I have a stocked rock wall that helps to keep my hill from falling. I also should mention that I live on a hill made of ash as well. Over the years of my nanny living here and now me the rocks have falling out in some places and in one part of the hill a big section has completely fallin out. I have two questions one do I need a permit to fix the stacked rock wall? And two how would I even go about fixing it? If you need pictures I can get them. I just don’t want to hurt myself or get I’m trouble for restacking the rocks or even replacing them but it most definitely needs done as soon as possible was tryin to do it myself to save money. I’m a single mother so every penny counts. Any help at all would be much appreciated oh and I live in Pennsylvania if that helps with the permit question. Thank so much!!

  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
    – Community Bot
    Apr 30, 2022 at 6:19
  • 1
    Is the dry-stacked wall acting like a retaining wall and holding back the hillside?
    – Jurp
    Apr 30, 2022 at 10:24
  • Hi, we can't comment on whether you need a permit as that is very local and we do need pictures of the wall to give a good answer, thanks
    – kevinskio
    Apr 30, 2022 at 12:01
  • What do you mean by "ash" ? Generally plants would be the low cost method to stabilize a slope. Apr 30, 2022 at 13:32
  • Presumably volcanic ash. Or smelter ash?
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 30, 2022 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


The question of "is a permit needed" is one you have to ask the local authorities - in most areas "landscaping" will not require a permit, but that may not be true in your area, or it may not be true if the wall is serving a structural purpose that might render it a hazard to the public. In any case it's up to the Local Area Having Jurisdiction, and you have to ask them, whoever they might be - local (town or county, rarely state) government or planning board or something like that, typically.

Rebuilding a dry-stack wall is pretty much a matter of re-stacking the rocks, and can be something of an art in terms of getting them to be stable (as someone in the past did not do quite well enough in this case, evidently.) If it's serving as a retaining wall you typically want a slight tilt into the hill.

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