundations, etc.

  • Spring Certification Test: Friday, 5/3/2019
    May 3, 2019
    8:15 am - 6:30 pm
    - 1 Day attendance

Testing Levels Initial, Intermediate and Advanced (Part B). Friday, May 3, 2019. NOTE: You must hold the previous level certification to sign up for any test above level 1. THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS WEDNESDAY, March 20th! NO LATE REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

  • 2.40 Cheek End Workshop (Outdoor) - May. 4 & 5, 2019 (Dummerston, VT)
    May 4, 2019 - May 5, 2019
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Whenever your building a wall, sooner or later it must come to an end. A cheek end is the typical way to end a wall. It is also called a wall end, wall head, or square end. Cheek ends are a particular challenge to build well and structurally are the most vulnerable part of a wall, so it is important to get it right.

  • 2.50 Intro to Stone Shaping 6/2/19
    June 2, 2019
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    - 1-Day workshop

This workshop will spend the day learning about how to shape stones for use in dry stone walls. Participants will be introduced to a variety of stone types, and how to work with them. Both hand and power tools will be demonstrated and used. The stone shaping portion will focus on efficient practices, learning how to look at a stone and judge how to shape it, as well as proper use and care of tools.

  • 2.20 Retaining wall workshop 6/2/19
    June 2, 2019
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    - 1-day workshop attendance

Participants will learn how to maximize strength for a retaining wall while following the basic rules. Foundations, drainage, perforated pipe, filter fabric, geo-textiles and more are all discussed or demonstrated. This workshop is intended to give you the information to make wise decisions on your own projects. It is well suited for both homeowners and contractors.