How Much Do Retaining Walls Cost To Build?

How Much Do Retaining Walls Cost To Build?

Written by  Harry Taylor
Last updated: October 18, 2023

Retaining walls can be used in a landscape to create plantable beds of soil. Or as a component of construction work to channel drainage far from a building. They can be constructed in any size, length, or height and can be made of a variety of materials.

But how much is the cost of retaining wall? The price to construct a retaining wall is affected by a number of factors.

Price List For Retaining Wall Construction

A retaining wall costs ranges between £250 and £405 per square meter typically. Expect to spend a minimum of £405 when creating a wall out of stone, being the most expensive material. 

The following table contains the remaining details:

Retaining Wall TypesAverage Construction Cost
Boulder£240 per m²
Brick£320 per m2
Sandstone£395 per m²
Gabion£240 per m²
Concrete£285 per m²
Timber£245 per m²
Stone£395 per m²
Masonry£320 per m²
Reinforced block£320 per m²

Factors Affecting A Retaining Wall Cost Quotation

The cost of retaining wall may be affected by several factors. Many of these play an important role in how much a project costs compared to the national average. 

Below we have discussed some important factors that might help you manage the cost:

  1. Location of a Wall

Retaining wall prices are heavily influenced by factors including wall location and reinforcement level. Recognizing the wall’s function and thoroughly understanding the force it requires to withstand is crucial for designing an effective retaining wall. This is due to the fact that no two walls serve the same purpose.

  1. Accessibility

Large earthmoving machines will be able to do the majority of the job if they are granted easier access to the area where the retaining wall will be constructed. You might anticipate being charged a higher wage for physical labour in locations that are difficult to access.

  1. Nature of the Material

The total cost to install a retaining wall is determined by two distinct aspects of the materials utilized. The first investment is the price of raw materials. This figure fluctuates with factors such as time of year, market conditions, and regional building practices. 

Second, the building method, the number of workers, the depth of the footings, and many other criteria are all determined by the materials to be used. Cranes are needed to install stone rockeries, which might add additional expenses such as leasing fees and traffic management fees. 

  1. Nature of the Soil

Given that some retaining walls perform better in particular soil types than others, the soil type on your land is also a crucial consideration in your retaining wall estimate. Heavy retaining wall materials, for instance, would be too much for soil that is more clay-like. 

You may need to do some extra clearing work or digging to compact the soil if your land is rocky. It stands to reason that the cost of the retaining wall would go up proportionally with the amount of labour necessary to construct it.

  1. Terrain

Retaining wall costs can be significantly affected by the topography surrounding the wall. The ultimate cost may climb by as much as 50 per cent if the terrain is very challenging, such as when the land on either side of the wall slopes. 

This is because terracing the slope may necessitate specialised excavation work, which may not be within the scope of your contractors’ work. In addition, further digging is needed to compact unstable soil.

  1. Size and Height

When determining the cost of retaining wall, it is imperative to take into account the wall’s length, height, and width. The overall size affects both the cost of materials and the cost of labour. 

Bear in mind that the base of the retaining wall will need to be significantly more sturdy as its size increases.

  1. Annual Timing

It’s possible to build retaining walls at any time of year, but doing so when the earth is frozen could increase your costs due to the need to dig beyond the frost line and the extra labour involved. 

If you want a contractor to come out and give you an estimate before it gets too cold where you live, it’s best to arrange the appointment for the spring or fall.

  1. The Amount of Manual Labor

The cost of labour is another component that goes into determining the final price of retaining walls. Expect the expenses of a single construction project to increase if it calls for the participation of a greater number of skilled individuals. 

In the event that footers need to be dug out and blocks need to be carried, the same rule applies. As a general rule, the cost of the task will increase proportionately with its degree of difficulty.

  1. Permits

Be sure to check with the authorities in charge of regulating construction in your area before beginning construction on a retaining wall in your yard. In many municipalities, a building permit is necessary if the height of the wall exceeds three or four feet. 

In addition, permissions can be an added financial burden.

Are Retaining Walls Worth Paying For?

In short, the answer is “yes.” Here are many reasons why retaining wall installation cost is worth the investment: 

  • Building retaining walls around your property might be one of the most effective ways to make your landscaping look better. 
  • They not only make your property more desirable by drawing attention to the plants and flowers on it, but they also have the potential to lengthen the amount of time that the property’s general integrity is preserved. 
  • Erosion can be prevented to some degree by erecting retaining walls, which limit the rate at which water moves across the top of your house.
  • A level space suitable for a garden or patio can be created in a sloped landscape by building a retaining wall.
  • In its most basic form, retaining walls are an excellent example of the successful marriage of aesthetics and practicality.

Your needs and your budget will determine the best retaining wall installation cost for your situation. They’re not cheap, but compared to the potential loss of home value, they’re relatively inexpensive.

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