Structural Stacking Ideas

This page is a brief description of the different boulder stacking styles which can be used on your rock retaining wall.



Pulpit rock
Max Stack™= Sometimes this can be the most economical retaining style. This style requires a very shallow slope, close to 45 degrees if possible. This style will use the largest face forward and also decrease the size of the rocks on each row as the rows go up the hill. This type of retaining is more easy to build using a mini-excavator with a thumb. Skid loaders are difficult to use for this style if the wall is more than two rows high.



Structural Rock
Brick Stack™= The brick stack takes rocks that are similar in size and stacks them like bricks. each rock uses the smallest face out. This option is for an application that has the maximum number of consistent sized rows in a retaining wall. This style is a very stable way to stack rock, and the customers using this method will be able to stack the rocks more steeply than the Max Stack.



Structural Rock Wall
Structural Stack™= This stacking style is used where it is required that the wall be more steep, and as structurally sound as possible. The rocks will drop in size as the rows of rocks go from the bottom of the wall to the top of the wall. Sometimes with space which is limited there will be a sidewalk at the bottom of the wall and a driveway at the top of the wall. If this is the case and there is not enough room to tip the wall back into the hill like on the Max stack, then you will want to use a structural stack. This style requires the rocks to drop in size on each row in order to make sure that the rocks on top do not become a burden to the rocks below, giving a very structurally sound rock retaining wall if done correctly. This is not necessary when using rocks in short “decorative only” types of rock retaining. Even with this style of rock wall you will need to tip the wall into the hill to some degree. Usually the rocks will be stepped into the hill at a minimum of 3 inches per foot to make sure the wall is stable. Tipping the entire wall back will also strengthen the wall in case of flash flood type of erosion which can come from a sprinkler break. If the rocks are tipped back into the hill and stepped back slightly, they will not be as likely to fall forward.



Structural Rock
Mixed Stack™= This stacking style allows you to fine tune the final height of the wall. If you need to vary in height from one end of the wall to the other you can tip the top rock up when you need to and add some height to the wall. This is not recommended if you are retaining a driveway or any other important structure which requires the rock to hold up the hill. This stacking style is usually used when the rocks are mostly for decoration. You can use this approach with one, two or three rows of rocks.



Structural Rock
The Least Expensive Stacking Style = This option can be chosen if the way you stack the rocks isn’t important. When we work up your pricing we will try the different stacking styles and find the least expensive for your project. When the work is done it will need to be done according to our designed stacking style in the pricing which is provided.





Exact prices for your design received usually within one business day.                   

More Terraces & Wall Information   

When ordering rock for rock retaining walls and terraces, we will need the following:

1-Chosen color of the rock

2- Determine Stacking Style and Rock thickness.

Stacking Style

 Remember that you typically can not tell which type of stacking style has been used after the wall is complete. This is mostly for economy and strength. We have seen where some of these walls can be less expensive than others, in no set style. Sometimes the structural walls are more money and the Max Stack walls are less, and vice versa. We will work hard to help you find the best wall for the price and your needs.

Brick Stack

Structural Stack

Max Stack

3-Find the average VERTICAL height.

This measurement is the actual vertical height needed to retain the terrace or hill.

4-Make sure you can fit your retaining wall in the area designated. Find the Horizontal Space required, or limited to for the wall.

As steep as allowed               More shallow 

If you are only selecting a 1 Row terrace, then enter 1 foot for the horizontal space. This means that the showing face of the rock will be tipped into the hill one foot.

This is the amount of yard that the wall will take up in your yard. (measurement from the front of the bottom rock to the front-top of the top rock).

This measurement helps us find the slope of the face of the wall.  The recommended horizontal space for any rock retaining wall is the same number as the vertical height.  This leaves the wall at a 45 degree angle which really makes it so that the plants can grow between the rocks and glue the rocks together. Erosion will wash dirt to the bottom of the wall every time the sprinklers come on if the plants cant take hold and glue the rocks together.

Example shows the added face footage of a 45 degree angle wall


 Too steep to have any plants between the rocks!

The horizontal space is the part of the equation that determines how steep the rock wall is going to be when it is completed.  If you build the wall too steep then there will be no way for the plants to glue the rocks together. Without a slope shallow enough for plants to hang on to, you will have a beautiful wall with no ability to protect from erosion. This means that every time you turn on your sprinklers you will get a pile of dirt on your grass or sidewalk below the rock wall. Plants are really important for more than just erosion, they really make the wall come to life with color.

5-Length of the rock retaining wall or terrace

6-Desired number of rock rows in the wall or terrace

Note: For Golden Sunset and Desert Cinnamon boulders in the Brick and Structural Stacking Styles only, you will not be able to have definite rows. These rock colors are more slab like and are not consistent in thickness, enough to count on an exact number of rows. Also Desert Cinnamon and Golden Sunset boulders are so much thinner in shape that it would require 5-10 rows where any other rock would need only 2-3 rows.  Click here for an example of a wall showing one of these colors mentioned.

7-Desired space between the rocks (only from left to right and not bottom to top)

8-Delivery zip code

9-Enter your name or company name and select the discounts that can apply to your project.