Where To Find A Contractor

Cost For A Retaining Wall

You’ll need to select the best type of these or other types of retaining wall styles for your unique landscape. That’s where a structural engineer can bring important expertise to determine the most appropriate fit to meet the conditions that exist.

To find a qualified structural engineer, you can ask some local landscapers for recommendations. You can also look in your yellow pages or do a search online for contractors in your area. Some home improvement websites also provide a directory that you can use to search for local vendors. Some sites to try include FindanEngineer.com, Home Blue Contractor Network, Contractor Nexus and theConstructor.org.

Cost For A Retaining Wall

Before you can determine the full cost of building a retaining wall, there are a number of factors that come into play. These include the size of the retaining wall to be built, the material used, the condition of the land (including the slant) and the retaining wall’s desired dimensions, including height, width and thickness. You’ll also need to consider how much work will be needed to clear the area in question in order to get it ready for the retaining wall installation process. With all of this in mind, here are some very general price ranges for materials and labor:

  • A Wood Retaining Wall, commonly used railroad ties, redwood or pressure treated fir usually costs around $20 to $25 a square foot
  • An Interlocking Concrete Block Retaining Wall will costs between $15 to $30 a square foot
  • A Natural Stone Retaining Wall will cost between $25 to $50 a square foot
  • A Poured Concrete Retaining Wall can cost around $30 to $40 a square foot
  • A Retaining Wall with a Metal Foundation will cost you about $50 a square foot

So, you can expect to spend between $15 and $50 a square foot installed for a retaining wall project and up, depending on exactly what’s involved.

This means that if the retaining wall you are building will be 4 feet high by 12 feet long, it would cost anywhere between $720 and $2,400. In addition to the cost for the labor and material you select, the structural elements of your retaining wall can increase the price. For instance, if you are building a retaining wall that will be reinforced with steel frames, the materials and labor involved can end up being even higher than this.

Preparation Costs

There are also some other costs involved in building a retaining wall that you’ll want to consider. This includes clearing the lot, grading it and removing any brush and sod. Figure the cost for such prep work will be between $500 and $1,000 for a 1/4 acre. You’ll also need gravel, soil and drainage for the job. Make sure to find out if these costs are included in your price estimate, and if not, find out up front how much to budget for them.

Build Your Own

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and decide to try building a retaining wall yourself, keep in mind that if the wall will need to be three feet or higher. The experts also recommend at least having a structural engineer provide the design plans for you to follow in order to ensure the final wall will accomplish your goals. Design plans for a retaining wall typically cost $500 or less.

In terms of the overall costs, you can expect a do-it-yourself retaining wall project to cost between 25 and 50 percent less than hiring a professional to provide the materials and the labor.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2011

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